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Royals Nightly
Saturday, August 21, 2004
 
Game 119- Rangers 5, Royals 3 (43-76)
Its just been one of those seasons (or decades) for the Royals.

I'm a little conflicted on pitcher-allowed home runs. On one hand, clearly the pitcher is usually at fault for giving up the gopher-ball, but on the other hand the difference between a home run and a flyout to deep left often is that large. So yes, Mike Wood has only himself to blame for allowing three Ranger homers last night. Still, looking at the box score, it stands out as a tough loss.

Wood, my new favorite Royal, went 7.1 innings, allowing just 4Hs and 2 BBs... and yes, those three homers. In less than a half season, Wood's established himself as the Royals second-best starter.

2004 VORPs (by innings pitched):

May- 3.3
Anderson- -15.4
Gobble- 1.3
Greinke- 16.0
Reyes- 9.3
Affeldt- 3.1
Wood- 9.0

Thats pretty much the anatomy of a losing team right there. A huge bulk of innings from M-Anderson and Gobble have been, in composite, below replacement-level. Further, as I am loth to point out, we have the travesty of Reyes and his "I'm doing better than a AAA journeyman" 9.3 VORP being replaced by the returning from exile Anderson. Beyond these quibles, returning to the main point, we can see that Mike Wood's performance has already quantitatively passed every active starter on the team save Greinke. Is Wood a good bet to improve for next season, reaching All-Star levels? Probably not, he's not a high-ceiling guy at this point, and given his status as a a) Royal b) pitcher c) low-K rate pitcher he's also a decent candidate to be 2005's Brian Anderson. Still, considering he's part of the Beltran swag, its nice to see him doing well.

Lastly, is it still OK to jump off the Harvey bandwagon? He's dangerously close to posting his 3rd straight sub .700-OPS month (only .702 in August) and is facing an uphill battle to regain his shiny .300 BA.

Harvey's current season line:

.298/.347/.443

Harvey post-ASB:

.272/.321/.408

Now, the numbers of the much-maligned Mike Sweeney:

.287/.347/.506

Welcome to bizarro world. Sweeney's been hitting well for two months, and Grimace his been gripping for three, and their OBP's have just met in the middle, dead even at .347. My money, of course, is on Sweeney, but at the point at which we are even having this discussion, its plain that Mike's patience at the plate is in decline.

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