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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Worst. Season. Ever. 

Indians 5, Royals 2: The good news is that the Royals scored more than 1 run for the first time in 5 games. The bad news is that they lost their 101st game of the year, setting a new franchise record. The Royals took an early 2-1 lead after loading the bases with one out in the 2nd. They stranded 11 runners, getting 9 singles and a double on the night. Mike Wood left in the 6th after allowing 5 runs. Dennys Reyes and Mike MacDougal were effective out of the bullpen. Box Score.

Jimmy Gobble faces Mark Buehrle tonight in the opening frame of the 4-game season finale. Gobble will be going for his 10th win of the year, and trying to help the Royals avoid tying the 1964 Kansas City A’s mark of 105 losses. (Yahoo)

Professor Passan wants to know if we learned anything this year. (KC Star)
The full 2005 schedule has been released, and includes trips to San Francisco, Phoenix, and Denver. (MLB)
The Indians’ bus was shot at on the way to KCI airport last night. Pitcher Kyle Denney suffered a minor injury. (MLB)

This Date in Royals History:
September 30, 1969—Ed Kirkpatrick has the first 6 RBI game in Royals history, against the Angels, in an 8-5 victory. Box Score.
September 30, 1985—Bret Saberhagen gets his 20th win in a 3-1 victory over the Angels. George Brett and Jim Sundberg homer as KC moves into a tie for 1st. Box Score.
September 30, 1992-George Brett gets his 3,000th hit, in a 4-0 win over the Angels. Rick Reed throws a shutout. Box Score. (Retrosheet)
September 30, 1998—Dan Quisenberry dies in Leawood, Kansas, at the age of 45.

// posted by Harley @ 8:12 AM

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

100. 

Indians 6, Royals 1: Darrell May suffered his 19th loss of the season, and the Royals hit loss #100. Both numbers are likely to lead the league. May gave up 3 homers, bringing his season total to 38. Matt Kinney threw 3 scoreless innings in relief, but the Royals managed just 3 hits on the game. Box Score.

Mike Wood faces Kyle Denney tonight at 7:10 in the series finale. With 5 games remaining, the Royals need to win all 5 to avoid setting a franchise record for futility. (Yahoo)

The 2004 Royals have now lost 100 games (KC Star)
Zack Greinke and David DeJesus are contenders for AL Rookie of the Year. (MLB)
Next year, in spring training, the Royals will have more of a football-style training camp. Yep, just like the Chiefs. (KC Star)

And in case you hadn’t heard, the Expos are officially moving to Washington, D.C., next year. (Yahoo)

On the Farm:
Ruben Gotay was named the Royals’ minor league player of the year, and the player of the year for Wichita. The other organizational players of the year:
Omaha—Calvin Pickering, 1B-DH
Wilmington—Mike Aviles, SS
Burlington—Chris Lubanski, OF
Idaho Falls—Billy Butler, 3B
Arizona—Miguel Vega, IF
Dominican Salcedo—Garivaldis Perez, SS

Danny Tamayo was named the Royals’ minor league pitcher of the year, and the pitcher of the year for Wichita. Here are the other organizational pitching honorees:
Omaha—Les Walrond
Wilmington—Trae McGill
Burlington—Chris Coughlin
Idaho Falls—Justin Sherman
Arizona—Russell Begnaud
Dominican Salcedo—Rayner Oliveros (MLB)

In the Arizona Fall League, 6 Royals players are on the roster of the Phoenix Desert Dogs: Brian Bass, Billy Keppinger, Donnie Murphy, Danny Tamayo, Mark Teahen and Wes Wilkerson. They'll be teammates of players from the A's, Angels, Orioles, Phillies, and Marlins.

This Date in Royals History:
September 29, 1970—Royals defeat the Twins 14-13 in a 12-inning game. The 2 teams use 49 players, setting a major league record. Box Score.
September 29, 1992—Dennis Rasmussen throws a 1-hit shutout as the Royals beat the Angels, 2-0. Box Score.
September 29, 1993—George Brett’s final game at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals beat the Indians, 3-2. Box Score. (Retrosheet)

// posted by Harley @ 9:37 AM

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

99 Ls on the Wall 

Indians 6, Royals 1: Zack Greinke showed again why he’s the best pitcher on this staff. With Greinke in the game, the Royals were winning despite only scoring 1 run. Once Greinke left the game, it was a different story. Jaime Cerda, D.J. Carrasco, and Jeremy Affeldt gave up 6 runs in the final 2 innings to once again blow Greinke’s 9th win of the year. Greinke threw 7 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits, striking out 5 and walking 2. David DeJesus’s solo home run was the only Royals tally, and continued a streak of 9 consecutive Royals home runs hit with no one on base. Box Score. (Yahoo)

Darrell May and the Royals both have a chance to tie franchise records for losses tonight against Cleveland. Cliff Lee pitches for the Indians, with game time at 7:10. KC needs to finish the year with 6 straight victories to avoid the 100-loss mark. (59-103, here we come!)

Peter Gammons thinks that Mike Sweeney won't be back with the Royals next year. (ESPN)
Desi Relaford is going to “explore his options” this off-season. (MLB)
The Royals are hoping Mike MacDougal will be their “power guy” out of the bullpen next year. I don’t think they mean he’s the guy that will give up 3-run homers. (KC Star)
Rick Dean talks to an optimistic Allard Baird. (Capital-Journal)

This Date in Royals History:
September 28, 1984—KC clinches the AL West, with a 6-5 victory at Oakland. They are the first team to win their division while being outscored by their opponents. Box Score.
September 28, 1987—Kevin Seitzer collects his 200th hit in a 5-1 loss to the Mariners. He’s the first rookie with 200 since 1964. Box Score. (Retrosheet)

// posted by Harley @ 9:16 AM

Monday, September 27, 2004

98 & Rising 

Friday--Royals 8, White Sox 6: John Buck homered twice and Joe Randa had 3 hits. Jimmy Gobble struggled on the mound, but still got his 9th win of the year. Mike MacDougal allowed 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th. Box Score.

Saturday--White Sox 5, Royals 1: Mark Buehrle threw a 4-hitter, with KC’s only run coming on a solo homer by Joe Randa. Denny Bautista pitched well, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings, but took his 4th loss of the year. Box Score.

Sunday--White Sox 5, Royals 1: This time it was Jon Garland who shut down the Royals offense, only allowing 5 hits on the game. Calvin Pickering’s solo home run was the lone Royals tally. Brian Anderson’s winning streak ended, as he allowed 4 home runs in 7 innings. Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless 8th. Box Score.

Zack Greinke gets the start tonight in Cleveland. Jake Westbrook pitches for the Indians, with game time set at 7:10. The Royals need to win at least 6 of their final 7 games to avoid losing 100.

Ken Harvey’s sprained MCL will keep him out for the rest of the year.
Joe Randa likely won’t be back next year.
Alberto Castillo has high hopes of being the Royals’ backup catcher in 2005.

The 2005 home schedule has been announced:
-The Royals will open the season on the road, April 4, in Detroit.
-The home opener will be on April 11, vs. Seattle.
-The Cardinals will visit on May 20-22.
-The Yankees will make their only trip to Kansas City for May 31-June 2.
-The Dodgers will make their first ever visit to Kauffman, June 14-16.
-The season’s interleague finale will be with Houston on June 17-19.
-Boston’s only visit to KC will be August 23-25.

Denny Bautista went to his curveball more often than usual on Saturday, which definitely helped.

The George Brett family has had a mournful year.

This Date in Royals History:
September 27, 1999—Tigers 8, Royals 2, in the last game played at Tiger Stadium.
Tigers players wear the uniform numbers of all-time Tiger players at their position. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 8:55 AM

Friday, September 24, 2004

$9 for Parking? 

White Sox 7, Royals 6: KC blew a 6-1 lead by giving up 3 home runs in the final 2 innings, including a game-winning 3-run shot by Joe Crede. Jeremy Affeldt took the loss. Matt Stairs hit a solo home run, his 17th of the year. Box Score.

Jimmy Gobble faces Freddy Garcia tonight in Chicago at 7:05. (Yahoo)

Prospectus Triple Play looks at the mid-season turnarounds of four Royals: Jeremy Affeldt, Zack Greinke, Brian Anderson, and John Buck. (BP)
More good news: Mike Sweeney won’t need back surgery. Ken Harvey, meanwhile, is heading back home for an MRI on his knee.
Desi Relaford doesn’t expect to be back in 2005. And I don’t expect him to be.
Ticket prices and parking fees are going up next year, though the cheap seats will stay the same price. Royals games are still a great bargain--Jeff Flanagan calls it a “price bunt.” (KC Star)

This Date in Royals History:
September 24, 1989—The Royals set their all-time season attendance mark with 2,477,700.

// posted by Harley @ 8:45 AM

Thursday, September 23, 2004

May Eludes #19 

Royals 7, Devil Rays 6 10 innings: Ruben Gotay came through with an RBI grounder in the top of the 10th inning for the win. David DeJesus homered and drove in 3 runs, and Calvin Pickering had another big game, going 3 for 5 with 3 doubles and an RBI. Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless 9th for the win and Jeremy Affeldt threw the 10th for the save. Angel Berroa left the game with a bruised shoulder. Box Score.

Mike Wood takes the mound tonight as the Royals begin their final road series of the year. Jose Contreras is scheduled to pitch for the White Sox in the 7:05 game, televised on RSTN. With 11 games remaining, the Royals need at least 7 wins to avoid the 100-loss mark.

It has now been 58 series since the Royals swept a series. And there are only 3 series left in the season.

Paul Splitorff knows what it feels like to be Darrell May.
You can get a guaranteed Royals win, or your money back, if you buy your tickets for the final homestand from Ace Sports and Tickets.

// posted by Harley @ 8:53 AM

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bye-Bye, Blue Rocks 

Devil Rays 7, Royals 4: With a 4-2 lead in the 8th inning, Dennys Reyes, Shawn Camp, and Jaime Cerda couldn’t preserve Zack Greinke’s 6 2/3 solid innings. Tampa scored 5 times in the 8th to win the game. David DeJesus had a solo home run and Donnie Murphy added an RBI double. Calvin Pickering was back in the lineup after injuring himself on Monday. Angel Berroa and Desi Relaford continue to fight slumps. Berroa is 0 for his last 14 at-bats; Relaford, his last 18. Box Score.

Darrell May faces Doug Waechter and the Devil Rays in an 11:15 game today. May will try to avoid his 19th loss of the year as KC tries to avoid their 96th. (Yahoo)

Mike Sweeney has decided to turn around and face his back problems. But that just makes him dizzy. (KC Star)

On the Farm:
The Wilmington Blue Rocks’ contract with the Royals will not be renewed. (Blue Rocks)
The Royals’ High-A affiliate in 2005 and 2006 will be the High Desert Mavericks of the California League. (MLB)
It’s probably no coincidence that the Mavericks are owned by the Brett family. (HDMavs)

This Date in Royals History:
September 22, 2002—Mike Sweeney has a lead of .0005 over Manny Ramirez in the AL batting race. Ramirez eventually wins the batting title.

// posted by Harley @ 9:51 AM

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Season's Over for Sweeney 

Royals 6, Devil Rays 3: Calvin Pickering hit a tie-breaking home run to put the Royals on top, and Brian Anderson won his 3rd straight decision. Joe Randa had 2 doubles, but Pickering was the offensive standout, going 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI, and 2 walks. Unfortunately, he pulled his leg one pitch before hitting the homer. Jeremy Affeldt worked a scoreless 9th for the save. Box Score.

Zack Greinke faces Rob Bell and the Devil Rays tonight in a 6:15 game on RSTN. With 13 games remaining, the Royals need at least 8 wins to avoid 100 losses. (Yahoo)

Mike Sweeney is done for the season. (KC Star)
What free agent(s) might the Royals go after this off-season? (KC Star)
The absence of Ken Harvey and Mike Sweeney is showing the Royals’ lack of offensive depth. (MLB)
The Minnesota Twins have clinched the AL Central title. (Yahoo)

Milestones:
Jeremy Affeldt's 16th career save last night moved him into the top 15 in franchise history:
Career Saves
1. Jeff Montgomery – 304
2. Dan Quisenberry -- 238
3. Doug Bird – 58
4. Roberto Hernandez -- 54
5. Steve Farr -- 49
6. Ted Abernathy – 40
7. Al Hrabosky – 31
8. Mike MacDougal – 28
Tom Burgmeier – 28
Mark Littell -- 28
11. Steve Mingori – 27
12. Gene Garber -- 26
13. Marty Pattin – 21
14. Hipolito Pichardo – 19
15. Jeremy Affeldt – 16
Ricky Bottalico -- 16
17. Moe Drabowsky – 13
18. Scott Service – 12
Larry Gura – 12
20. Renie Martin – 11

From the Backs of Bubble Gum Cards:
“Freddie led or tied for AL lead in Double Plays by shortstops 4 years in row, 1971-1974. A great bunter.”
1976 Topps #167 Freddie Patek

// posted by Harley @ 8:12 AM

Monday, September 20, 2004

Broomless Again 

Saturday--Royals 7, Indians 1: John Buck hit a 2-run homer and Angel Berroa had 3 hits as the Royals improved to 8-8 in September. Jimmy Gobble was dominant, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits in 7 innings. Donnie Murphy made his major league debut, getting his first hit and stolen base. Box Score.

Sunday--Indians 8, Royals 3: Cleveland finally woke up, denying the Royals their first series sweep of the year. Denny Bautista continued his struggles, allowing 5 runs in the 3rd inning and leaving after the 4th. Matt Stairs had a solo home run, and Alexis Gomez drove in 2 runs, going 3 for 4. Box Score.

Brian Anderson starts tonight against Dewan Brazelton and the Devil Rays. The 6:15 game will be on RSTN. 14 games remain, with the Royals needing at least 9 wins to avoid 100 losses. (Yahoo)

John Buck played DH on Saturday, and Mike Sweeney’s return is again on hold. (KC Star)
Ken Harvey is day-to-day with a sprained knee. (MLB.com)

Allard Baird continues to see hope for 2005. (KC Star)
Rany Jazayerli sees a great bullpen coming together. (Capital-Journal)

Buck O’Neil on Barry and the Babe. (Contra Costa Times)

On the Farm:
Calvin Pickering was named as the DH of the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star Team.
Les Walrond led the league in ERA, with a 3.06 mark. (Baseball America)

This Date in Royals History:
September 20, 1972—Steve Busby hits a grand slam, then has it revoked by first base umpire John Rice, who had signaled time before the pitch. John Mayberry had already hit a grand slam in the same inning. Royals beat the Angels, 9-2. Box Score.
September 20, 1980—George Brett goes 0-for-4 in a 9-0 loss to the A’s, dropping his average below .400 for good. Box Score. (Retrosheet)

// posted by Harley @ 1:14 PM

Saturday, September 18, 2004

10 wins to go! 

Royals 6, Indians 4: Abraham Nunez got an inside-the-park home run, at the expense of Jody Gerut’s knee, as Mike Wood got his first win in more than a month. KC fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, then tied the game in the 2nd and took the lead for good in the 4th. Jeremy Affeldt pitched a scoreless 9th for his 11th save of the year. Box Score. (Yahoo)

Tonight’s game is underway, with Jimmy Gobble facing Cliff Lee in Cleveland. KC needs at least 10 wins in the final 16 games to avoid the 100-loss mark.

Donnie Murphy has made the jump from Class A to the majors. (KC Star) Murphy will be the 58th player used by the Royals this year, 1 shy of the major league record. (MLB.com)

Jayson Stark has some useless information about that crazy doubleheader vs. the Tigers last Thursday. (ESPN)

I’m currently taking part in a roundtable discussion of blogging and baseball at MLBCenter.com. Stop on by if you’re interested!

On the Farm:
With the Carolina League season all wrapped up, shortstop Mike Aviles and outfielder Shane Costa were named to the league’s all-star team. Pitcher Trae McGill led the league in ERA with a 2.08 mark. (Baseball America)

// posted by Harley @ 6:48 PM

Friday, September 17, 2004

Final Road Trip 

The Royals begin a 10-game road trip, the final trip of the season, in Cleveland tonight. Mike Wood pitches against Jake Westbrook, with the game televised on RSTN. The Royals need to win 11 of their final 17 games to avoid the 100-loss mark. Upcoming opponents are Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Chicago.

Donnie Murphy will be called up this weekend, and Mike Sweeney’s return has been pushed back a few days. (KC Star)
Mike MacDougal will try to reclaim the closer’s job next spring. (MLB.com)
The Angel Berroa of 2003 is back. (KC Star)
Darrell May is on the cusp of losing 20 games, but Mike Maroth has made it a non-event. (Hardball Times)
Former Royal Mike Jones is now the head baseball coach for Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Florida. (Jacksonville.com)

On the Farm:
Wilmington lost the Carolina League finale, 3-1, to the Kinston Indians.
Donnie Murphy had 3 of the Blue Rocks’ 4 hits, going 3 for 3 with a double, a homer, an RBI, and a walk.
Devon Lowery took the loss, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7 in 5 innings.

With the Pioneer League’s season over, Billy Butler, Brian McFall, and Eddie Solis were named to the league’s all-star team.
Butler led the league in batting average, runs scored, and RBI.
McFall led the league in slugging percentage, runs scored, and stolen bases. (Baseball America)

This Date in Royals History:
September 17, 1979—George Brett gets his 20th triple of the season in a 16-4 victory over the Angels. Brett is the 6th player in history to get 20 doubles, triples, and home runs in a season. Box Score.
September 17, 1984—Reggie Jackson gets his 500th career home run, but the Royals win, 10-1. Box Score.
September 17, 1999—Carlos Beltran scores his 100th run. He’s the first rookie since Fred Lynn with 100 runs and 100 RBIs. The Royals beat the A’s, 9-3. Box Score. (All box scores via Retrosheet)

// posted by Harley @ 8:17 AM

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Re-Shut Out 

Yankees 3, Royals 0: Javier Vazquez threw 7 shutout innings, and the Royals only managed 4 hits for the second straight game. Darrell May took his 18th loss of the year, despite striking out a season-high 8 batters in 6 1/3 innings. D.J. Carrasco threw a scoreless 1 2/3, and Jeremy Affeldt threw a scoreless inning as well. Abraham Nunez’s double was the only extra base hit for the home team. Box Score.

The team heads to Cleveland tomorrow for a 3-game series. Mike Wood will face Jake Westbrook in the 7:10 opener.

Matt Stairs will be back next year, after signing a $1.2 million, one-year contract extension.
Also, Andres Blanco will be heading immediately to the Arizona Instructional League. Ruben Gotay will join him after the end of the season.

Rob & Rany look at the Royals’ excess of mediocre pitching.
Joe Posnanski remembers when the Royals came to town in 1985.

On the Farm:
Wilmington lost to Kinston on Tuesday, 4-0. The series is tied at 2 games apiece with the deciding game—and Royals farm finale—scheduled for tonight.
Mitch Maier was the only standout in this loss, going 2 for 4 and improving his postseason average to .240.

This Date in Royals History:
September 16, 1996—Paul Molitor gets his 3,000th hit at Kauffman Stadium, as the Royals beat the Twins, 6-5. Box Score.
September 16, 1999—Carlos Beltran becomes the first AL rookie since Mark McGwire to get 100 RBIs, in a 7-1 victory over Anaheim. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 8:58 AM

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Shut Out 

Yankees 4, Royals 0: Mike Mussina shut down the Royals, holding KC to 3 hits in 8 innings, with Tom Gordon pitching a scoreless 9th. Zack Greinke pitched 6 strong innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. Angel Berroa now has an 11-game hitting streak. Box Score.

Darrell May takes on Javier Vazquez and the Yankees this afternoon at 1:10. ESPN will carry the game.

The September 22 game at Tampa Bay has been rescheduled to 11:15 am CST, instead of 6:15. This will allow the Devil Rays an earlier departure on getaway day, with a doubleheader on the following day.
Zack Greinke nearly got out of the 5th inning with a scoreless tie intact. But a quick pitch got him in trouble.
Ken Harvey wants to push his average back up to .300.
Harvey, Matt Stairs, Jaime Cerda, Jeremy Affeldt, and John Buck talk about the athletes that they admire.
It was a Phillips family reunion at Kauffman Stadium last night.
Buck O’Neil field was dedicated yesterday.

On the Farm:
Wilmington lost to Kinston in Game 3 of the Carolina League Championship Series on Monday, by a score of 3-1.
Shane Costa went 3 for 4 and stole 2 bases. He’s hitting .423 in the playoffs.
Dusty Hughes took the loss, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in 6 2/3 innings, striking out 11 batters.

This Date in Royals History:
September 15, 1977—The Royals win club-record 16th consecutive game, they are in first place by 10 ½ games. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 11:18 AM

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A Taste of '77 

Sunday--Devil Rays 7, Royals 2: Jorge Sosa threw 7 shutout innings for Tampa Bay, while Denny Bautista struggled for KC, allowing 6 runs on 11 hits and 3 walks in 5 2/3 innings. Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless 9th, striking out 2. 5 of the Royals’ 10 hits were doubles, but none of them came with runners on base. Box Score.

Monday--Royals 17, Yankees 8: KC scored 10 runs in the 5th inning, for their second double digit inning in a week. The win snapped a 6 game losing streak against New York, and also topped the previous best Royals performance against the Yankees, a 15-4 win on April 5, 1984. John Buck led the offense with a home run, two doubles, a single, and 5 RBI. Angel Berroa had 5 singles and scored 5 runs. Brian Anderson pitched well, earning his 4th win of the year. Chris George struggled in relief, allowing 5 runs in the final 2 innings. Box Score.

Zack Greinke faces Mike Mussina and the revenge-minded Yankees tonight at 7:10, televised by RSTN. With 19 games to go, the Royals need at least 11 wins to avoid the 100-loss mark.

Alberto Castillo usually catches Greinke, but John Buck will get the start tonight, thanks to his recent hitting.
Mike Sweeney is planning to be back in the lineup on Friday.

Rany Jazayerli looks ahead to the 2005 pitching rotation. Zack Greinke, Denny Bautista, and Runelvys Hernandez are the top candidates. Darrell May, Brian Anderson, Jimmy Gobble, Mike Wood, Miguel Asencio, and Kyle Snyder will likely compete for the 4th and 5th spots.
With the vaunted/reviled Yankees in town, this is as close as the Royals will get to the playoffs this year.
Joe Posnanski remembers the good ol’ days of the Royals-Yankees rivalry, and Rick Dean points out that last night was pretty good, too.

On the Farm:
On Sunday, Wilmington beat Kinston by a score of 11-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the Carolina League Championship Series.
Shane Costa went 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI. He’s hitting .364 in the playoffs.
Mitch Maier went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI.
Jonah Bayliss got the win, pitching 7 innings and allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a walk. He struck out 8.

On Saturday, Wilmington beat Kinston 4-0 in game 1 of the series.
Costa went 2 for 5 with a solo home run.
Mike Aviles went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He’s hitting .571 in the postseason.
Mike Stodolka threw 6 shutout innings for the win. He allowed 3 hits and 2 walks and struck out 4.

This Date in Royals History:
September 14, 1986—Bo Jackson hits a stadium-record 475 foot home run, the first of his career, and KC beats the Mariners 10-3. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 10:12 AM

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Dancing with the Devil Rays 

Friday--Royals 8, Devil Rays 5: KC overcame a 5-0 deficit to give Tampa Bay their 12th straight loss. And the Royals ended another streak—14 straight innings without scoring. They scored 2 in the 6th, and 6 more in the 7th, with 5 different players driving in runs in that inning. Dennys Reyes threw 2 scoreless innings of relief for the win, and Jeremy Affeldt picked up his 10th save of the year. Box Score.

Saturday--Devil Rays 8, Royals 6: The Royals blew a 4-2 lead and the 6-5 lead given them by John Buck’s home run in the 6th. Starter Jimmy Gobble gave up 5 runs in 5 innings. In the 3rd inning, Matt Stairs stole his first base of the year. Box Score.

Denny Bautista faces Jorge Sosa in the series finale this afternoon at 1:10. With 21 games remaining, the Royals need a 12-9 finish to end the year shy of the 100-loss mark.

Darrell May will keep on pitching, and let the possibility of 20 losses take care of itself. In other news, Mike Sweeney should return within a week, while Scott Sullivan and Benito Santiago probably won’t.
Aaron Guiel is still planning to play again before the end of the season.
Chris George is enjoying his role as a reliever.
Joe Randa’s jersey from Thursday’s doubleheader is headed to the Hall of Fame.
Bob Dutton reports on the unexpected events at last night’s game.

The Omaha Royals’s contract has been extended through the 2006 season. Omaha has now been the Royals’ AAA affiliate for 36 seasons. The only AAA team currently exceeding that mark is the Richmond Braves.

On the Farm:
The Wilmington Blue Rocks have advanced to the Carolina League Championship, against Kinston.

On Friday, the Blue Rocks defeated Potomac, 4-0. Mike Aviles went 2 for 3 with a double, a solo homer, and a walk.
Donnie Murphy went 1 for 3 with a home run, 3 RBI, and 2 walks.
Devon Lowery got the win, throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing 2 hits, 4 walks, and striking out 5.

In Thursday’s 14-6 loss, Aviles went 3 for 3 with an RBI.
Shane Costa went 2 for 5.
Kahi Kaanoi took the loss, allowing 7 runs on 8 hits and a walk, striking out none in 2 1/3 innings.

Idaho Falls lost to Provo, 10-6, and was eliminated from the Pioneer League playoffs.
Billy Butler stayed true to form, going 4 for 5 with a double, a home run, and 3 RBI.
Second baseman Eddie Solis went 3 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI.

From the Backs of Bubble Gum Cards:
“Bill has worked as an electronics wave solder operator. His hobbies are sailing, water and snow skiing.”
1988 Topps #433 Bill Pecota

// posted by Harley @ 7:31 AM

Friday, September 10, 2004

26/0 Detroit Split 

Game One--Royals 26, Tigers 5: Every KC starter had at least one hit, one run scored, and an RBI. The 26 runs are the highest total in the majors since 1996, and the highest ever for the Royals. See below for all of the records that were tied or broken. Zack Greinke threw 5 shaky innings for the win, and Chris George acquitted himself well in 3 innings of relief. Box Score.

Game Two--Tigers 8, Royals 0: Jeremy Bonderman threw 8 shutout innings as the Royals were held to just 7 singles. Darrell May took his 17th loss of the year. With three starts remaining, he still has a chance at a 20-loss season. Box Score.

Mike Wood faces Mark Hendrickson and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a 7:10 game tonight at Kauffman. With 23 games remaining, the Royals need to go 13-10 to avoid losing 100.

The records were flying during game one yesterday. The Royals…
…tied an AL record by getting 13 consecutive runners on base in the 3rd inning.
…became the only team ever to score 20 runs in the first game of a doubleheader and get shut out in game 2.
…set a franchise record for runs scored in a game.
…set a franchise record for runs scored in a doubleheader.
…set a franchise record for hits in a game.
And Joe Randa became the first player in AL history to get 6 hits and score 6 runs in a game. His 6 hits tied the franchise record, and his 6 runs scored tied the MLB record.

Rob Neyer & Bill James discuss Zack Greinke. And Bradford Doolittle looks at Greinke’s propensity for surrendering the long ball.
It’s been a long, painful road to the majors for catcher Paul Phillips, who made his debut in game one yesterday.

On the Farm:
On Wednesday, the Wilmington Blue Rocks won game 1 of their best-of-3 series against Potomac, by a score of 3 to 1.
Mike Aviles went 1 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI.
Donnie Murphy went 2 for 4 with a double.
Dusty Hughes threw 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 4 for the win.

In the Pioneer League playoffs, Idaho Falls beat Provo, 2-1, to tie their series at a game apiece.
Chad Blackwell got the save in the game, throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed 3 hits and struck out 4 batters.

This Date in Royals History:
September 10, 1969—Using a major league record 27 players in one game, KC loses to the Angels, 11-4. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 10:11 AM

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Double Dee-light 

Royals 6, Tigers 2: Dee Brown homered twice and drove in four runs to give Jimmy Serrano his first MLB victory. Joe Randa had two doubles and David DeJesus added a triple to the offensive attack. Starter Brian Anderson pitched well, allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings. Box Score.

Zack Greinke faces Nate Robertson tonight in Detroit as the Royals try to take a lead in the series. The 6:05 game will be on RSTN.

It’s carpe diem time for Chris George and Mike MacDougal.
Jeremy Affeldt & David DeJesus will be at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Zona Rosa shopping center in KC on Saturday.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks have advanced to the Carolina League playoffs. They begin a best of three series against the Potomac Cannons tonight at home. This is their 4th straight season in the playoffs.
Idaho Falls faces elimination in the Pioneer League playoffs after losing to Provo, 14-13, last night.

On the Farm:
For Idaho Falls, Mario Lisson had a big game in a losing effort. He went 4 for 4 with a double, a home run, 6 RBI, and a walk last night.
Billy Butler was 2 for 5 with an RBI.
Alexander Batista went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI.
Brian McFall went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk.
J.P. Howell took the loss, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing 10 runs--4 earned--on 4 hits and 5 walks. He struck out 5.

For Wilmington, Shane Costa went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI on Monday. He finishes the year with a .308 mark.
Shortstop Donnie Murphy went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI and his average is .254.
For Burlington, Chris Lubanski went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI, raising his average to .275.
Bobby Beeson got roughe up in his latest Pioneer League outing, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk in a third of an inning. His ERA stands at 5.47.

Milestones:
Last night was Dee Brown's 250th career game.
The game was Tony Pena's 425th as manager of the Royals, which ties him with Bob Lemon for 6th in franchise history. He also got win #181 as manager which moved him into 8th place on the wins list.
The new top 10 Royals managers by wins:
1. Whitey Herzog – 410
2. Dick Howser – 404
3. Tony Muser – 317
4. John Wathan – 287
5. Hal McRae – 286
6. Jack McKeon – 215
7. Bob Lemon – 207
8. Tony Pena – 181
9. Bob Boone – 181
10. Jim Frey – 127

This Date in Royals History:
September 8, 2002—Mariners 16, Royals 9. Seattle wins on an 8-run 11th inning, tying the AL record for most runs in the 11th. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 2:15 PM

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Eliminated 

Saturday--Twins 4, Royals 3: Terry Tiffee homered in the bottom of the 9th to break a 3-3 tie and eliminate the Royals from post-season contention. KC finally got a few extra base hits, with 4 players collecting doubles. They ended up with 30 consecutive singles, tying the team record. Box Score.

Sunday--Royals 12, Twins 3: With the pressure off, the team came to life. Jimmy Gobble threw a 6-hitter for his first career complete game. Joe Randa had 4 hits, including a home run and David DeJesus homered as well. Box Score.

Monday--Tigers 7, Royals 3: Denny Bautista made his Royals debut, pitching 6 innings and allowing 4 runs on 8 hits. D.J. Carrasco allowed another 3 unearned runs in the 9th, putting the game out of reach. Angel Berroa hit his 6th home run of the year. Box Score.

Brian Anderson faces Nate Robertson tonight at 7:05 in Detroit. The Royals need to win 15 of their final 26 games to avoid losing 100.

Sunday’s September callups were Mike MacDougal, Paul Phillips, Chris George, and Denny Bautista. Ken Harvey was activated from the DL on Sunday as well.
Mike Sweeney should be back in the lineup by mid-month. And Jeremy Affeldt is expected to be available again tonight after getting hit in the shoulder during Sunday’s batting practice.

Rob & Rany on Jimmy Gobble’s 125-pitch complete game.
Allard Baird sees a few bright spots in the Royals’ 2004 season—and some hope for 2005--namely, John Buck, Abraham Nunez, David DeJesus, Mike Wood, Zack Greinke, Mark Teahen, Jaime Cerda, Denny Bautista, Ruben Gotay, and Andres Blanco.
Rany Jazayerli has a few more reasons to keep watching the Royals this year.
Jimmy Serrano is happy to be in a big league bullpen.
The infamous Buster Olney looks at what the last place teams have to play for.
The Arizona Royals’ season has come to an end. First baseman Miguel Vega and right-handed pitcher Russell Begnaud were named to the All-Star Team. Vega led the league in home runs with 10, and Begnaud led the league in strikeouts. Pitcher Angelo Morales led the league in wins, with 6.
And finally, Twins blogger Batgirl advises Royals fans to "Carry On". And yes, she knows the Royals play in Missouri.

On the Farm:
On Sunday, Mark Teahen went 2 for 4 with a solo home run, raising his average at Omaha to .280.
Mike Aviles went 2 for 4 for the Blue Rocks, and hit his 40th double of the season. He’s hitting .300.
For Burlington, Brandon Powell went 2 for 5 with 2 solo homers, and is now hitting .268.
Billy Butler went 3 for 5 with a double, a homer, and 3 RBI for Idaho Falls where his average is .377.
Brian McFall went 2 for 5 with a home run and 2 RBI. He’s batting .367.
Billy Buckner got his 2nd win of the year, pitching 5 innings and allowing 1 run on 8 hits and striking out 8. His ERA is 3.93.

On Saturday, Mitch Maier went 1 for 1, hitting the game-winning 2-run homer in the 9th for Wilmington. He’s hitting .263.
Shane Costa went 2 for 5 and drove in a run, raising his average to .308.
Kahi Kaanoi threw 5 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 3 to drop his ERA to 1.37. In 46 innings this season, he’s allowed 23 hits and 13 walks while striking out 24 batters.
For Burlington, Chris Lubanski went 2 for 4 with an RBI and is hitting .272.
For Idaho Falls, McFall went 3 for 3 with a double and a stolen base.

On Friday, David Kelton went 3 for 3 with a home run and 3 RBI for Omaha. He’s hitting .251.
Costa went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI for Wilmington
Jonah Bayliss improved his record to 6-6 with a strong 7 inning performance. He allowed 1 run on 5 hits and struck out 5. His ERA is 4.89.
Lubanski went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles for the Bees.
Butler went 1 for 1 with a double and 2 RBI for the Chukars.

Milestones:
Monday was Ken Harvey's 250th career game.
Angel Berroa collected his 300th career hit last night.

This Date in Royals History:
September 7, 1971—Amos Otis gets 4 hits and 5 stolen bases in a 4-3 victory over the Brewers. Box Score.
September 7, 1975—Tony Solaita hits 3 home runs and John Mayberry hits 2 as the Royals beat the Angels, 8-7. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 9:13 AM

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Stuck in the Humpdome 

Twins 2, Royals 0: This one looks closer than it was. KC was held to 2 hits on the game, including 6 innings of no-hit baseball by Johan Santana. Santana struck out 11 batters in 7 innings. Once again, the Royals went without an extra base hits, bringing their streak to 29 straight singles, one shy of the team record. Darrell May took the tough-luck loss, allowing just 2 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings, both runs coming on solo home runs in the 6th inning. Shawn Camp threw two scoreless innings in relief. Box Score.

Mike Wood faces Carlos Silva in an 11:10 game today. Because of the University of Minnesota football game scheduled to be played tonight in the Metrodome, no inning will start after 2:30 PM. If the game runs long, it will be postponed and finished before tomorrow’s game. A loss in either game would mathematically eliminate the Royals from post-season contention.

Dee Brown returned from the DL before last night’s game. And as rumored, Denny Bautista will join the rotation on Monday, making it a 6-man starting corps for September.

It has now been 41 innings since the Royals last scored in the Metrodome.

On the Farm:
On Thursday, Mark Teahen went 2 for 5 with an RBI for Omaha, where he’s hitting .280.
Dusty Hughes threw 5 scoreless innings for Wilmington, allowing 3 hits and striking out 3. His ERA is 2.41.
For Idaho Falls, Billy Butler “only” went 1 for 3 with 2 walks. His average dropped to .373.
Brian McFall went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and hit his 13th homer of the season. He’s hitting .359.
Bobby Beeson got his 2nd win of the year, pitching 5 scoreless innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks and striking out 8. His ERA is 4.99.

This Date in Royals History:
September 4, 2002—Oakland 12, Royals 11. The A’s set an AL record by winning their 20th consecutive game. Oakland blows an 11-0 lead, but then wins in the 9th.

Enjoy the weekend! My next post will be on Tuesday.

// posted by Harley @ 9:04 AM

Friday, September 03, 2004

Off to the Metrodome 

Darrell May goes for double digits tonight in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, he’ll be pitching against Twins ace Johan Santana, who has a pretty strong case for the AL Cy Young Award. We’ll see how the boys in blue do, starting at 7:05 on RSTN.

No real news on who the September callups will be. Mike MacDougal, Denny Bautista, Andres Blanco, Chris George, and Paul Phillips are all likely candidates. None of them are expected to be promoted before Monday.
David Glass looks ahead to 2005. Sounds like Allard Baird's and Tony Pena's jobs are secure.

On the Farm:
On Wednesday, Mark Teahen went 3 for 3 with a double and a walk for Omaha to up his average to .278.
For Wilmington, Donnie Murphy went 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 3 RBI. He also walked and his average is now .256.
Chris Lubanski went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a walk for Burlington, where he’s hitting .269.
The Idaho Falls duo of Butler and McFall continues to pound away. Billy Butler went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and a walk and is hitting .374.
Brian McFall went 3 for 5 with a double, a home run, and 3 RBI. He’s hitting .356.

From the Backs of Bubble Gum Cards:
"Bobby’s hobby is hypnotism."
1974 Topps #41 Bobby Floyd

// posted by Harley @ 8:56 AM

Thursday, September 02, 2004

16 to Go 

Royals 1, Tigers 0: Zack Greinke threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 3 singles, no walks, and striking out 5. He mixed his pitches well, going to the extremes with a 95-mph fastball and a 50-mph curve. Greinke’s 7 wins this year are the most by a Royals rookie since Jose Rosado in 1996. Jeremy Affeldt worked a perfect ninth, striking out two for his 9th save of the year and first since coming off the DL. KC’s only run came on an RBI single by Abraham Nunez. Since Calvin Pickering’s home run on Monday, the Royals have hit 27 straight singles without an extra base hit. Box Score.

The Royals are off tonight, and start a 3-game series in Minnesota tomorrow night. With 30 games remaining, we need 16 wins to avoid the 100-loss mark.

This was the Zack Greinke we’ve been waiting for.
Desi Relaford’s been playing better since he traded uniform numbers with Matt Stairs.
Chris Lubanski reflects on his first full pro season in his MLB.com journal.
Baseball Prospectus looks at the Calvin Pickerings in KC’s past. (scroll down) And the Royals get a "D" in the latest Critical Guide.
SBC Yahoo DSL is giving away 10 game suite tickets for the October 2nd game against Chicago. Just fill out the entry form for a chance to win. Oh, and if you can tell the Royals how Hispanic Americans have contributed to the game, you can win 2 tickets to the September 29th game and a chance to throw out the first pitch.

On the Farm:
On Tuesday, Chad Santos went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI for Wichita. He’s hitting .264.
Colt Griffin got his first Texas Leauge win, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out 2. His ERA is 4.03.
For Wilmington, Mitch Maier went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base. He’s hitting .266.
For Burlington, Kila Kaaihue went 2 for 4 with a home run and an RBI. He’s hitting .243.
In Idaho Falls, Billy Butler continues to excel. He went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI and is hitting .372.
Brian McFall isn’t far behind. He went 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI, and 3 stolen bases, raising his average to .351.
Billy Buckner pitched 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, walking 1 and striking out 4. His ERA is 4.30.

Milestones:
Jeremy Affeldt recorded career save #13 last night, moving him into a tie with Moe Drabowsky for 16th place on the franchise list.
Last night was Tony Pena‘s 420th as manager of the Royals, moving him into a tie with Jack McKeon for 7th place in franchise history. The new top 10:
Games Managed
1.Dick Howser – 770
2.Tony Muser -- 748
3.Whitey Herzog – 714
4.Hal McRae – 563
5.John Wathan – 557
6.Bob Lemon – 425
7.Tony Pena – 420
Jack McKeon – 420
9.Bob Boone – 387
10. Jim Frey – 232

This Date in Royals History:
September 2, 1971—Ron Theobold throws a complete game one-hitter, but the Royals lose to the Brewers, 1-0. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 9:20 AM

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Ok, Where Were We? 

The past week’s scores:
August 23rd--Angels 9, Royals 4
August 24th--Angels 7, Royals 5
Wednesday--Angels 21, Royals 6
Thursday—Royals 7, Mariners 3
Friday—Mariners 7, Royals 5
Saturday, Game 1—Mariners 9, Royals 7
Saturday, Game 2--Mariners 5, Royals 3
Sunday--Mariners 5, Royals 4
Monday--Tigers 9, Royals 1
Tuesday--Royals 9, Tigers 8
Hmmm, a good week for me to be away from baseball…

Zack Greinke tries to give the Royals a series win tonight against Mike Maroth and the Detroit Tigers in a 7:10 game.

Jimmy Gobble rejoined the team on Sunday, with Scott Sullivan going on the DL. Mike Sweeney went on the disabled list on Tuesday, with Alexis Gomez taking his roster spot.
With one month to go, the Royals are on pace to lose 106 games, shattering the franchise record of 100 losses. A 17-14 record over the final 31 games would result in a 63-99 record. We’re already assured of our 9th losing record in the past 10 years.

Rob & Rany on the Royals’ inability to develop young pitchers. And Rany had a few more words to add for the Topeka Capital-Journal.
You may see a 6-man rotation for September: May, Anderson, Greinke, Wood, Gobble, and Bautista.
Abraham Nunez is thriving with regular playing time.
Why is Angel Berroa making so many errors?
Runelvys Hernandez is inching closer to returning.
The Stats Guy turns his critical eye to him who makes the spheroid fly—Calvin Pickering.

Milestones:
Dennys Reyes pitched in his 300th career game.
Joe Randa hit his 100th career home run. He also moved past Freddie Patek into 8th place on the frachise hits list and moved past Carlos Beltran into 7th on the all-time RBI list. The new top tens:
Hits
1. George Brett – 3154
2. Frank White -- 2006
3. Amos Otis – 1977
4. Willie Wilson -- 1968
5. Hal McRae – 1924
6. Mike Sweeney – 1132
7. Joe Randa – 1049
8. Freddie Patek – 1036
9. Carlos Beltran – 899
10. Johnny Damon -- 894

RBI
1. George Brett – 1595
2. Hal McRae – 1012
3. Amos Otis – 992
4. Frank White -- 886
5. Mike Sweeney – 683
6. John Mayberry – 552
7. Joe Randa – 518
8. Carlos Beltran – 516
9. Willie Wilson – 509
10. Danny Tartabull -- 425

Trivia: (Answer in comments)
What current member of the Royals made his major league debut 24 years ago today? An 18-year veteran, he had his best season in 1983, when he hit .301 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI. A 4-time gold glover and 5-time All-Star, he was also an October hero, hitting .338 with one big home run in 29 post-season games.

// posted by Harley @ 12:15 PM