Showing posts with label Zach Grienke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zach Grienke. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Royals Pitching Continues to Struggle

Just one night after blowing a ninth inning lead, the Royals established early on that they had no chance in this one. The Orioles scored eight runs in the fourth inning, and went on to humiliate Kansas City 9-2. The pitching meltdown in this game came courtesy of Luke Hochevar, who dropped to 3-5 on the year.

While Hochevar, the team's number one starter, was getting lit up like the fourth of July, former Royal Zack Grienke pitched lights out in Milwaukee. Grienke struck out 10 batters in his seven innings of work, while also blasting a home run. Looks like the former Cy Young winner is joining a long list of former Royals that went on to do great things once they left Kansas City.

Kansas City's offense has been fairly good this season, but the only way the Royals were going to compete this year was if the pitching could hold up. Not only have the starters struggled, but former All-Star closer Joakim Soria has been a disaster recently. At least Royals fans can remain optimistic that Soria will return to form and get back to being one of the best pitchers in the AL. Hochevar, a former number one overall pick, has never lived up to his draft status, and is once again turning in a crappy season for KC. It is hard to watch the Royals' former top pick get shelled while Grienke enjoys success in Milwaukee.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Royals Take White Sox Series in Thrilling Fashion

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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?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Soria Records 25th Straight Save

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As the Royals' dreadful season nears the finish line, one player has stood out all year as a bright spot for the team. Closer Joakim Soria converted his 25th straight save, breaking the old consecutive saves record for the Royals previously set by Jeff Montgomery in 1993. For the season, Soria has converted 32 of 34 chances.

After pitching a no-decision gem last week, Zach Grienke made it clear he was not willing to sit around and wait for the Royals to undertake another rebuilding project. While it is hard to blame Grienke's stance, it will be interesting to see what the off-season brings for Soria. The Royals have traded many of its productive veterans to build for the future, however Soria is still young and could provide a long-term answer at closer or eventually be moved to a starting position.

Given that Soria has not publicly demanded a trade or let his frustrations with the organization known, the Royals should attempt to lock him up for the long haul. Having a dominant closer is a necessity for any competitor, and Soria is one of the best in the game. While the Royals keep rebuilding, at least Kansas City fans can enjoy watching Soria dominate.


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