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Kansas City Royals week in review: 4/25/2011

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Last week, the Royals played seven games in seven days. Four of them were against the first place team in the American League Central and the last three were on the road against the defending AL champions. It wasn’t an easy stretch of games and the Royals ended up going 2-5. It started out well with a split versus the Indians, but ended poorly with a sweep at the hands of the Rangers. Even with all of that, the Royals are only a half game further back from 1st place than they were when the week began.

Standings

1 Indians

2 Royals -1.5

3 Tigers -1.5

4 Twins -4.0

5 White Sox -5.5

Game 16: Indians 7 @ Royals 3boxscore

Kyle Davies put together his first solid start of the season by going 6 innings and giving up 2 earned runs. More impressively, he struck out 7 and walked none. Neither team was able to put together a big inning and the result was another extra-innings affair for the Royals. Unfortunately, everything unraveled in the 10th when reliever Tim Collins surrendered 4 earned runs in the top of the 10th as the Royals ended up with the loss.

Game 17: Indians 4 @ Royals 5boxscore

Bruce Chen continued to have the magic touch as he threw 7 innings and gave up only 2 earned runs, both of which came in the 7th inning. He left with the lead as the Royals had scored 5 runs across three middle innings thanks to contributions from a number of Royals including the hot Alex Gordon. The bullpen wobbled again, giving up runs in the 8th and 9th innings, but the lead held as the Royals tied the series with the division leading Indians.

Game 18: Indians 7 @ Royals 5boxscore

In one of the more bizarre starts anyone is likely to see, Luke Hochever took a perfect game into the 6th and then gave up 6 earned runs over the next inning plus. He was cruising along at an amazing rate and then just completely and utterly went off the rails. After scoring two runs in the first inning on RBI hits from Gordon and Francoeur, the offense seemed to feel they had enough runs with the way Hochevar was pitching. They finally got back on track by scoring 3 in the 9th, but it was too little, too late.

Game 19: Indians 2 @ Royals 3boxscore

The Royals offense wasn’t able to get much going against Indians starter Josh Tomlin, however once they got him out of the game they put a pair across against closer Chris Perez. Melky Cabrera led the walk-off heroics when Mitch Maier and Alcides Escobar scored on his 9th inning single. Starter Sean O’Sullivan put together a really nice start that allowed the team to stay close until they could finally take the lead.

Game 20: Royals 6 @ Rangers 11boxscore

Tiny ballpark. Strong winds. Power hitting team. All three make a bad combination for Royals pitcher Jeff Francis. Or at least they did on this night. He surrendered 5 runs in 4 innings in the opening game in Arlington. It looked like a game for a brief moment when the Royals exploded for 5 runs due to homeruns by Brayan Pena and Wilson Betemit in the 4th inning to tie the game. Relief pitchers Nate Adcock and Blake Wood then gave up another 5 runs and it all added up to an insurmountable lead for the Royals.

Game 21: Royals 1 @ Rangers 3boxscore

Royals starter Kyle Davies put together his second straight Quality Start by holding the Rangers to 2 earned runs in 6.0 innings. It wasn’t enough to knock off the defending American League champs as the Royals were held to a single run. The lone run came from a KIla Ka’aihue solo homerun. Melky Cabrera collected three hits, but his teammates were unable to get him around to score.

Game 22: Royals 7 @ Rangers 8boxscore

Bruce Chen got another start in a windy stadium and this time he was unable to keep the ball in the park. The Rangers hit three homeruns off of the soft-tossing lefty and they flustered him in a 6 run 5th inning. The Royals, as has been their nature this season, refused to give up though. Mike Aviles hit two homeruns including one in the top of the 9th to bring the Royals within 1 run of the Rangers. Ultimately, it was as close as they got and the Royals lost their first series this season by getting swept in Texas.

Position player of the week: Jeff Francoeur

I almost went with Alex Gordon, but Francoeur hit for more power this week. He hit .320/.414/.680 this week to go along with 3 doubles and 2 homeruns.

Starting pitcher of the week: Kyle Davies

This was a no brainer. He had two starts this week and pitched well in both of them. He threw 12.0 innings with an ERA of 3.00. More impressively, he struck out 10 while walking only 1.

Relief pitcher of the week: Louis Coleman

The kid gets called up from Omaha and immediately proved that he belonged. He threw 3.0 innings, struck out 3, walked 1 and gave up no earned runs.

On the farm

Clint Robinson (1B) went 12 for 26 last week with 5 walks and 2 homeruns for the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA). He’s hitting .397/.486/.778 on the season.

Danny Duffy (LHP) threw 4.1 scoreless in his start this week. He currently has 16 strikeouts to 4 walks on the season to compliment his 1.29 ERA for the Storm Chasers.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA) only played four games this week due to some inclement weather. However Mario Lisson (3B) went 4 for 10 with 2 homeruns and two walks.

Jake Odorizzi (RHP) who was brought over in the Zack Greinke trade has really turned it on. In his last start, he went 6.0 innings while fanning 10 and walking only 1.

The week to come

The Royals get another shot at the first place Cleveland Indians, but this time it’s on the road. It’s a three game series, so there’s no way that this one ends in a tie. After that, it’s back home to face the suddenly resurgent Minnesota Twins who have won 6 of their last 8 games.

4/26-4/28 @ Cleveland Indians

4/29-5/1 vs Minnesota Twins

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Nick Scott is a contributor to Royals Authority and is the host of the Broken Bat Single Royals podcast, you can follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

Comments

Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

yeah, you got to quit that nasty habit. Political blogs are hazardous to your health.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

yeah, you got to quit that nasty habit. Political blogs are hazardous to your health.

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camper 2 years, 11 months ago

Listened to sports talk, and seem to agree, baseball is changing from what it was in the 90's and early 2000's. Players are getting smaller! It is resembling some of the games I recently saw on ESPN classic.

If you are a stat guy, it would be interesting to find out if there are more extra inning games (ie due to less HomeRun blow outs)? More stolen bases and small ball? I also see that there is more value being placed on the glove.....even at the corner infield and outfield positions.

Nice blog. I am hopin this will cure me of the political blogs.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

That's not really pressure. Winning is winning. Whether you spend lots of money to do it is irrelevant. Plus there are a lot more productive ways to spend money than on big league payroll.

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes the Yankees can afford to take chances, but the Royals are under pressure too. Lowest payroll in baseball after tax payer stadium upgrades, better produce wins. Teams that don't spend when the owner is making money becomes a big problem.

And strikeout machines cost a lot more then ground ball guys.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

Give me a strikeout machine over a guy who puts the ball in play every day of the week. Ground balls get through and lead to men on base. It's better than putting the ball in the air, but you have to strike guys out.

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emceelean 2 years, 11 months ago

Masterson hasn't been overpowering?

Nonsense. He has the second best groundball to flyball ratio among American League pitchers.

If by overpowering you mean that he isn't a strikeout machine then, yes, I agree. But any starting pitcher that keeps the ball on the ground is going to be successful.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

ricky, that is one thing I believe we can all agree on.

I'm always interested in things you guys might like to see on the next week in review. I'm always looking for suggestions.

thanks.

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Ricky_Vaughn 2 years, 11 months ago

Hopefully no one on this blog gives two s***s about the RedSox. That why we're here!

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Donger 2 years, 11 months ago

I'll agree that Bill Smith is an idiot.

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kirbypuckettusedroids 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm a Royals fan, which is why I'm on a Royals blog. I'm concerned about winning the AL Central. Why would I care about the Red Sox?

Why do you care if my name mocks Kirby Puckett? Would you rather I mock Joe Mauer and his "worst contract ever given by any team"? Or maybe I should just mock his wussy legs. Frankly, as a Royals fan, it is great watching Bill Smith undue all of Terry Ryan's good work.

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Donger 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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kirbypuckettusedroids 2 years, 11 months ago

yeah, Masterson and Tomlin have been good, but neither has overpowering stuff. we'll see. just like you note about regarding the royals pitching, a lot of people expect the Tribe to come down to earth.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

The indians have faced some pretty terrible teams so far this season. I'm beggining to think this is the beginning of the end for them. HOpefully it's at the hands of the royals.

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kirbypuckettusedroids 2 years, 11 months ago

Nick, definitely a tough week coming up. The Tribe has good pitching lined up. That said, I really like the our chances against Minny. Minny just doesn't scare me this year.

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Donger 2 years, 11 months ago

All kidding aside, SRJ, it's a lot easier for a team like the Yankees to take a shot on guys like Large Intestine and Sweaty Freddy because if the experiment doesn't work out the $900K and $1.5 MM the Yanks through at them respectively doesn't even touch their bottom line. For the Royals, that $2.4 million represents 7% of their payroll.

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Donger 2 years, 11 months ago

Coffee Shop Waitress: Excuse me, sir. Could you please keep your voices down? This is a family restaurant. Walter Sobchak: Oh please, dear? For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

Friends, let's keep this civil.

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Donger 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

It's certainly a tad early to be saying that Colon is the solution to anyone's starting rotation.

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kirbypuckettusedroids 2 years, 11 months ago

SRJ, talk to me in July about Bartolo Colon.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

regardless of payroll, you have to make good decisions. The thing about lots of money is it allows you to overcome more mistakes if you need to.

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 11 months ago

FYI, my team is the Yankees, and you can scream all you want about the payroll, but they picked up two starting pitchers off the scrap pile (Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia) who are doing well. You just never know about pitching.

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Nick Scott 2 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. Losing to the Rangers is something that a lot of teams will do this year. Getting them without hamilton and neftali feliz though should have helped a bit. I really would have liked to just eke out one of those wins.

Division games are more important and there's a whole mess of them coming up.

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 11 months ago

Not a terrible week. Texas at this point are tough to beat at home, and the White Sox and Twins are still below the Royals. Win the division games, not sure anyone will do well against the elite AL teams.

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