Saturday, June 02, 2007

Behold, indeed.

The subject of an e-mail my mom sent me this morning was "Behold!"

The body of the e-mail read simply "...the power of RSTN!"

On Wednesday I posted some research regarding the Royals' performance when their games are televised. My cousin, who works for the Royals, sent that information to the VP of RSTN. His response was, "That's good for us, then! We have 25 of the next 28 on RSTN."

So expect more of last night's play. Who would have thought that such good things happen when your starter doesn't walk anybody in eight innings?

I've mentioned how much I like watching Brian Bannister pitch before. I thoroughly enjoyed games that he started in Omaha; he always looked calm and professional, worked quickly, and mowed over pretty much everyone he faced. He was one of the offseason acquisitions about whom I was most excited. His previous big-league starts weren't horrible by any means, but I knew he could do tons better, so I was pumped to see him in his finest form last night against a team that (for some reason only God knows) we haven't been able to beat in quite a while.

For me, the best moment in this game -- aside from the more-rare-than-a-blue-moon Mike Sweeney triple in the 2nd inning -- was when Delmon Young popped out to Mark Grudzielanek in the 8th. On Bannister's previous pitch, Young had popped up in foul territory. It looked like Ryan Shealy was going to be able to make the play, as the ball stayed in play, but at the last minute he lost it in the ceiling. At that point it would have been easy for a young pitcher to lose it a little bit, to fall apart and then point fingers at his defense. Instead he forced another popup, got the out, and finished the inning by forcing a ground ball from Akinori Iwamura. That, in the words of the General Motor Company, is professional grade.

The 2nd inning was just excellent baseball on Kansas City's part. Scott Kazmir is an awfully good pitcher, and as Bob and Splitt pointed out, KC's offensive outburst in that inning wasn't entirely Kazmir's fault -- he did strike out two and force a groundout in the inning. But the Royals ran the bases aggressively and took advantage of every possible mistake, yielding three runs and a heap of confidence. That's what the 17 Royals fans left in the country need to see, after a week of watching their team lying down feebly and yielding run after run after run without answering with any offense. (And yes, there are precisely 17 good, loyal fans. I counted.)

UPDATE: My favorite person on the O-Royals' roster, Matt Wright, was named the Royals player of the day. His last two starts have been fantastic, but the offense wasn't there for him last Saturday. But they came through with four runs against Tacoma. From the article to which I linked:
His strong outing Thursday raised his record to 3-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.10 in 49 1/3 innings. Wright, a 21st round pick of the Braves in 2000, is pitching his first season in the Royals' organization.

I, for one, am glad he's on board with us.

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