So my hurt ankle -- sprained two weeks ago tomorrow -- is not healing quite as quickly as I had hoped. I went to a doctor yesterday, and he wasn't the nicest person ever and I will not share those stories here, but he did recommend physical therapy. He also recommended that I start said PT as soon as I possibly could, so I called the PT clinic right away and scheduled an appointment for today, right after lunch.
What I totally forgot at that point was that the Royals played at 11:05 this morning in their series finale at Jacobs Field.
Silly me...why would I schedule an appointment for myself during a game?!? However, I am a woman of my word, so in the middle of the 6th, I hobbled out to my car. Sadly, AM stations around here don't carry day games, but I can kind of pick up WHB out of Kansas City. I could hear more static than voices, but I stuck with it through the whole drive as the Royals struggled to mount up some offense. Once I got to my appointment, I missed the top of the 7th through the middle of the 8th. But my therapist had a TV on hand, so I got to watch the game while they iced my ankle.
That, unfortunately, meant that I had to see the bottom of the 8th, in which Cleveland scored five runs against an unusually sloppy Kansas City defense. I honestly thought we had a shot at ending the inning when Mark Teahen caught a fly ball and ten threw to home (in pursuit of his 10th outfield assist of the season), but John Buck dropped the ball, and Cleveland went on to score and score and score again. Joey Gathright also misplayed a ball after that, allowing another run, but by that point I had given up most of my hope. (Yes, even I have a finite quantity of hope.)
I was surprised at Zack Greinke's lack of poise throughout that inning. After Tony Pena, Jr. misplayed a potential double play grounder, Greinke did not show his usual stone-faced command that would normally allow him to bounce back from something like that. Does that come from the difference in day-to-day preparation that came with his move to the bullpen?
It was frustrating to watch, given that KC went on to score two runs in the 9th. But I did see some positives in the game, namely Gathright and Alex Gordon. Gordon had not ever had more than two hits in a big-league game, but had four hits and was a homer short of the cycle today. Gathright continued to prove that his callup was a good idea, contributing three hits and stealing a base.
I greeted the news of Gathright's callup with mixed emotions. Firstly, I am happy for him. He worked incredibly hard in Omaha on all facets of his game, and has shown improvement in every area so far in this stint in the majors: he's five-for-seven so far at the plate and has two steals. His defense isn't legendary, but he certainly gets the job done. I really am glad to see him succeed, but I will miss seeing him upon my return to work! The man has a smile that could cheer up four impoverished African villages, and as I've mentioned before is a great hit with fans.
But if he continues to do this well, then Kansas City is once again faced with the conundrum of having up to 7 available outfielders (Teahen, David DeJesus, Emil Brown, Gathright, Shane Costa, or even Esteban German, plus Reggie Sanders when he returns from the DL) but only three positions out there. Brown can serve as the DH when Mike Sweeney has the day off, but what when Sweeney is in the lineup? Brown's defense is sub-par, but his bat is much more noisy when he does get regular playing time. So to bench him too often means silencing his bat, but to play him too often in left field could be detrimental to our defense. Costa is once again in a position where he might be better off back in AAA, where he'd get regular playing time again, unless he likes big-leauge bench time. (He doesn't.)
- On a completely unrelated note (because I love those so much):
Today after PT, I decided that I really wanted a cold 12-pack of Dr Pepper from Quik Trip. But when I got there, I could not find any 12-packs in the refrigerated section, and I was momentarily sad. Then I saw a sign that advertised 24-packs on sale for $5.99. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me, so I grabbed the last case and hobbled with it to the counter. The angel at the counter* informed me that he had a coupon I could use to save an additional dollar. So I basically got 24 cans for a bit over the price of 12. My day is complete!
*People don't work at QT. Only angels do.
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