Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The story of last night’s game was Vin Mazzaro, who made his season debut against the best offense in the American League. Mazzaro was called up to replace Danny Duffy, who was recently lost for the season due to an elbow injury. The young right hander gave up three runs over five innings, keeping the Rangers in check while the Royals offense got big hits from Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Bryan Pena to take the lead. Kansas City also got a strong pitching performance from reliever Tim Collins, who struck out five of the six batters he faced in two innings of work.
The question now is can Kansas City keep its momentum going? The loss of Duffy is a huge blow to the starting pitching rotation, and the Royals have some tough series coming up. The good news is the Royals have a puncher’s chance to reach the top of the AL Central standings, something that was unimaginable a few weeks ago.
Kansas City will look to keep its winning streak alive tonight, when they begin a three game series with Baltimore. Felipe Paulino (1-1) will start for the Royals, while Tommy Hunter (2-2) will get the start for the Orioles.
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Friday, May 6, 2011
Bruce Chen had yet another solid start, and has established himself as Kansas City's top starter this season. Chen improved his record to 4-1 for the season, and the lefty has brought some consistency to a rotation that has been up and down all year. Following the win, the Royals announced that top prospect Eric Hosmer will be called up from the minors, while the struggling Kila Ka'aihue will be demoted to Omaha. Hosmer will join an offense that has been one of the best in the majors this season, and his gaudy minor league stats have shown he is ready to take on the big league.
The Royals have gone 14-6 at home this season, and will look to continue its dominance in Kansas City tonight against Oakland. The Royals will face a talented pitcher in Gio Gonzalez, however the A's offense hasn't been anything to write home about this season. I expect Hosmer to give Kansas City a boost, and the Royals should have no trouble at least taking the series from the A's.
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.
Friday, July 9, 2010
In case the circus following Lebron James’ free agency or the World Cup distracted you, you may have noticed that the Royals have slowly crawled out of mediocrity to put together a solid 2010 season. Despite the signs of improvement, the organization is now faced with an interesting decision: continue to push for a playoff spot or start to give younger prospects a chance to gain valuable experience and plan for the future.
The Royals are 27-23 since Ned Yost took over and has won 10 of its last 13. The club is talking playoffs, and in the weak AL Central that notion may not be too far fetched. Reigning Cy Young winner Zack Grienke appears to have found his other-worldly form, the team has an all-star closer in Joakim Soria, and the batters have an excellent .283 average overall.
Despite all the success, the Royals need to realistically assess how good their team really is and its chances to snag the division title and earn a playoff spot. Much of the team’s success can be attributed to strong seasons from veteran players such as Jose Guillen and Scott Podsednik, who are not getting any younger.
The Royals will have to keep a realistic approach in the next several weeks about where they stand in the division. Billy Butler and Grienke, the team’s best hitter and pitcher, benefited immensely from playing time at a young age, and top prospects like Kila Ka’aihue could do the same and help the club build a building block for the future. It will be interesting to see what the club does in the next month or two, but the new position the Royals find themselves in shows the team may slowly be crawling out of the cellar.