21 July 2005

Split

It's been an up-and-down last couple days for fans of the Royals. Last night the new guys -- Chip Ambres and Donnie Murphy -- contribute to a 5-3 win and Lima pitches decently again; the Royals beat C.C. Sabathia; Sweeney had 2 hits (as did Murphy and Ambres); and, bottom line, the Royals won. Unfortunately, tho, the trade of Graffanino made Joe McEwing (not a Pipeline favorite) the first baseman when facing lefties, since Stairs doesn't hit that well vs. the southpaws. Hopefully something changes there -- oh, and also in the fact that mastermind Buddy had him batting SECOND. He shouldn't get above seventh in the lineup. KC can't afford another hole in the lineup.

Fast forward to today, when not much goes right for KC. You could kind of tell it was one of those days when DeJesus and Long reach base to lead off the game and the Royals catch a break on a baserunning blunder by Long when no one covers first on a rundown. Two on, 0 out -- should get 1 run. Nope. Sweeney Ks, DeJesus gets thrown out in a FC rundown and Brown Ks to end it. The Royals got the first two on in the 6th and got nothing again. A frustrating day for KC batters, to say the least. Meanwhile, J.P. Howell doesn't pitch horribly but gives up 4 ER over 6 IP, Nunez has his periodical shelling for 6 ER in an inning and that's the game. How many times is Bell going to let Nunez stay out and get hammered on the mound. This is the third time I can remember he's done this. I understand letting him take his lumps but this is ridiculous. He should have the point by now. Obviously when he can't get anyone out, nothing is changing that. Long had a 3-3 game, Gotay had 2 hits and, of the starters, only Stairs had an 0-fer. But the Royals managed only 1 measly run, and that courtesy of Mario Mendoza, I mean Alberto Castillo. Ugly day.

The Boo Jays come to town to start a 3-gamer tomorrow as Runelvys takes on Pete Walker. Should be a winnable game. In other Royals notes, Runelvys got a 10-game suspension for the beaning incident vs. the Tigers and has appealed. Bell got a 1-game suspension and serves that tomorrow. I wasn't expecting a 10-gamer for Runelvys as I didn't think he hit Guillen in the head on purpose. He may have thrown at Guillen but I don't think he meant to hit him in the head. His control isn't that good. Three Tigers got suspensions out of the brawl, including 6 for thug Kyle Farnsworth. Well deserved.

As I wrote this, Thad Markray gave up a 2-run shot to Robinson Cancel to put Wichita down, 4-3, in the bottom of the 5th but the Wranglers have looked good. They run the bases well and hit well. Huber has looked good thus far and Mitch Maier had a big double to give the Wranglers the lead momentarily in the 5th. Mike Aviles made another blunder at SS. Markray looks to have good stuff as he had 7 Ks through 4. Man, Frank White is looking old. He seems to have done some good work in the second half, tho. It helps to have the best hitting team in the Texas League. It's been nice to see them on FSN.

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