And just like that, the Royals are looking to avoid an ignominious four-game sweep in Detroit. Last night, the Royals played their worst game in weeks, laying down to Justin Verlander and the Tigers 6-0. If you're charting at home thats two close losses featuring blown leads, followed by a non-effort/whitewashing.
Buddy Bell continues his lineup madness, unable to decide if DeJesus is a leadoff man or a #3 hitter. Since he's the team's only good hitter (other than the random moments of hotness from Teahen/Buck, and the days he lets German play) its a superficially important issue. In a situation where there's not really a wrong choice, Bell's seemingly causeless decision-making managed to make the situation look silly. David went 0-4 yesterday in the #3 slot, so I guess we'll see him back in leadoff today.
Lost in the month we spent feeling good about ourselves was the fact that the Royals are essentially without peers in the American League, still 8 wins behind the Devil Rays as the worst team in the League. Sure, the Pirates have only 32 wins, but unfortunately we won't be playing the Pirates anymore. Interesting fact: the Royals are 12-25 in the division, the Twins are 11-21.
Say what you want about Ryan/Gardenhire, but no one's been able to get less out of more in the last three years.
Today its Self-Appointed Team Effort Inspector Scott Elarton (3-9, 5.38 ERA) and his 49 walks/47 Ks stat line carrying our hopes. Elarton hasn't pitched a truly good game since June 16th in Houston (6.0 IP 2ER), and his 7.84 ERA in July has been something of a downer. Perhaps its a little harder to melt down on your teammates when you've got that kind of ERA behind your name.
The Tigers counter with Zach Miner (6-1, 2.57 ERA) who's walked only 13 men in 7 starts this season. Time for the Royals to make us believe they can win 63 games again.