Monday, August 23, 2010
Royals Take White Sox Series in Thrilling Fashion
Winning games these days sure has become hard for the Royals, and this weekend's series against the Chicago White Sox certainly proved this. The Royals and White Sox games all went to extra innings, with the Royals taking two out of three to win the series and finish its recent ten-game home stand at a respectable 6-4.
Yuniesky Betancourt was the hero in game one, belting a game-tying grand slam and later winning the game with a walk-off single. Betancourt, who has been critized all season for his poor play at short-stop and his generous contract, stepped up to give the Royals a win when some had already started heading for the exits. Jason Kendell was the hero in game three, hitting a game winning single into the outfield gap to drive home Gregor Blanco in the 10th inning. The series as a whole provided close, competitive baseball, with an added bonus due to the White Sox being locked in a heated division race with the Minnesota Twins.
While the results were positive, there are still some glaring concerns with this team, most notibly the younger players. Blanco has been solid, however Kila Ka'aihue continues to swing hard at absolutely anything, and other young players are struggling as well. The good news for the Royals is Zach Grienke appears to be back on track and Joakim Soria is consistently dominant at closer.
The Royals have some pieces to build with, and appear to be putting together a solid pitching corps and bullpen. However, the offense has to get better, which includes the younger players that are getting action to close out the year. Betancourt saving the team with a grand slam makes for a good story, but it would be nice if the team could win some games without the heroics. But where would the fun in that be?