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Royals Week In Review and Preview - 4/11/2011
Two weeks are in the books now for the Kansas City Royals and things are still looking good. They split a short two game series with the Chicago White Sox and subsequently won their first road series in Detroit against the Tigers. It wasn’t enough to hold onto first place though, as the Cleveland Indians were just a bit better than the Royals this week.
There's still a long way to go in the 2011 season, but it's ok to go ahead and enjoy the winning now. It's not unfathomable that it can continue. Are you a believer or still skeptical?
2 Royals -1.0
3 White Sox -1.0
4 Tigers -4.0
5 Twins -4.0
Game 5: White Sox 6 @ Royals 7 – boxscore
The White Sox took an early four run lead in the top of the 1st inning, but the Royals tied it with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings. In a common theme for this week, it took extra innings to decide the outcome. A Melky Cabrera single in the bottom of the 12th inning scored Chris Getz to give the Royals their fourth straight walk-off win.
Game 6: White Sox 10 @ Royals 7 – boxscore
Jeff Francis put together another solid start, going 6.2 innings and giving up only 2 earned runs. The Royals had a 5 run lead going into the top of the 7th and the bullpen started coughing it up. Typically steady closer Joakim Soria entered the game in the 9th sporting a three run lead and proceeded to give up four runs. It was going to take another walk-off miracle by the Royals to win. They tied the game in bottom of the 9th on a Kila Ka’aihue double, but eventually lost in the 12th inning.
Game 7: Royals 2 @ Tigers 5 – boxscore
The first road trip of the season didn’t start out so hot as starter Kyle Davies gave up 4 runs in the very first inning against the Tigers. The Royals managed to plate single runs on a Melky Cabrera triple in the 3rd inning and on a 7th inning single by Billy Butler. The Royals never led although they had chances to tie the game on more than one occasion.
Game 8: Royals 3 @ Tigers 1 – boxscore
Royals starter Bruce Chen came back from his first rough outing by throwing an absolute gem against the Tigers. The soft-tossing lefty went 6 innings, struck out 7 and walked only 1. The Royals scratched out 3 runs and closer Joakim Soria stumbled a bit in the 9th, but eventually shut down the Tigers potent lineup.
Game 9: Royals 9 @ Tigers 5 – boxscore
Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar had his best start of the season, going 7 innings and giving up 3 earned runs. He struck out 6 and walked none. It was a nice win for the Royals that didn’t require a comeback and featured no late innings drama. Wilson Betemit went 4 for 4 with a walk as he took the place of a struggling Mike Aviles at third base. The Tigers played terrible defense, giving the Royals free bases and runs throughout the game.
Position Player of the Week: Alcides Escobar
Lots of good candidates again this week, but I'm going to go with Alcides Escobar. He didn't hit the ball well this week (.217/.217/.304), but his defense saved the team runs on a number of occasions. The Royals haven't had a shortstop this good in decades.
Starting Pitcher of the Week: Bruce Chen
Chen got one start this week, but he made it worthwhile. He didn't give up a single earned run and struck out 7 while walking only 1. I'm still not convinced he'll be effective the entire season, but I'll be glad to be wrong.
Relief Pitcher of the Week: Aaron Crow
The Topeka native threw 3.1 innings and didn't give up an earned run. I was much more comfortable with him coming into games last week than Joakim Soria.
On the Farm
Clint Robinson (1B/DH) hit 2 homeruns for the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA). He’s hitting .313/.421/.875 on the season.
Wil Myers (OF) went 6 for 18 with a double for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AAA). He’s hitting .333/.389/.789 on the season.
Rey Navarro (SS) went 7 for 12 with a double, a triple and a homerun for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (A+). He’s hitting .583/.643/1.083 on the season.
Jake Odorizzi (RHP) who came over from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade struck out 6 in 4 innings and gave up only 1 earned run. He’s sporting a 2.25 ERA with the Wilmington Blue Rocks (A+)
Brett Eibner (CF) was 2 for 6 with a homerun for the Kane County Cougars (A-), however he injured his hand and when he will return is uncertain.
Stat of the Week
Billy Butler notched his 600th hit and 3rd stolen base attempt in his career this week.
The Week to Come
The Royals get an off-day today and then play 13 straight games. They will also have to use their 5th pitcher for the first time this season. Vin Mazzaro was scheduled to take that spot, however he had a rough first outing in Omaha (AAA). The Royals also signed Jeff Suppan to a Minor League deal, so he’s a possible although unlikely candidate. Promoting a starter will also require the Royals to send down a relief pitcher. Sean O’Sullivan is the likely candidate for the demotion.
4/12-4/13 @ Minnesota Twins
4/14-4/17 vs Seattle Mariners