Like an ocean abyss, we're not quite sure how far down the bottom is, or what strange creatures live there. How do you survive in an environment perenially dark and cold? How do you find food in a murky sludge more mud than water? Do we regard the poor creatures suited to live in lightless water caves as reflecting the brillance and variety of life, or simply as those damned souls condemned to hell?
Which brings us to the Royals. Thats 10 straight losses, and a winless roadie (0-3 in NY, Tampa and Chicago) for your memory banks, and another week as the worst team in baseball. The Royals have made losing a fashion, proving themselves deft at never timing their performance in sync to the demands of outscoring the other team. Swinging the bat well? Better make sure the pitching is physically incapable of allowing less than 9 runs. Back to back strong starts by Elarton and Affeldt? How about nearly getting no-hit as the offense completely implodes.
Here's all you need to know about this series: The Royals managed fewer hits in Chicago (11) than the White Sox had runs (17).
Where's the competence I was promised?
Of course, something must be said for the opposition, plainly, good pitching has something to do with things. But then again, what would bad pitching look like against this team? Two runs and a season high 3 or 4 walks? The mind blanks, really.
Still, Minky's clutch no-hitter breaking-up single only serves to reinforce the false necessity with which the Royals view him. Buddisimo Bell probably loses sleep considering whether or not Minky is a 2, 3, or 4 hitter.
A mild tip of the cap to Scott Elarton, but not without its qualifications. One, its his job to pitch well, so lets not make him a Saint simply because he's the rare Royal who -- ohh whats the word -- is competent. Frankly, the goings-on of the offense are none of his business. Secondly, he was hardly late-90s Pedro today, his meltdown in the 5th effectively ended the game, and, in a larger sense, I'm not starting a hunger strike because a guy with a 4.07 ERA is 0-4.
Guess what, thats the deal when you're a league average innings eater pitching for a bad team. Then again, many may be upset that the lack of run support is hurting Elarton's pursuit of 300 wins (only 250 more to go), and with that sentiment I can sympathize.