The Royals suffered another stomach-punch loss last night, pathetically losing 2-1 to the Orioles in Baltimore. Amazingly, Paul Bako played a major role the victory, lacing a two-out double in the 7th that tied the score 1-1. Somewhat lost in the shuffle is a nice six inning outing from Meche, who scattered seven hits and a walk well enough to escape having allowed no runs. Thankfully, since we're all pawns in a larger Meche Culture War, I don't have to worry about giving him proper credit, as evinced by the headline over at KC Royals.com. As we know, every Meche-outing is going to be like this for awhile.
Ultimately however, as almost everyone pointed out last night, the game hinged on Buddisimo's decision to remove Meche after six innings, sending Gobble to the mound to begin the 7th. While Meche may have been "stellar", he'd also already thrown 91 pitches, allowing baserunners in nearly every inning. The decision to goto the 'pen was a defensible one, although it finally played a direct role in the Royals losing the game. Not only did Gobble get pounded -- only a dumb baserunning decision by Gibbons/his coach prevented a bigger inning -- but by the 10th inning the Royals were out of pitchers, leaving the game in the hands of probably the
fourth or fifth sixth or seventh best guy out of the bullpen, Jason Standridge.
Predictably, Standridge set off a double-bunt-walk-walk-fielder's choice-single sequence that ended the game.
In Bell's defense, he did not hesitate to use his two best relievers in a tie game, using Peralta and Soria in the 8th and 9th. Honestly, I can't see much blame laying at the feet of Bell for this game, at least in his handling of the pitching staff.
What continues to be a problem however is the offense, which somehow only managed a single run against a fifty five year old Steve Trachsel and a team of Oriole relievers. The Royals, as a team, produced just five singles, a double and a walk over 10 innings. Gordon and Teahen, the only two guys in the lineup who've been hitting at all both went 0fer, while Sweeney produced five outs in just four at bats.
And yes, the Alex Gordon situation is becoming a problem. He's hitting .091/.167/.182 with 13 strikeouts and 0 walks. I thought we just had one Reggie Sanders?
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