Royals Nightly
Monday, September 06, 2004
Game 135- Royals 12, Twins 3 (48-87)
After 130 games, after watching Beltran get traded away, after watching loss after loss, I had to take a break. Think of my mini-hiatus as another semi-punitive trip down Wichita like the ones seen by Berroa and Gobble. Now, refreshed and refueled, RN returns.

Speaking of that Gobble, I guess yesterday's win was his glorious comeback at some level. The Gobbler went 9 innings, allowing only 6 Hs and 3 Rs to a Twins team that looked like it wanted Sunday afternoon off. Gobble even struck out 4 batters, which constitutes some modicum of progress. Still, Gobble's managed only 5Ks in 15+ innings since his return to the Royals rotation, so its hard to say that his amazing inability to strikeout batters isn't still a problem. Then again, apparently the Royals just don't care about K-rate as a indicative stat, or else the roster wouldn't be positively overflowing with pitchers that can't get strikeouts.

One final note on Gobble: there was no way in hell he should have thrown 125 pitches/9 innings yesterday. At a certain level I callously don't even really care, because I don't believe he's got much of a future at this point (Guys who regress from a B- prospect to a D+ level starter don't intrigue me anymore). Nevertheless, there simply was no reason for the move. Its likely absolutely nothing will come of it, but watch Gobble's next start-- lets see if he doesn't get shelled.

Updated Pickering Line:


Ouch. Pick's absolutely got to get the BA up before the end of the season. The undying devotion to Ken Harvey notwithstanding, I'd mark the Royals as about a middle-of-the-road team in terms of their stance on the BA/OBP debate, but a .191 average is too scary to touch in most instances. Still, Pick's current OBP is lower than Grimace's glorious .295 batting average, so at some level it just doesn't matter anyways. Frankly, there isn't a single Royal I'll be rooting for more over the next month than Calvin Pickering, and hopefully he can push that BA up into the .220 range, with continued power and patience. His strikeouts are spiking up, so its clear hes still getting deep into counts, which on balance is a good sign.

The Joker had a nice 4-5 day yesterday, raising his OPS .018 points in one game, as he's now hitting a semi-respectable .282/.345/.403 on the year.

More later tonight.



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