Well that was certainly weird. Thanks to a 10-8 win this afternoon, the Royals completed a three-game sweep of slumping Cleveland before a rather large (24,471) crowd at the K. It was quite the raucous mid-season sweep of the Yankees last season that ushered in the Buddisimo era, but it was close. Twenty-four K is impressive for a day game...
The Royals swept the Tribe, despite the overall closeness of the series, a break here or there and the Indians might have swept this series themselves. For Cleveland, the results have to be crushing, even granting that we're still weeks from Memorial Day, with a Chicago win tonight the Tribe fall 8 games back. Allowing 24 runs in three games to the Royals is almost unthinkable. The Royals have scored fewer runs on 10 game road-trips before, much less in just three games against a supposedly good pitching staff.
The Royals pounded out 12 hits, mixing in more power than usual, with 3 doubles (Brown, Stairs, Graffy), a triple (K-Rob) and two homers (Guiel, Berroa). The two homers came in the same inning, and just minutes after the Indians had tied the game off a worn-down Burgos in the top of the 8th. You just don't expect things like that to happen, but here was the case when they did.
Meanwhile, the pitching fell back to Earth, although beyond Andrade everyone was fairly adequate. Elarton won't write a blog entry tonight about his 6.0 IP, 7H, 5ER line, but at least he made it through 6, which gave the Gobble/Wood duo a day off. Thanks to the 8th inning meltdown, Burgos vultured the win from Tall Scott, but to be honest I don't quite care.
Getting to 10 wins makes that record look a whole lot better. Rather than being a pathetic failure, you might pass as a mediocre team thats struggled a bit. In fact, our Royals are now two games ahead of the Marlins in the Worst Team Standings and tied with Pittsburgh.
And finally, your Dougie Mientkiewicz Positional Rankings Update (min 5 PAs):
VORP: -3.1 (36th among first basemen)
OBP: 28th (take that Kevin Millar!!)
SLG: 34th (amazingly, ahead of Richie Sexon)
Percentage of His Team's At Bats: 9.7%, 15th highest among 1Bs
Seems like a good allocation of resources to me.
PA % is a bit of a junk stat, as theres nothing really gained by converting total PAs into a percentage of the team total, but it does lay bare who's getting the most playing time. Here's the Royals breakdown (note, today's game not included):
1) Grudz 10.5% (118 PAs)
2) Emil 10.4% (116)
3) Berroa 10.2% (112)
4)Dougie! 9.7% (109)
5) Sanders 8% (90)
6) Teahen 7.4% (83) thankfully this should start dropping
6t) Sweeney 7.4% (83) no comment
8) Buck 6.3% (71)
9) Costa 5.6% (63)
10) Graffy 5.2% (58)
You get the idea. At least we've advanced past the Pena-era, which would have seen Berroa at the top of this list. Still, its no good having Sweeney down so low, and DeJesus barely on the radar (2.3%).