Friday, July 20, 2012
Hernandez worked through the eighth, only allowing a run when Chris Getz hit a single in the 5th to drive home Eric Hosmer. The Royals had a great chance to get back into the game in the eighth inning, when the team loaded the bases with only one out. Hernandez, who leads the league in strikeouts, fanned Alcides Escobar and got Billy Butler to ground out, ending any hope the Royals had for a comeback.
Seattle’s offense was led by Jesus Montero, who homered and drove in four runs of rookie Will Smith. Smith had pitched well in Triple-A Omaha before being called up due to the struggles the Royals have had in the bullpen, and despite his poor performance yesterday, he will likely get several more chances to earn a permanent spot in the rotation.
The Royals were busy making some deals as well, most notably their resigning of catcher Jason Kendall to a minor league contract. Kendall played for Kansas City in 2010 before missing all of 2011 due to injury. At 38, it is hard to imagine that Kendall has much left in the tank, but he played well for the team in 2010 and is a former three-time All Star. If the injury bug that has bitten the Royals pitching staff hits Kansas City’s offense, we may very well see Kendall called up sometime before the season ends.
Kansas City begins a three game series with Minnesota tonight to conclude the team’s ten game home stand. Luke Hochevar (6-8) will start for the Royals, and Nick Blackburn (4-5) will start for the Twins. Game one begins tonight at 7:10 p.m.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
On paper, a two run loss to a dangerous Yankee team doesn't appear that bad. However, it was the way Kansas City lost that was so cringeworthy. Every inning, it seemed that the Royals put men in scoring position and failed to manufacture runs. Melky Cabrera provided Kansas City with its only run, a solo shot in the fourth inning. The bottom of Kansas City's order is what will ultimately hold this team back, proven last night when the Royals 7 through 9 hitters constantly left players on base.
The Royals also made several head-scratching plays that showed this club still has a long way to go. Matt Treanor got picked off in a horrible steal attempt, and Chris Getz was easily thrown out trying to reach second base off a pitch that hit the dirt.
The Royals also announced yesterday that starter Bruce Chen will be placed on the 15 day DL due to a sore side. Kansas City will call up Vin Mazzaro from Omaha to take his place. This could be a big blow as Chen has been the rotation's most consistent pitcher this year. The Royals are still above .500, but the team has a lot of work to do and obstacles to overcome if they want to keep the cinderella story going.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The first place Royals (no that is not a misprint) won its second consecutive thriller, beating the White Sox 7-6 in extra innings. This is the second straight win for the Royals in extra innings, as Kansas City came back to beat the Angels on Sunday.
The Royals have now won four straight games for the first time since September of 2009. The team has used some late-game magic in all four of its wins - and its only loss came when an Alex Gordon blast fell just inches short of a game-winning home run. The Royals' late-game heroics should have relief pitchers and closers around the league terrified, as this team has proved it will go down swinging every night.
This time, Melky Cabrera was the hero, singling home Chris Getz to give Kansas City another walkoff win. The Royals' offense is producing, with new players such as Cabrera and Matt Treanor mixing well with Billy Butler (on pace for another strong season) and Alex Gordon (finally playing like the player we thought he could be).
This feels a bit like the 2003 season, the last time the Royals finished with a winning record. That year, Kansas City had an endless supply of late-game heroics and breakout seasons from several players. While still early, the Royals start may signal that the team could be ready to contend sooner than most expected.