08 July 2005

Greinke gets torched again

Thanks in part to Ruben Gotay, Zack Greinke now holds the team record for worst winning percentage going into the all-star break. He dropped to 1-11 with the 5-4 loss to the Twins tonight. The Royals had a 3-2 lead in the 6th and Lew Ford singled home a run to tie the game with 2 out. Gotay got a double-play ball hit to him by Justin Morneau and bobbled the ball so only 1 out could be had and the go-ahead run scored. The Twins added another run that inning to chase Greinke and the Royals pushed across a run in the 7th to make it a 5-4 game. Then Berroa pulls a Berroa in the 8th and tries to stretch a single to a double when Jacque Jones bobbled it momentarily and Jones nails him at second after Berroa overslides the base. It may have made a difference, it may not have. We won't know. The good news is the bullpen gave up only 3 hits and 0 ER to give the team a chance, Mike Sweeney came back and went 3-4 in his first game back (good to see that HBP that had him writhing in pain on the ground the other day was just a minor bruise -- he's like that guy on your high school football team who would get hurt every play and drag his ass back to the huddle with something like a dead leg and then be fine by the time the ball was snapped for the next play -- at least he didn't have to go on the DL). Berroa was 2-4 for another good game even tho he for all intents and purposes got only 1 productive hit since he ran into an out in the 8th. In the bad news department, Stairs had an 0-fer tonight, the Twins bullpen held the Royals to 2 hits and, in the end, the Royals got the loss. Gotay's bobble was a microcosm of the things that have cost the Royals all season, little breaks here and there, pitching breakdowns, inability to get a clutch hit when absolutely needed, etc.

Tomorrow it's Joe Mays, who has beaten the Royals twice this season, vs. J.P. Howell, who has struggled at the MLB level. Let's hope the team can bounce back from tonight's tough loss but it's looking pretty grim for tomorrow. Of course I said that the other night and Lima stepped up for once.


Brendan said...

I get the dissatisfaction with Berroa, but if you're going to highlight a baserunning mistake tonight, you've got to go with John Buck trying to take third on a passed ball that didn't go anywhere.

It's a fine line between aggressive baserunning and stupidity but I'd rather the Royals be exploring that boundary than the one between aggressive and conservative.

I know it sometimes seems like its a contest to see who can have the most negative/pessimistic Royals blog (or the second-most, after Rob Neyer) but I don't think that's what most of us readers are looking for. Sweeney couldn't have done any more than he did tonight; there's no need/reason to take potshots.

Ken said...

Berroa's blunder came with 1 out in the 8th and the ball didn't get a foot from Jones. In a 1-run game you don't run into outs at second.

I'm also in no contest to have the "most negative/pessimistic Royals blog" and for that matter I appreciate Rob Neyer's opinion. He was more positive than Rany was in the latest installment. The Royals are scrapping this year but the management hasn't given fans too much in positives this season. I appreciate the efforts of players like Emil Brown and Shane Costa and D.J. Carrasco. It's too bad others haven't pulled their weight.

As for Sweeney, he could have done more than he did tonight -- he could have homered or driven in the one runner he stranded in the 1st. I didn't expect it. I actually put his performance in the "good news" section of my post because he had a good game. It's good to see a reader who isn't tired of him being hurt constantly, though. I didn't see what I said as a potshot, it's just that from his reaction the other night after being hit by a pitch you would have thought his hand was shattered when it ended up being a bruise. Sweeney is being paid $11 million. I don't think 70 games played, a .300 average and double-digit homers from our "cornerstone" is too much to ask by the all-star break. He's at .299 and 9 HRs right now so he may squeak by. He isn't getting to 70 GP, tho. If I see him as a minor, and I mean minor, malingerer, that's my opinion.

Brendan said...


Let me begin with what I should have started the last comment with ... I love your blog and I check it several times a day. Please keep up the good work, even if us commenters in the cheap seats carp from time to time.

Now, to your points:
I think Berroa was right to try for second for three reasons: 1) he beat the throw; 2) in a 1-run ballgame with the bottom of the order coming up, getting a runner into scoring position is worth taking risks; 3) the Royals should err on the side of being aggressive.

I think Buck was wrong to try for second for two reasons: 1) he wasn't even close to beating the throw; 2) never make the third out of an inning at Third base -- it's not worth the risk, especially in a 1-run game.

As for Sweeney, perhaps I owe you an apology. I thought you were implying that he was faking his injury, or at least the severity of it. I think that it was pretty obvious from his wince on his slide/trip into second base that he's actually still in a great deal of pain. Frankly, I find it hard to imagine that he wouldn't have been after being drilled with a 90-mph baseball on a bony part of the body.

I'm not satisfied with his preformance this year, much less his availability, but I didn't think that anything he did last night warranted a negative comment, and I'm a probably a little sensitive to pointless negativism after reading the latest Rob and Rany. (I'll save my comments on them for a separate post). Nothing he could do could justify the money he's being paid, and the injuries only exacerbate that problem, but I think that there's a difference between a fragile player and a pus-, uh, a wimp. Manny, unilaterally extending his stay in Pawtucket, is a wimp. Juan Gone, in everything he does, is a wimp. But, to me, Sweeney is always hurt because his body has the resilience of a 60-year old, not because he's looking for excuses. Maybe that's a distinction without a difference. Maybe I just see it differently. Regardless, if a player's knocking out 3 hits a game, he can say he's got a terminal cancer diagnosis for all I care. I'm just glad to have the offensive production.


Ken said...

Hey, it looks like we agree on most things and thanks for being a frequent reader. As far as I know you may be the only one -- frequent reader, I mean -- I'm sure there are other occasional passers-by. In regards to Sweeney's HBP, I'm sure it hurt, but he made a pretty big production about a bruise. Good to see him in better form than before -- the ball must have jarred something loose or knocked it into place. I don't want to question it too much. Hey, don't be badmouthing Manny, he's the MAN -- apparent carefree somewhat lackadaisacal demeanor aside. Let's hope the offensive production continues. Keep it comin'.

Ken said...

and also, thanks for reading.