I knew Allard knew what he was doing! I'm being sarcastic, but it is nice to see the Royals beat the Evil Empire. Greinke finally gets his first win -- he can't beat anyone else but can beat the Yankees? I know, run support, run support. The last two Ls that wasn't the case though, and he comes out tonight and holds New York to 3 hits, although he is proving to be susceptible to the long ball as Matsui took him downtown. Sweeney was 0-4 to drop closer and closer to .300 at .308. Stairs and Brown picked up the slack and T. Long had a decent game with 2 RBI even though he didn't get a hit. Teahen also had a decent game with 2 hits in 4 ABs. I held my breath when I saw McDougal was out for the 9th inning. The Yankees' bench is pretty thin for the $200 mill payroll -- Cano wasn't impressive (he's not on the bench, he's the regular 2B) and Russ Johnson came off the bench in the 9th? MacDougal also made Jeter look silly on the slider before the questionable check swing call to strike him out. Anyway, a win's a win, even if it makes you 14-37. On to the Big Unit tomorrow night, Bell's first big test. Wall Puncher tonight had a shoddy start but he's having a bad year. The Yankees look pretty shaky.
31 May 2005
AAA: Omaha was swept for the first time since July 2003 and ran its losing streak to 5 games with a 6-5 loss to Albuquerque Monday. The O-Royals had the lead run in scoring position in the 9th but LF Aaron Guiel and C Scott Walter struck out to end the game. The Isotopes had a 2-0 lead going into the 3rd but Omaha tied the game on an RBI double by DH Denny Hocking and a sac fly by Guiel. Albuquerque regained the lead in the bottom of the inning but Omaha tied the game in the 5th on an RBI groundout by Hocking. The Isotopes took the lead again in the bottom of the 5th with 2 runs but Omaha closed the gap to 1 in the 7th with an RBI single from Hocking. Once again Omaha pitchers faltered, though, and the Isotopes scored a run in the 7th to take a 6-4 lead into the 9th. RF Jaime Jones singled to lead off the inning and SS Alejandro Prieto followed with a walk. CF Adrian Brown singled to load the bases with no outs and Hocking hit a sac fly to drive in his 4th run of the game. Brown stole second (his 16th steal) to put runners at second and third with no out but then Guiel and Walter struck out. SP Dennis Tankersley got the loss to drop to 2-5. He went 5 2/3 IP and gave up 5 ER on 7 hits and 2 BB with 4 Ks as his ERA grew to 6.38. RP Santiago Ramirez pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up 1 ER on 2 hits and a BB to bump his ERA to 4.71. RP Wes Wilkerson pitched a perfect 8th to drop his ERA to 5.28. Brown was 3-4 with a double to improve to .266 and Hocking was 3-4 with a double and 4 RBI to improve to .276. Walter was 1-5 to drop to .351. Prieto was 2-3 with a BB and 2 RS to improve to .263. He also committed his 4th error of the season.
Omaha is 22-30 and 5 games out of first place. A four-game set with New Orleans in Omaha begins tonight. Pitching matchup is Zephyrs RH Donnie Bridges (1-2, 5.14) vs. LH Chris George (3-3, 5.68).
AA: A 6-run 3rd propelled Corpus Christi to a 10-5 win over Wichita Monday to start the series. Wichita started the scoring with 2 runs in the 3rd on RBI singles from LF Cory Aldridge and DH Josh Pressley before the Hooks put 6 on the board off Wranglers starter Brian Bass. Wichita added a run in the 4th on a steal of home by 3B Brennan King and the Wranglers scored their final 2 runs in the 8th on a 2-run homer by Pressley (his 6th). Bass dropped to 5-3 after going 3 IP and giving up 6 ER on 6 hits and 2 BB with 1 K. His ERA rose to 5.54. RP Trae McGill pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up 2 ER on 5 hits and a BB with 4 Ks to hike his ERA to 4.98. RP Nate Hoelscher pitched 1 2/3 innings and was tagged for 2 ER on 4 hits with 1 K. His ERA moved to 7.08. 1B Justin Huber was 0-3 with a BB to drop to .346. Aldridge was 2-4 with an RBI to improve to .293, Pressley was 3-3 with a BB, HR and 3 RBI to improve to .333 and King was 2-4 with a double to improve to .237.
Wichita is 26-25 and 6 1/2 games out of first. Wichita will send LHP Mike Stodolka (1-4, 5.40 ERA) to the mound in tonight's game to vie against Hooks LHP Mark McLemore (4-4, 2.66).
High-A: High Desert was held to 3 hits entering the 9th before breaking loose for 3 runs, but it wasn't enough as the Mavs lost to Lancaster, 7-3. 2B Adam Keim hit a 2-run single in the 9th and CF Chris Lubanski drove him in with a single to account for High Desert's runs. SP Dusty Hughes fell to 3-5 with 6 IP in which he gave up 4 ER on 7 hits and 2 BB with 6 Ks to move his ERA to 5.40. RP Nate Moore gave up 3 R (2 ER) on 2 hits and a BB in 1 IP to raise his ERA to 5.29 and RP Stephen Bray pitched an inning and gave up 2 hits with 0 BB and 0 Ks to drop his ERA to 5.04. SS Angel Sanchez was 2-4 to improve to .271. RF Mitch Maier was 1-4 with a double and 3 Ks to drop to .330. 3B Billy Butler was 0-2 with 2 BB to drop to .348. 1B Kila Kaaihue was 1-4 with a double to drop to .371. Keim committed 2 errors in the field to move to 3 on the season.
High Desert is 24-26 and 4 games back of Lancaster. JetHawks SP Jesus Silva (2-0, 7.20 ERA) will make his third start of the season tonight against the Mavs' Cesar Herrera (1-3, 7.05 ERA).
Low-A: Burlington rallied for a 5-run 3rd to take the series finale against Dayton, 8-3. Dayton scored all 3 of its runs in the 2nd before Burlington got a run in the bottom of the inning on a balk. The Bees scored their 5 3rd inning runs on an RBI single by DH Rusty Brown, a 3-run homer by CF Alan Moye (his 4th of the year) and an RBI groundout by C Derek Norman. Burlington scored 2 more in the 8th on a 2-run single by Moye. SP Patrick Green improved to 3-3 as he went 6 IP and gave up 3 ER on 9 hits and a BB with 4 Ks. His ERA moved to 3.74. RP Yovany Damico pitched 2 innings and K'd 1 to drop his ERA to 2.42 and RP Chad Blackwell went 1 IP and gave up 2 hits to drop to 2.82. SS Edward Lucas was 3-5 to improve to .333 and added 4 steals in the win. Brown was 2-4 with a BB and RBI to improve to .286 and Moye was 3-5 with the HR and 5 RBI to improve to .260. 1B Miguel Vega was 2-5 to bump his BA to .262. LF Kenard Springer had 2 outfield assists.
Burlington is 23-27 and 6 1/2 games back of first. A four-game set with Beloit begins tonight. The Snappers will send RH Kyle Waldrop (2–5, 4.92) to the mound against LH Danny Christensen (0–3, 5.40) in Burlington.
All the waiting, all the speculation and Royals fans get.....Buddy Bell??????? A guy with one winning season -- and that was 2 games over .500 in 2000 with the Rockies. This is like opening a Christmas present expecting an Xbox or an iPod and getting crocheted gloves with six fingers.
When I heard it this morning, I was hoping it was some kind of joke. Baird and Glass really passed up Art Howe and Terry Collins for Buddy Bell? Buddy damn Bell? Not that Howe and Collins were the next coming of Casey Stengel or Miller Huggins but, c'mon, they've won. Buddy Bell hasn't led a team to higher than third -- by record he's not a whole lot better than Pena. I didn't hear anyone raving (in a good way) about his managing at Detroit or Colorado either one. I'll put it down right now -- the Royals will lose 125 games this season and Baird will be gone by 2007. He just signed his own walking papers.
30 May 2005
AAA: Former O-Royal Les Walrond shut down Omaha on behalf of Albuquerque in a complete-game 4-hitter as the Isotopes won, 8-0. LF Aaron Guiel was doubled off second for the second consecutive game on a line out and RF Jaime Jones was thrown out at home at one point in the 5th. SP Jimmy Gobble dropped to 1-6 as he went 6 IP and gave up 4 ER on 9 hits and a BB while K'ing 4 as his ERA shifted to 7.38. RP Jeremy Affeldt made his third rehab appearance and went 1 IP and gave up 3 ER on 3 hits and a BB while K'ing 3 as his AAA ERA is now 9.00. RP Jaime Cerda went 1 IP and gave up 1 ER on 1 hit and 2 BB with 2 Ks as his ERA is also 9.00. 2B Justin Gemoll was 1-3 with a walk to improve to .315. SS Alejandro Prieto had the team's only extra-base hit with a double as he went 1-3 to improve to .252.
Omaha is 22-29 and 5 games out of first. They had lost 4 straight coming into this afternoon's series finale with Albuquerque. RH Dennis Tankersley (3-2, 5.13) went up against Isotopes RH Peter Bauer (1-4, 7.58) in today's game, which is on-going.
AA: A 3-run 6th gave Wichita a lead and the bullpen held San Antonio to 1 hit as the Wranglers pulled out a 4-3 win. Wichita tied the game at 1 in the 5th on an RBI single by CF Mel Stocker and rallied in the 6th on an RBI single by 3B Brennan King and a big 2-run double by SS Mike Aviles. The Missions scored 2 in the 7th to tighten the game but Wichita relievers Nate Hoelscher and Shawn Sonnier closed out the win. SP Derrin Ebert got the win to move to 2-1 with 6 IP of 3 ER on 5 hits and 4 Ks. His ERA is 5.05. RP Barry Armitage came in in the 6th and went 2/3 IP and gave up 2 BB but 0 hits as his ERA shrunk to 5.74. Hoelscher went 1/3 IP and didn't give up anything as his ERA moved to 6.75. Sonnier picked up his 3rd save as he went 2 IP and gave up 0 ER on 1 hit with 2 Ks. His ERA is 2.29. Aviles was 2-4 with the double and 2 RBI to improve to .280. 1B Josh Pressley was 0-3 with a BB to drop to .317. C John Draper was 0-4 to drop to .299. Justin Huber didn't play.
Wichita is 26-24 and 5 games out of first. The Wranglers begin a 4-game set with Corpus Christi (16-34)tonight. Brian Bass (5-2, 4.92) will get the start for Wichita. In other news, Kyle Middleton was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for May 23-29. He went 2-0 in two starts with a complete game and struck out seven over 16 innings of work, allowing only one earned run (two total) on eight hits and four walks. Kyle currently leads the TL in IP (73.0) and ranks 3rd with his 2.59 ERA. His six wins put him in a three-way tie for first in the league. Shawn Sonnier was the league pitcher of the week for the prior week.
High-A: I accidentally reported on Sunday's game yesterday. Oops. In Saturday's game, which wasn't reported on, Inland Empire roasted High Desert by a 15-6 score. Kiha Kaanoi picked up the loss to drop to 2-6 with a 6.41 ERA.
High Desert is 24-25 and 3 games out of first. A 4-game set at Lancaster (28-23) starts tonight.
Low-A: Burlington P Adam Rowe gave up 3 runs in the 8th and the Bees lost to Dayton, 5-3. Burlington scored a run in the 2nd when CF Alan Moye scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. The Bees added a run in the 3rd on a sac fly by 3B Mario Lisson. Dayton tied the game but the Bees regained it with a run in the 6th on a solo homer by DH Miguel Vega (his 2nd) before Dayton's big 8th. SP Luis Cota went 6 good innings and gave up 2 R (1 ER) on 4 hits with 1 K as his ERA dropped to 1.91. Rowe got the L to drop to 3-2 and get his 2nd blown save with 2 IP in which he gave up 3 ER on 4 hits while K'ing 3. His ERA is 4.84. RP Greg Atencio pitched 1 inning and struck out the side. His ERA dropped to 4.42. Vega was 2-4 with the HR and RBI to improve to .255. SS Edward Lucas was 1-4 to drop to .324.
Burlington is 22-27 and 6 1/2 games out of first. Dayton RH Homer Bailey (1–1, 1.91) goes up against RH Patrick Green (2–3, 3.63) in today's series finale, which should almost be over if not already.
Another step in the right direction was taken by the Royals today as they rid themselves of "hitting" coach Jeff Pentland. Andre David takes over for the rest of the season. David is in his fifth season as Royals' minor league hitting instructor. David managed the Gulf Coast Royals in 1998 and 1999 and the last part of the 2000 season and led the GC Royals to the Northern Division title in 1999. I assume this means the new manager didn't agree with Pentland's philosophy, as I've seen suggested by others. Hopefully they can bring someone good in to take over the spot for 2006. Any suggestions? I can think of Brett (the obvious possibility). Otherwise the only people coming to mind are former players -- Boggs (why he'd come to KC I don't know), etc. While I'm at it, let's grade the team position by position thus far.
C -- Buck .203/.250/.350, 38 games, 123 AB, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .995 FP, 26 SB on, 8 CS, 2 PB
Castillo .178/.224/.333, 16 games, 45 AB, 1 HR, 6 RBI, .991 FP, 2 SB on, 2 CS, 0 PB
If I was grading on offense only these two would be about a D-minus or F. With defense included, I'll up it to a D-plus. Neither are getting on base and Buck has shown rare instances of power while second on the team behind Berroa in Ks. Buck has made some fine defensive plays, though, and I haven't heard the pitchers complaining about him, not that they would to the media.
1B -- Sweeney .315/.358/.545, 45 games, 178 AB, 9 HR, 35 RBI, .997 FP (only 1 error in 303 chances!!)
Harvey .222/.271/.356, 12 games, 45 AB, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1.000 FP in 41 chances
Stairs .254/.384/.465, 38 games, 114 AB, 5 HR, 15 RBI, .963 FP in 27 chances at 1B, 1.000 in 17 at OF
Pickering .148/.226/.259, 7 games, 27 AB, 1 HR, 3 RBI, never took the field
Sweeney's stats can cause one of two main reactions -- 1) Wow, he's the best on the team offensively, has played without much injury and hasn't screwed up at first base! What a leader! or 2)He's the best on the team offensively, has played without much injury and hasn't screwed up at first base yet, let's deal him before he either gets injured or starts kicking the ball around at first. I lean toward reaction 2 but I do realize his merits on the team. Harvey has been a disappointment, as usual -- Stairs has produced offensively but is a liability at first defensively and has no OF range. We have way too many DHs on this team. Pickering was jerked around by Pena but didn't produce much in his limited time at KC. He never got a shot to play 1B, which must say something. It's pretty good when Sweeney is better defensively. I grade this an A for Sweeney alone, all together a C when the other guys enter the mix. There's no reason for Harvey or Pickering to be on the team.
2B -- Gotay .238/.292/.362, 38 games, 130 AB, 3 HR, 14 RBI, .985 FP in 198 chances
Graffanino .294/.364/.358, 32 games, 109 AB, 1 HR, 9 RBI, .979 FP in 47 chances at 2B, .897 in 39 at 3B
Gotay isn't doing much at the plate and has been fairly average in the field. Graffanino has been a pretty solid top-of-the-order or late-in-the-order but has been worse than Gotay in the field. I'd grade them at C-minus or D-plus, since Gotay has gotten a majority of the time there.
3B -- Teahen .231/.278/.374, 28 games, 91 AB, 2 HR, 12 RBI, .957 FP in 69 chances
McEwing .268/.268/.286, 24 games, 56 AB, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .919 FP in 37 chances
Teahen has been much better both at the plate and on defense after coming back from the DL while McEwing has been average as far as hitting but can't take a walk, I guess. Also no power from Joe. Dump him and bring up Truby, who is slugging .432 and getting on-base at a .329 clip at Omaha with only 1 error in the field, which is better than McEwing. I'd grade 3B pre-DL at a D, post DL at a C-plus, since McEwing isn't seeing much time there anymore, unless Schaefer gets the bright idea of replacing Teahen with him late in the game. With McEwing factored in the post-DL grade lowers to a C.
SS -- Berroa .251/.291/.369, 50 games, 195 AB, 5 HR, 14 RBI, .965 FP in 202 chances
Where do I begin with Berroa??? He swings at everything, so is leading the team in Ks while drawing only 6 walks. Isn't the leadoff guy supposed to get on base? Why not lead off with Graffanino? Nobody can steal a base on this team anyway. Berroa also finds a way to make a baserunning blunder or horrible defensive lapse at the worst possible time. His power potential isn't paying off for what else he brings to the team right now. Maybe the new hitting coach will help. I'd grade his performance at a D-plus.
corner OF -- E. Brown .244/.331/.430, 42 games, 135 AB, 5 HR, 20 RBI, .949 FP in 78 chances
T. Long .227/.272/.305, 42 games, 128 AB, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1.000 FP in 66 chances
Marrero .159/.222/.341, 32 games, 88 AB, 4 HR, 9 RBI, .967 FP in 30 chances, .987 FP in 76 at 1B
M. Diaz .240/.269/360, 17 games, 50 AB, 4 HR, 18 RBI, .963 FP in 27 chances
Brown has been doing well lately after a slow start. He gets on base OK and has some extra-base power. He's also done adequately in the OF in right. Long isn't producing offensively and has been adequate defensively without doing anything too great. Marrero is a waste of space and a roster spot. Diaz hasn't caught on at the plate and is still improving in the OF. I'd give this group a C-minus although if Diaz improves or Long starts hitting better that grade could go up.
CF -- DeJesus .273/.337/.395, 45 games, 172 AB, 2 HR, 17 RBI, .983 FP in 121 chances
DeJesus hasn't stepped up as much as KC needs him to, although his BA and OBP have been acceptable. He has a 2-1 K/BB ratio, which needs to improve. He has also made some nice plays in the OF. There's definitely some hope for the future there. I'd grade him thus far at a B-minus to B.
SP -- Runelvys 66 2/3 IP, 5.67 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 39 Ks, 32 BB, 5 HRA, .284 BAA -- grade at D-plus -- WHIP too high, getting hit pretty frequently
Greinke 56 2/3 IP, 4.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 35 Ks, 13 BB, 5 HRA, .263 BAA -- grade at B-minus/C+ -- no run support, poor last couple starts
Lima 55 1/3 IP, 8.13 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 25 Ks, 25 BB, 15 HRA (already!), .297 BAA -- F-minus -- dump him NOW!
Bautista 35 2/3 IP, 5.80 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 23 Ks, 17 BB, 2 HRA, .259 BAA -- C-minus -- has shown flashes, was obviously over-pitching that led to the injury, needs to cut down on walks
Anderson 30 2/3 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 17 Ks, 4 BB, 7 HRA, .305 BAA -- D-plus, nice K/BB ratio, getting hit badly
Overall a C-minus, Hansen better get to work.
RP -- Sisco 28 2/3 IP, 2.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 35 Ks, 16 BB, 3 HRA, .194 BAA -- B -- has been unhittable at times, has good stuff, has had couple poor outings
Wood 27 2/3 IP, 4.23 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 20 Ks, 11 BB, 3 HRA, .208 BAA -- C-plus -- had nice streak of scoreless outings going before other night, holding other teams well offensively
MacDougal 25 IP, 4.32 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 26 Ks, 12 BB, 2 HRA, .271 BAA -- C-minus/D-plus -- still having control problems but has gotten by on stuff at points
Cerda 19 IP, 6.63 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 18 Ks, 11 BB, 3 HRA, .284 BAA -- D-minus -- provided plenty of reasons to send him down, good for a batter or two but not much after that
Carrasco 17 2/3 IP, 4.08 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 5 Ks, 5 BB, 1 HRA, .275 BAA -- C-plus thus far in short time -- hard to grade thus far but had a good start against LA, will need to step up in bullpen at some point
Burgos 14 2/3 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 15 Ks, 8 BB, 3 HRA, .267 BAA -- D-plus -- don't know why he's still in KC, could use more minors seasoning, has had control problems but shows potential
Snyder 13 IP, 4.15 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 7 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HRA, .300 BAA -- C-minus/D-plus -- can he stay healthy? Hasn't shown more than flashes, getting hit pretty bad
Nunez 11 IP, 6.55 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 7 Ks, 3 BB, 2 HRA, .225 BAA -- C -- another one rushed to the majors, was doing pretty well statistically before his last appearance vs. LA, has stuff but not much point in being at KC now
I'll just give quick grades on the rest -- Jensen C-minus (can't keep getting shelled like last start), Camp F-minus (good riddance) Field F, Stemle Inc. (would be A thus far but not enough IP to merit a grade), Affeldt Inc. (would be C-plus, can he stay healthy? Can he close games?)
Overall bullpen -- C-minus
Overall grade -- D-plus, could be worse, could be soooooo much better
29 May 2005
AAA: Albuquerque SP Ben Howard quieted the Omaha bats and the bullpen finished the job as the O-Royals fell, 8-3. A run on a groundout by C Paul Phillips that scored 3B Chris Truby cut the Isotopes' lead to 2-1 in the 6th but Albuquerque scored 5 in the 7th to put the game away. Omaha got runs in the 9th on a 2-run double by LF Aaron Guiel but the game ended rather abruptly after that as 2B Justin Gemoll lined into a double play as Guiel was caught off second and pulled a Berroa. SP Ryan Baerlocher, making his second start after TJ surgery and not his first as reported yesterday, dropped to 0-1 as he went 3 2/3 IP and gave up 2 ER on 3 hits and 3 BB along with 5 Ks as his ERA moved to 3.86. RP Wes Wilkerson pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up 1 ER on 3 hits as his ERA dropped to 5.46. RP Gabe DeHoyos made his first appearance after being called up from Burlington and went 1/3 IP and gave up 5 R (4 ER) on 2 hits and 3 BB. His ERA is 108.00. I doubt that's how he wanted to start his AAA career in Omaha. RP Santiago Ramirez went 1 2/3 IP and gave up 2 hits to drop his ERA to 4.58. DH Denny Hocking was 2-4 with a BB to improve to .257. Gemoll was 0-5 to drop to .314. LF Mark Little had 2 HRs for Albuquerque.
Omaha is 22-28 and 5 games back of Memphis. LH Jimmy Gobble (3-2, 5.13) vies against Isotopes LH Les Walrond (2-2, 4.58) tonight. Wasn't Walrond an O-Royal at one point?
AA: Wichita SP Kyle Middleton followed up Saturday's great start from J.P. Howell with another great start as a 3-run 6th helped the Wranglers to a 6-1 win. Wichita started the scoring in the top of the 5th on a solo homer by DH Josh Pressley, who was making his first appearance coming off his drug suspension. It was his 5th of the season. San Antonio scored in the bottom of the inning to tie the game before Wichita tallied 3 in the 6th on an RBI single by RF Cory Aldridge, an RBI single by 1B Justin Huber and an RBI single by 3B Brennan King. The Wranglers added runs in the 8th and 9th on an RBI single by LF John Draper and an RBI double by 2B Brett Groves. Middleton went 7 IP and gave up 1 UER on 5 hits and a BB with 6 Ks to drop his ERA to 2.59 and improve to 6-4. RP Jonah Bayliss pitched a perfect inning with 2 Ks to drop his ERA to 3.09 and RP Colt Griffin went 1 perfect inning to drop his ERA to 3.45. Groves was 3-5 with a double, RBI and 2 RS to improve to .232. CF Wilkin Ruan was 2-4 to improve to .208. Huber was 1-4 with an RBI to drop to .351, Pressley was 1-3 with a BB, HR and RBI to move to .325 and Draper was 1-3 with a BB and RBI to drop to .317. SS Mike Aviles committed his 13th error in the field. Remember when I suggested he be brought up as a defensive replacement for Berroa in late innings? Scratch that idea. I maybe should have checked that out before suggesting it.
Wichita is 26-24 and 5 games out of first. LH Derrin Ebert (1-1, 5.16) was set to start this afternoon for Wichita. In other news, Adam Keim was sent back to High Desert to make room for Pressley on the roster.
High-A: Inland Empire's spell over High Desert continued as the 66ers scored on a double off Stephen Bray in the 9th to win, 5-4. The Mavs scored first in the 3rd on an RBI single by 1B Kila Kaaihue but Inland put up 4 in the bottom of the inning, which was kept alive with 2 outs on 3B Billy Butler's 18th fielding error that led to 2 more runs being scored in the frame. High Desert scored another run in the 4th on an RBI single by DH Walter Sevilla and tied the game with 2 in the 7th on a 2-run single by Butler. That was the end of the scoring until the run in the bottom of the 9th. SP John Gragg III went 6 IP and gave up 4 R (2 ER) on 6 hits and a BB along with 5 Ks. His ERA is 3.61. RP Drew Endicott got the loss to drop to 1-3 as he went 2 2/3 IP and gave up 1 ER on 1 hit and 2 BB and K'd 2 to move his ERA to 5.34. Bray didn't get an out in the 9th and gave up the hit as his ERA remained 5.22. RF Mitch Maier was 2-5 with a double and 2 RS to improve to .332. SS Angel Sanchez was 2-5 to improve to .266. Butler was 1-5 with 2 RBI to drop to .352. Kaaihue was 2-4 with a BB and RBI to improve to .374. C Damaso Espino was 2-5 to improve to .224 and Sevilla was 2-4 with an RBI to improve to .224. The Mavs left 12 on base.
High Desert is 24-25 and 3 games out of first now. They are sliding and have dropped 7 of the last 8 to Inland Empire. It's official, High Desert's website is the worst in the organization. It hasn't been updated since 5/24. No pitching matchups, nothing much.
Low-A: Burlington overcame a late charge from Dayton to pull out a win in the 9th, 4-3. The Bees scored 2 in the 2nd on CF Alan Moye's 3rd HR, a solo shot, and an RBI groundout by 1B Miguel Vega. They added another in the 4th on an RBI triple by SS Edward Lucas but Dayton tied the game with 3 runs in the 7th and 8th. Moye singled to lead off the bottom of the 9th and was bunted by Lucas to second. With 2 out, 2 walks loaded the bases and 2B Irving Falu singled to score a run and end the game. SP Billy Buckner had perhaps the best start of his young career as he took a no-hitter into the 7th before giving up a double. He went 6 1/3 IP and gave up 2 ER on 2 hits and 2 BB with 8 Ks as his ERA dropped to 3.93. RP Kyle Crist blew his 1st save but picked up the win to improve to 3-0. He went 2 2/3 IP and gave up 1 UER on 2 hits and a BB while K'ing 2 to drop his ERA to 2.57. Moye was 2-3 with a BB, HR, RBI and 3 RS to improve to .247 and Lucas was 2-3 with a triple and RBI to improve to .326.
Burlington was 22-26 entering today's play and already lost today. A report on that will be submitted tomorrow. The series with Dayton finishes Monday.
The policy of the Royals' pitchers and defense to give up 1 to 2 runs for each 1 the offense scores held true Sunday as KC once again scored first but lost, 7-6. At least the Royals rallied for 4 runs in the 8th and 9th to give the Angels a run. Steve Finley's bases-loaded triple and score on Stairs' throwing error was big and typical '05 Royals. There's a reason Stairs was DH everywhere else he played in the AL. The trend continued after Teahen's rare HR with Jose Molina's bases-loaded 3-run double. Teahen came through in the 8th with 2 RBI and Graffanino had a great 5-for-5 game. Other than Berroa and Diaz most of the Royals had a nice day at the plate -- it just didn't translate into runs until late as KC left 11 on base. More missed opportunities. Runelvys, to put it simply, didn't step up. 7 ER in 5 IP. MacDougal also had a nice 2 inning relief outing after Friday's control problems. The Angels had no one hitting .300 in the lineup today but got crucial hits when needed, which makes a big difference.
It gets no easier for KC as the Yankees come to town Tuesday. This week may hold the revelation of the new manager, although none of the candidates named excites me too much. Art Howe and Terry Collins would be acceptable but I don't want to be anywhere near Schaefer or Buddy Bell. I'm also leaning against the idea of Jerry Manuel. We'll see how it pans out.
A 14-1 whipping at the hand of the Los Angeles Angels left me with mixed feelings tonight. On one hand it's embarrassing that the Royals got treated like a AAAA team again and the Royals are now the worst they have been in the team's history, record-wise. On the other hand, I have Chone Figgins on one of my fantasy teams and he had a nice night. Ryan Jensen got treated like a minor league call-up/fifth starter, which he is, as did Ambiorix Burgos and Leo Nunez. At least Steve Stemle had another nice outing -- 2 1/3 IP, 3 Ks, 2 hits, 1 BB, 0 R. Meanwhile the offense slapped out a total of 6 hits and left 10 on base. The Angels had that many extra-base hits (6). I'll repeat my mantra for the Royals currently -- Another loss may mean no more Schaefer. It may force the team to bring in a decent manager for the first time since Howser was forced quit and McRae was fired. Tell me again why he pinch-hit for Sweeney with McEwing? And why bat Marrero for DeJesus?
At least Berroa didn't commit a backbreaking error tonight, but then again he didn't have a chance. He did go 0-3 with 3 LOB, trumped only by Stairs' and Buck's 0-4 with 3 LOB. The team isn't inspiring great feelings about the coming weeks and months. It was also nice to see Marrero go 0-2 in the PH/CF (CF???) role and lower his stellar BA to .159.
I wonder how much effect Friday's collapse will have on the team's psyche. It can't be good in terms of confidence. I also wonder how this losing is affecting the younger players' thoughts on the team. If this goes on for a couple seasons I can see some problems arising with resigning players no matter how bright the future may look. I guess this is one of those games the Royals need to just put behind them and focus on Sunday's game. They beat Colon around once, maybe they can repeat that Sunday afternoon. Runelvys needs to step up. Let's head to the home series against the Yankees with a solid end to the road trip.
28 May 2005
AAA: Omaha took an early 2-0 lead but Albuquerque got to SP Danny Tamayo and the Isotopes came away with a 5-2 win. CF Adrian Brown reached on a bunt single to start the game, stole second for his 15th steal of the season, advanced to third on a sac fly by LF Aaron Guiel and scored on an RBI single by 3B Chris Truby. Omaha added a run in the 3rd on a solo HR by Brown, his 3rd of the season. So basically Brown was all their scoring offense with the help of Truby's single. Albuquerque scored 3 in the bottom of the 3rd and added runs in the 4th and 7th while Isotopes pitchers shut down the O-Royals the rest of the game. Tamayo went 5 IP and gave up 4 ER on 10 hits and 2 BB with 2 Ks to drop to 3-3 with a 4.64 ERA. RP Jeremy Affeldt made his second rehab appearance and pitched a perfect inning with 1 K. His ERA remained 0.00. RP Justin Huisman pitched 2 innings and gave up 1 ER on 1 hit and a BB and 3 Ks. His ERA is 3.66. Brown was 3-3 with a BB, double, HR, RBI and 2 RS to improve his BA to .263. The rest of the team combined for 3 hits. DH Justin Gemoll was 0-4 to drop to .326. 2B Luis Ugueto was 1-3 in his first game post-drug suspension to improve to .217.
Omaha is 22-27 and 5 games back of Memphis. Tonight's game features SP Ryan Baerlocher(0-0, 2.70 ERA in 3 1/3 IP) making his first start post-Tommy John surgery against Isotopes righthander Travis Smith (2-1, 6.75 ERA).
AA: Wichita jumped on San Antonio SP Juan Sandoval early with 5 runs in the first 3 innings en route to a 6-2 win. 1B Justin Huber knocked in LF Shane Costa (who had doubled) with an RBI single in the 1st. Huber scored on a single by SS Mike Aviles and Aviles scored on an RBI single by C Mathew Tupman. The Wranglers added a run in the 2nd on a Huber RBI double that plated Costa and scored another in the 3rd on an RBI single by DH Adam Keim for a 5-0 lead. The 6th run was scored in the 8th on another Keim RBI single. Shawn Sonnier came in for Wichita to pitch the 9th and got into some hot water as he struck the first two batters out then allowed the Missions to rally for a run before Trae McGill came in to walk in a run. Nate Hoelscher then came in and got a fly out to end the game. Frank White must have watched the Royals' game Friday night. Anyway, Wichita got a great start from J.P. Howell, who went 6 2/3 IP and gave up only 3 hits and a BB with 7 Ks to move to 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. RP Barry Armitage went 1 1/3 IP and K'd 1 to drop his ERA to 5.87. He gave up no hits or BBs. Sonnier pitched 2/3 of an inning but was credited with 2 ER on 3 hits and a BB with 2 Ks. His ERA grew to 2.55. McGill had the 1 BB as his ERA remained 4.94. Hoelscher picked up his 1st save with 1/3 IP to drop his ERA to 6.87. Keim was 3-4 with 2 RBI to improve to .333. Costa was 2-3 with a double and 2 RS to improve to .274, Huber was 2-5 with a double, 2 RBI and 3 Ks to improve to .354 and Aviles was 2-3 with a BB, double, RBI and 3 RS to improve to .275.
Wichita is 24-24 and 6 games back of Tulsa. RH Kyle Middleton (5-4, 2.86 ERA) will take the mound for the Wranglers tonight.
High-A: High Desert's high-power offense was again tranquilized by Inland Empire as the 66ers cruised to a 12-0 win and the Mavs were held to 4 hits by 3 66er pitchers. The farthest any Maverick got on the bases was third base, one time, in the second inning. The 66ers scored 2 in the first off SP Chris Coughlin but were silent until late in the game when they broke out for 10 runs in the 7th and 8th innings. Coughlin went 4 IP and gave up 2 R (1 ER) on 6 hits and 0 BBs with 0 Ks as his ERA moved to 5.91. RP Stephen Chamberlain pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up 4 ER on 6 hits and a BB while K'ing 1 to increase his ERA to 5.97. RP Nate Moore pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up 6 ER on 7 hits and a BB to balloon his ERA to 4.91. 1B Kila Kaaihue was the only Mav with a good game at the plate as he went 2-4 with a double to improve to .371. 3B Billy Butler was 1-4 to drop to .355. RF Mitch Maier was 1-4 to move to .339 and SS Michael Gaffney was 0-3 to drop to .295. Seattle top prospect Wladimir Balentien had 2 HRs in the game.
High Desert is 24-23 and a game back of Lake Elsinore and Lancaster.
Low-A: Royals pitching prospect Matt Campbell picked up his first win with a great start as Burlington shut out Dayton, 3-0. The Bees got started with 2 in the 1st as SS Edward Lucas hit an RBI single to score 2B Irving Falu and advanced to second on a throwing error. After moving to third on a groundout, Lucas scored on a passed ball. Burlington scored again in the 3rd on an RBI single by CF Alan Moye and Campbell did the rest. He improved to 1-5 as he went 7 IP and gave up only 5 hits and 2 BB while K'ing 6 to drop his ERA to 4.00. RP Chad Blackwell got his 1st save with 2 IP in which he gave up 2 hits and K'd 5 to drop his ERA to 2.95. Falu was 1-2 with 2 BBs to improve to .221. Lucas was 1-4 to drop to .319.
Burlington is 21-26 and 6 1/2 games out of first. Dayton LH Camilo Vazquez (0–3, 5.68) and RH Billy Buckner (3–6, 4.08) lock horns on the mound tonight. In other news, Bees RP Gabe DeHoyos was promoted to AAA Omaha -- so much for High-A and AA. DeHoyos is 2–0 with a 1.52 ERA and 2 saves in eleven appearances this year that included his first career start. In 29.2 innings, he has allowed just five earned runs while walking 11 and striking out 35.
Several titles could fit for the post about tonight's game with the Angels -- "the Rally Monkey lives," "When it rains, it pours," "Unreal." "BERROA."
First, D.J. Carrasco pitches a great game and leaves with a 2-1 lead after 6 innings. The Royals actually get some insurance TWICE, but first with 2 runs in the 7th to hike the lead to 4-1. Burgos comes in and gives up 2 ER in the 8th (although Sisco gave up the hit that allowed the second run to score) to cut the lead to 1 and then the Royals get 4 in the 9th on a clutch homer by John Buck and a providential fielding error by Garret Anderson that allows 3 runs to score. So we enter the bottom of the 9th with Mike Wood on the hill holding an 8-3 lead. From the outside things would appear to be fairly cut and dry. Get three outs and hit the showers. No. Wood walks Rivera, then Berroa botches a potential double play ball but still no harm done....yet. Two dink singles by Dallas McPherson and Orlando Cabrera later, the Angels have a run in and the bases loaded. Adam Kennedy hits Berroa another cupcake double play ball and, this time, he and Gotay don't hook up and the ball sails to the fence along the RF foul line. I think Berroa got the error but the replays showed the ball looked pretty catchable. Unreal. Three runs score and the tying run gets to third in the form of Kennedy. You'd think coming into the bottom of the 9th the Royals might have somebody warming up to cover just incase something like this happens. Also, NO. MacDougal doesn't start warming up until Wood is neck deep in trouble, although it's mostly due to Berroa. He doesn't come in until Figgins knocks in Kennedy to tie the game at 8 and the smile is wiped off Carrasco's face in the dugout. MacDougal comes in and immediately throws 3 balls nowhere near the strike zone to Finley before just putting him on base. Somehow MacDougal gets out of the jam and strands Figgins and Finley at third and second. Of course, the Royals come up in the 10th and go down in order, then MacDougal retakes the mound and, after making Bengie Molina look bad on a K looking, gives up a meatball to McPherson, who jacks it over the CF fence for the walk-off. Another frustrating loss -- I had to type this all out to have it sink in. The way MacDougal was pitching, you were waiting for him to groove one -- you just had to hope whoever he served it up to wouldn't be able to do anything with it. No such luck.
The positives? DeJesus had a good game -- 3 for 5. The offense scored runs and Buck came through in a tight spot in the 9th. The misplay of Sweeney's hit (his only of the game) by Anderson actually was a break we haven't seen the Royals get too many times in '05. Sisco also looked good in the inning he pitched -- he had Garret Anderson stepping back to the dugout and looking stupid at the plate. Berroa just has a knack of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory -- be it on the basepaths or in the field. Emil Brown also had a nice game at 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles.
In the end, I just hope this game is another nail in Schaefer's managing coffin. Let's bring up SS Alejandro Prieto from Omaha to put in late as a defensive replacement, or Mike Aviles from Wichita. They can have Marrero's or McEwing's spot. Put the manager in position to be able to win games. Even though I don't want Schaefer as permanent manager I can't put this one on him. When you've got a 5-run lead in the 9th the game should be in the bag. Put it away. This team has no killer instinct -- once something goes bad in an inning the wheels sometimes fall off. The pitchers either can't hit the strike zone at all in tight spots or give up just enough to keep the other team in the game. Let's get someone in here to get things under control and get the team pointed in the right direction.
27 May 2005
AAA: Omaha starter Chris George gave up 6 runs and the O-Royals had to settle for a split of the Fresno series with an 8-4 loss. Fresno took a 4-0 lead in the 3rd before Omaha got on the board with a solo HR by SS Alejandro Prieto (his 1st) and an RBI single by 3B Chris Truby. The Grizzlies tacked on 2 in the 4th to increase the lead to 6-2 before Omaha scored 2 in the 6th on a 2-run HR by C Scott Walter (his 2nd) but that was all she wrote for the Omaha offense as the O-Royals didn't get another runner past second. George went 5 IP and gave up 6 ER on 9 hits and 2 BB while K'ing 4 to drop to 3-3. Hey, it was better than Lima's outing last night. Anyway, George's ERA grew to 5.68. RP Shawn Camp went 3 IP and gave up 1 ER on 1 hit and a BB while K'ing 1 to drop his ERA to 5.68. RP Santiago Ramirez pitched 1 inning and gave up 1 ER on 2 hits and K'd 1 to hike his ERA to 5.00. Truby was 2-3 with a double, BB and RBI to improve to .274. Walter was 2-4 with a double, HR and 2 RBI to improve to .365 and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Prieto was 2-4 with a HR and RBI to improve to .255 and CF Adrian Brown was 2-5 with a double and his 14th SB to improve to .250. 2B Justin Gemoll was 0-4 to drop to .336.
Omaha is 22-26 and 4 games back of Memphis in the PCL American North division. A four-game set at 26-22 Albuquerque starts tonight. RH Danny Tamayo (3-2, 4.38) and Isotopes RH Jeff Fulchino (3-3, 5.73) are the slated starters. In other news, Jaime Cerda will be joining Omaha with the promotion of Steve Stemle and Camp was designated for assignment. Good riddance. INF Luis Ugueto also completed his 15-game suspension for drug violation and has been reactivated.
AA: Wichita's bats were anemic as the Wranglers managed only 4 hits in a 3-1 loss to San Antonio. Wichita's only run off Missions SP Bobby Livingston came in the 2nd on a solo blast by RF Cory Aldridge (his league-leading 12th) and gave Wichita a 1-0 lead but San Antonio scored 3 in the 5th and 6th off Wranglers SP Mike Stodolka to get the win. Only three Wranglers even reached base on Livingston. Stodolka dropped to 1-4 with 6 1/3 IP of 3 ER on 4 hits and 1 BB with 5 Ks as his ERA moved to 5.40. RP Jonah Bayliss went 1 2/3 IP and gave up 2 hits and K'd 2 to drop his ERA to 3.19. Aldridge was 1-4 with the HR and RBI to drop to .296. RF John Draper was 1-4 to drop to .317, 2B Adam Keim was 1-4 to drop to .308 and 1B Justin Huber was 0-4 to drop to .352.
Wichita is 23-24 and 6 games back of Tulsa in the TL East. Tonight, LHP J.P. Howell (1-0, 5.06 ERA) makes his second start for Wichita against Missions' RHP Juan Sandoval (2-2, 3.48).
High-A: High Desert cracked 4 home runs as the Mavs defeated Stockton, 9-5, to take the series. The Mavs showed their power early as LF Bernard Stephens and 3B Billy Butler hit back-to-back shots in the first (Nos. 6 and 13 on the year, respectively) and, two batters later, 1B Kila Kaaihue joined in with his 8th homer to give High Desert a 3-0 lead. The Mavs added a run in the 2nd on a double-play ball by SS Angel Sanchez to take a 4-2 lead. Stockton tied the game in the 4th but High Desert scored 2 in the 5th on a 2-run shot by Stephens (his 7th and second on the day). The Mavs added a 7th-inning run on an RBI single by Kaaihue and added 2 in the 9th on a 2-run double by Butler. SP Cesar Herrera went 2 IP and gave up 3 ER on 2 hits and 5 BB with 2 Ks to blow his ERA up to 7.05. RP Drew Endicott got the win to move to 1-2 as he pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up 1 UER on 4 hits and a BB. His ERA is 5.53. RP Eric Ackerman got his 3rd hold with 1 1/3 IP of 1 ER on 3 hits and 2 BB. His ERA is 5.52. RP Stephen Bray picked up his 7th save with 2 IP in which he allowed 0 hits and 0 BB and K'd 1 to drop his ERA to 5.22. Stephens was 2-4 with a BB, 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 RS to improve to .281. Butler was 2-5 with a double, HR and 3 RBI (his 39-41st of the season) to improve to .357 despite striking out 3 times and committing his 17th error in the field. Kaaihue was 2-4 with a BB, HR and 2 RBI to improve to .368 and 1B Michael Gaffney was 2-3 with a BB to improve to .317. RF Mitch Maier was 1-5 with his 23rd double of the season and had 2 outfield assists in the game to nail runners at first and home. 2B Brandon Powell was 1-4 to drop to .322.
High Desert is 24-22 and a game back of Lake Elsinore. A 3-game set at nemesis 19-27 Inland Empire starts tonight. The 66ers took 5 of 6 from the Mavs late last week.
Low-A: A 3-run South Bend 8th sent Burlington to a 6-3 loss along with a series loss to the SilverHawks. Burlington started the scoring in the 5th with 2 runs on an RBI double by 2B Irving Falu and an RBI single by RF Geraldo Valentin. South Bend took the lead with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning but Burlington tied the score in the 7th with a run on a double-play ball hit by Valentin. The SilverHawks scored the runs in the 8th off RP Daniel Christensen and secured the win as the Bees went down in order in the top of the 9th. SP Patrick Hicklen got a ND as he went 6 IP and gave up 3 R (2 ER) on 5 hits and a BB with 2 Ks. His ERA moved to 2.48. Christensen dropped to 0-3 in giving up 3 ER on 3 hits and 3 BB along with 2 Ks in 2 IP. His ERA is 5.40. Falu was 2-4 with a double and RBI to improve to .217. SS Edward Lucas was 1-3 with a double and BB to improve to .321 and Valentin was 1-4 with an RBI to drop to .290.
Burlington is 20-26 and 7 1/2 games out of first. The Bees host a 4-game set with 20-26 Dayton starting tonight. LH Matt Campbell (0–5, 4.60) takes on Dayton RHP Zac Stott (1-1, 3.51).
26 May 2005
After watching most of this season plus tonight's "championship game" of Stump the Schwab, I've come to some conclusions. No. 1, it's bad enough that Stuart Scott is hosting it and we're subjected to his "hugs and handpounds" and other crap, but they also make "the Schwab" act like a professional wrestler or something. It just comes off asinine. On the championship game Scott actually introduced him like a boxer and Schwab came out in a robe with girls and everything, then proceeded to jackass around for half a minute before taking his seat. Let's bring back Kenny Mayne or Scott Van Pelt as the game show hosts on ESPN and drop the Schwab theatrics, OK??? He's a researcher for ESPN, not Ray Lewis or Randy "Macho Man" Savage. No. 2, the Schwab is a Yankees fan, which is twice as bad, and he proves it everytime he whines around about the easy questions his opponent gets in the final confrontation part. Nobody outside Bristol, Conn., or St. John's would know who you are without that show, so you'd better sit there in your skintight throwback jersey and enjoy it rather than pissing and moaning. As a Sox fan, this was also my favorite picture of 2004:
I do like the segments they use on that show, though. I figured I'd say one nice thing about it.
4 innings, 8 earned runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 1 K, 3 HR allowed -- it's time for Lima to say goodbye to KC via being "designated for assignment" and move on. We could bring up Jimmy Gobble or Chris George to get that kind of line and an 8+ ERA. The good news is Steve Stemle and Mike Wood came in with 4 hitless innings but the damage was done. It also doesn't help that the Royals only had 6 hits, and only 1 extra-base hit -- a double by Angel Berroa, which he promptly screwed up on the basepaths in getting doubled up on a lineout by Mike Sweeney to LF. Can we just start calling that "pulling a Berroa"?
Stemle was a call-up that made sense as he was 1-1 with a 0.45 ERA in 20 IP at Omaha. He also had a 4-1 K/BB ratio for the O-Royals. 3 Ks in 3 IP tonight. Good outing. At least they ended Kenny Rogers' scoreless inning streak in the 1st -- of course they didn't get a runner past second the rest of the game. Hidalgo ate up the Royals pitchers in the series -- 3 HRs and he bats eighth in the order. Tell me again why Joe McEwing is still up? Why did we bring Chris Truby in for if he's not gonna get MLB time when he's healthy. McEwing was a late spring band-aid and his usefulness is past. Take him, Marrero and Lima and put them on the first, cheapest flight out of town. At least the continual losing may keep Baird from hiring Schaefer as the permanent manager. That's a plus. Now it's on to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California, the western region of the U.S., North America, Earth, Milky Way galaxy as Will Ferrell aptly put it on the Dan Patrick Show. The first matchup is against ol' buddy Paul Byrd. At least D.J. Carrasco doesn't have to pitch to Vlad. Plus the Royals somehow took 2 of 3 from the Angels in the teams' first series. How that happened I don't know, but maybe they can recreate it.
AAA: Omaha rallied for a 5-run 6th to get past Fresno, 7-1. Fresno took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd but the O-Royals came back with 2 in the 4th on LF Aaron Guiel's 11th HR and an RBI single by 2B Justin Gemoll. The lead blew open in the 6th with 5 runs on an RBI double by 3B Chris Truby, an RBI single by 1B Chad Santos, an RBI double by RF Jaime Jones and a 2-run single by SS Alejandro Prieto. SP Dennis Tankersley had his best start of the season with 5 IP of 1 ER on 4 hits and 3 BB along with 9 Ks to move to 2-4. His ERA dropped to 6.14. RP Jeremy Affeldt made his first rehab appearance and gave up 1 BB and K'd 1 in 1 IP. RP Wes Wilkerson pitched the final 3 innings for his 2nd save. He gave up 5 hits in the stint as his ERA sagged to 5.61. Guiel was 2-4 with a double, 2 RS, the HR and RBI to improve to .270. Jones was 2-4 with a double and RBI to improve to .245. Gemoll was 1-4 with the RBI to drop to .346.
Omaha is 22-25 and 4 games out. Fresno LH Patrick Misch (0-4, 5.68) and LH Chris George (3-2, 5.13) were set to face off in the series finale this afternoon.
AA: Wichita won its fourth consecutive series with a 6-3 victory over Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi took a 1-0 lead in the 1st but Wichita tied the game in the 3rd on a sac fly by DH Mel Stocker that scored CF Wilkin Ruan, who had tripled. The Hooks regained the lead with a run in the 4th but Wichita plated 3 in the bottom of that inning on an RBI single by RF Cory Aldridge, an RBI double by 3B Brennan King and an RBI groundout by Ruan. The Wranglers added some insurance in the 7th with 2 runs on sac flies by 2B Adam Keim and LF Shane Costa. SP Brian Bass picked up the win to move to 5-2. He went 7 IP and gave up 2 R (1 ER) on 6 hits and 2 BB while K'ing 3 to drop his ERA to 4.92. RP Nate Hoelscher pitched 1 inning and gave up 1 BB while K'ing 1 to drop his ERA to an even 7.00. RP Colt Griffin went 1 IP and gave up 1 ER on 1 hit and 1 BB while K'ing 1. His ERA is 3.58. 1B Justin Huber was 1-4 with a double to drop to .360. Keim was 0-3 with an RBI to drop to .311. Aldridge was 1-4 with an RBI to drop to .297. Ruan was 1-4 with the triple and 2 RS to improve to .204.
Wichita is 23-23 and 5 games back of Tulsa. A four-game set at San Antonio starts tonight with LHP Mike Stodolka (1-3, 5.57) squaring off against Missions' LHP Bobby Livingston (4-2, 3.38).
High-A: A 9th-inning rally fell short as High Desert dropped a game to Stockton, 7-6. The Mavs took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd on a bases-loaded walk by DH Brandon Powell and a sac fly by 2B Walter Sevilla only to see the Ports tie the game in the bottom of the frame. Stockton led, 5-2, entering the top of the 6th when a wild pitch allowed 1B Kila Kaaihue to score after another WP advanced him to third. C Adam Donachie followed with an RBI single to make it a 5-4 game. Stockton inched the lead back to 6-4 in the bottom of the 6th and added a run in the 8th to take a 3-run lead into the top of the 9th. LF Bernard Stephens led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. With 2 out, a dropped pop foul by Stockton 3B Benjamin Winslow gave Kaaihue another chance and he cashed in with a 2-run HR to CF (his 7th). The momentum was short lived as CF Chris Lubanski grounded out to end the game. SP Dusty Hughes dropped to 3-4 as he went 5 1/3 IP and gave up 6 R (5 ER) on 7 hits and a BB with 6 Ks as his ERA grew to 5.32. RP Nate Moore went 1 2/3 IP and gave up only 2 hits and K'd 2 as his ERA shrunk to 3.45. RP Chris Demaria pitched an inning and gave up 1 ER on 2 hits while K'ing 2. His ERA is 3.04. Lubanski was 2-5 to improve to .213 while 3B Billy Butler was 0-5 to drop to .356. RF Mitch Maier was 1-2 to improve to .345 but left the game after the 3rd inning for an unknown reason (to me, anyway). Kaaihue was 1-3 with a HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB and 3 RS to drop to .365. Powell was 0-2 with 2 BB and an RBI to drop to .325. Butler's bad day also included his 16th error in the field.
High Desert is 23-22 and 1 1/2 games back of Lake Elsinore. Anyone know a good site to get the California League daily pitching matchups? The Mavs' site and the MiLB website are less than adequate when it comes to those pitching probables. Anyway, the Mavs and Stockton face off in the rubber match of the series tonight.
Low-A: Burlington got shut down by South Bend's A.J. Shappi in a 4-1 loss. The Bees' only run came in the 5th on an RBI groundout by DH Eddie Solis to make the score 2-1 SB. The Silver Hawks scored 2 in the bottom of the inning and Shappi took care of the rest with a CG 6-hitter. Bees SP Patrick Green dropped to 2-3 as he gave up 4 R (2 ER) on 9 hits and 0 BB over 6 IP while K'ing 1 to move his ERA to 3.63. RP Yovany Damico pitched 1 scoreless inning to drop his ERA to 2.62. RP Rusty Begnaud also pitched an inning and gave up 2 hits as his ERA dropped to 8.22. SS Edward Lucas was 1-3 to drop to .321 on the season. RF Geraldo Valentin was 0-2 with a walk and HBP to drop to .291.
Burlington is 20-25 and 7 1/2 games out of first. RH Patrick Hicklen (2–1, 2.38) and South Bend RH Ross Ohlendorf (2–4, 3.91) square off tonight. RHP Kyle Crist was also recently activated from the DL and will work out of the bullpen for now. He last pitched 4/21.
AAA: Omaha RP Shawn Camp gave up 2 runs in the 8th and the O-Royals dropped the game to Fresno, 4-2. Fresno took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd but Omaha tied the game with a run in the 2nd on an RBI double by 1BChad Santos and another run in the 4th on an RBI single by SS Alejandro Prieto. The game was tied going into the 8th when Camp entered the game and gave up the 2 runs. SP Jimmy Gobble went 7 IPand gave up 2 ER on 4 hits and 2 BB while K'ing 5 to lower his ERA to7.61. Camp dropped to 0-3. He went 2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 3 hitsand 3 BB. No Ks as his ERA rose to 6.19. C Paul Phillips was 3-4 to improve to .254, 2B Justin Gemoll was 2-4 to improve to .350 andPrieto was 2-3 with a BB and RBI to improve to .245. Omaha batters struck out 14 times in the game.
Omaha is 21-25 and 4 games behind Memphis. Thursday's pitching matchup was Fresno RH Jerome Williams (1-3, 9.12) vs. RH Dennis Tankersley(1-4, 6.82).
AA: Each team got one inning of scoring offense in a good pitchers' duel and Corpus Christi came out ahead of Wichita, 2-1. The Wranglers scored their run in the 3rd on an RBI single by 2B Adam Keim. The Hooks came back in the 6th with 2 runs and Wichita couldn't tie the game up. Keim came up with the bases loaded and 2 out in the 9th and struck out to end the game. SP Derrin Ebert dropped to 1-1 as he went7 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 hits and a BB while K'ing 3 as his ERA dropped to 5.16. RP Trae McGill went 2 innings and K'd 2. His ERA is4.94. CF Wilkin Ruan scored the team's only run and was 2-3 at theplate to improve to .202. Keim was 1-5 with the RBI and 3 Ks to drop to .328 and 1B Justin Huber was 1-4 with 2 Ks to drop to .363. C John Draper was 1-3 with a BB to improve to .321. RF Cory Aldridge was 0-3 to snap an 11-game hitting streak and drop to .298.
Wichita is 22-23 and 5 games back of Tulsa. RHP Brian Bass (4-2, 5.40ERA) and Corpus Christi RHP Jason Hirsh (4-4, 3.38 ERA) squared off Thursday.
High-A: High Desert scored in all but the 2nd and 8th innings en route to a 14-4 rout of Stockton. Nice bounce-back game from the struggles with Inland Empire. 3B Billy Butler got things started inthe 1st with a 2-run HR (his 11th). 1B Kila Kaaihue drove a run home in the 3rd on a sac fly but Stockton tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the frame. DH Brandon Powell hit his 3rd HR in the 4th as a 2-run shot and Butler added a solo shot for his 12th in the 5th inning. RFMitch Maier scored on a throwing error in that inning and High Desert had a 7-3 lead. LF Bernard Stephens cracked a 2-run HR (his 5th) inthe 6th inning and the Mavs added another 3 runs in the 7th on back-to-back-to-back solo HRs by CF Chris Lubanski (his 8th), C Damaso Espino (his 1st) and Powell (his 4th). The final 2 runs came in the 9th on an RBI single by SS Angel Sanchez and an RBI single byButler. SP John Gragg III went 3 2/3 IP and gave up 3 UER on 5 hits and 3 BB while K'ing 2 to drop his ERA to 3.68. RP Stephen Chamberlain picked up the win to move to 2-0 as he went 2 1/3 IP andgave up 1 ER on 0 hits and 3 BB. His ERA is 5.22. RP Eric Ackerman got his 1st save with 3 IP in which he gave up 2 hits and a BB and K'd 3 to drop his ERA to 5.46. Stephens was 3-5 with 3 RS, a BB, HR and 2 RBIs to improve to .276. Butler was 4-5 with a BB, 2 RS, 2 HR and 4 RBI to improve to .366. Maier was 5-6 with 2 RS to move to.343, Kaaihue was 1-5 with an RBI to drop to .366 and Powell was 3-5 with a double, 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 RS to improve to .330. 2B Walter Sevilla didn't do much at the plate and had 3 errors in the field to move to 7 on the season. The Mavs still left 10 on base despite scoring 14 runs.
High Desert is 23-21 and 1 1/2 games back of Lake Elsinore.
Low-A: The Burlington Bees scored 5 in the 9th to pull out a 9-6 win over South Bend. South Bend grabbed an early 2-0 lead going into the 3rd before the Bees scored 4 on a sac fly by RF Brian McFall, an RBI single by CF Alan Moye and a 2-RBI single by DH Edward Lucas. South Bend scored 4 between the 5th and 7th innings to take a 6-4 lead going into the 9th when Lucas led off for the Bees with a double and advanced to third on a groundout. After a walk to PH Eddie Solis, 2BIrving Falu drove Lucas in with a sac fly to make the score 6-5 with2 out. SS Geraldo Valentin and 3B Mario Lisson followed with singles as Lisson's scored PR Adam Rowe to tie the game. A South Bend throwing error by 3B Mark Reynolds on a chopper by McFall allowed 2 runs to score and Moye followed with a single to drive home McFall and give Burlington a 9-6 lead. South Bend went down fairly quietly in the 9th to end the game. SP Luis Cota went 5 2/3 IP and gave up 5R (3 ER) on 7 hits and 3 BB while K'ing 6. His ERA is still only1.95. RP Gabe DeHoyos got the win to move to 2-0 with 3 1/3 IP of 1ER on 3 hits and a BB along with 4 Ks. His ERA is also great at 1.52. Lisson was 2-3 with 2 BB, 2 RS and an RBI to improve to .246. Moye was 2-5 with 2 RBI to improve to .241 and Lucas was 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI to improve to .320. Valentin was 1-2 with 2 BB and 2 RS to improve to .295.
Burlington is 20-24 and 7 1/2 games out of first. Thursday's pitching matchup is RH Patrick Green (2–2, 3.74) vs. South Bend RH A.J. Shappi(6–1, 2.75).
25 May 2005
Hello and welcome to The Pipeline, which as listed above will be dedicated mainly to the Kansas City Royals organization but will hopefully at some point touch on the other things that interest me. I've been a Royals fan since the early '80s, when the main stories were the team's success, the Pine Tar Incident, losing to the Tigers in the '84 ALCS and the unforgettable run to the world championship in 1985.
Now isn't the most obvious time for people to be jumping on the Royals' bandwagon as far as weblogs go, but I know there are many out there and thought I'd add my perspective. At the point of this writing, the Royals are 13-33 and 19 games out in the AL Central. The manager who started the year, Tony Pena, is gone and his bench coach, Bob Schaefer, is the interim manager. The team has suffered 13 1-run losses in 46 games and is toward the bottom of the MLB team rankings in many hitting and pitching categories. Long story short, there isn't anywhere to go but up.
The good news is there are some young players in place who could be the pieces to a team that within five years may be a contender -- Zack Greinke, Denny Bautista, David DeJesus, Mark Teahen, John Buck, Ruben Gotay -- and some promising players in the minors including Justin Huber, Billy Butler, Mitch Maier, Kila Kaaihue, Donnie Murphy, J.P. Howell, Luis Cota and Edward Lucas. I plan on doing periodic minor league updates here as the season progresses. With the way the Royals' season is going, it helps to focus on what could be in the team's future.
I, for one, was glad to see Pena quit with the team floundering early in the season. He had sufficiently proven to me he didn't know what he was doing with his decision-making at bat and on the pitcher's mound. I'm pulling for the team to hire an experienced manager that doesn't need to learn on the job. My top three would be Larry Dierker, Davey Johnson and anyone but Schaefer. He's done a nice job as interim but doesn't have the experience the team needs in a permanent manager.
Tonight's game was another poor one for KC as a Matt Stairs homer tied the game at 2 and it was all Rangers from there as Greinke dropped to 0-6. I was at his start Friday night (5/20) against St. Louis and watched him give up 6 ER. Tonight he only gave up 4 but was hurt by a fielding error by DeJesus in CF when he misjudged a ball hit by Richard Hidalgo. He later made a great catch running into the wall but the damage had been done. Then Jaime Cerda comes in and gives up a 2-run shot to Hank Blalock after Leo Nunez had held the Rangers pretty much in check for an inning and a third. Mike MacDougal also came in and was his usual self with 2 wild pitches helping give up a run. Captain Mike Sweeney, who has been one if not THE lone bright spot on the Royals' offense this season, was 0-4. Buck and Terrence Long's 0-fers dropped them to BAs of .200 and .203. Only three full-timers and three part-timers are hitting above .250 and the players are swinging at first pitch after first pitch. The invincible Pedro Astacio took them out tonight....ugh. That pretty much sums up the season thus far.