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Sowing the Seeds of Love

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($1 Tears for Fears Royalties Fund)

Last night, before 12,000 delirious fans at the K, the Royals cruised to one of their weirdest wins of the 2006 season. The Angels made four errors and walked eight Royals. Eight. As many stunned observers noted at the time, Angel Berroa drew two walks. Hello 33-62, thats twenty-nine games under .500 for those who wanna know.

Angel Berroa has only drawn 10 walks all season, and two came last night. Angel drew 18 walks in 2005 and 23 in 2004. Needless to say, the man doesn't show alot of patience at the plate, and he's getting worse, considering his career high in walks is still from his rookie year (29). Angel hadn't drawn two walks in a game in over two years, dating back to July 16th, 2004 against the Twins, 12-3 Royal victory.

Of course, in a game the Royals were handed, the dominant story post-game was... was... the Royals speed.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals feel their speed can force opponents to make mistakes. Thursday night's 9-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels was a great example.

The Angels committed three of their four errors in the sixth inning when the Royals broke open a 4-all tie.

"We have guys on the team that are fast, like me, David and Mark," center fielder Joey Gathright said of himself, David DeJesus and Mark Grudzielanek. "I try to make teams nervous when I go up to hit."

It worked in the decisive sixth.

I think this is tad overstated. But this is how the mythology builds, speed causes errors and creates just oodles and oodles of runs. When the other team makes errors sure, its their fault, unless those errors are speed-caused.

Shouldn't the lead have been that the Royals were walked eight times? As "Berroa is the devil" has pointed out in the diaries, when the Royals walk, they win. Amidst all the glee from last night's win, here's what still kills me: do you think Angel Berroa will have a different approach tonight at the plate? Are you kidding? Of course he won't.

Beyond the offensive outburst, the Royals did enough to endure on the mound. Jimmy Gobble wasn't particularly effective (4.0 IP 4 ER) but he also didn't torpedo the game. This is essentially the standard that Jimmy Gobble should be held to, and I'm sticking to it. The real hero, as "loyal2theroyals" Boyfriend of the Day Diary was Elmer Dessens. Everyday Elmer was left out there for three innings, and allowed just one hit to an Angels team that looked confused and disinterested at the plate in the latter innings. Elmer lowered his season ERA to 4.58 for his trouble, and should have some decent trade value as we approach the deadline.

Heck, even Burgos mixed two shutout innings in, his first such outing since May 18th against the Tribe.

Finally, before last night's game, the Angels had a 32% chance of winning the AL West according to BP's Playoff Odds Report (one of my favorite things on the web). After falling to the Royals last night, those odds sit at 28.7% chance of winning the West and a tenth of a percent chance of winning the Wild Card (1 in a 1000). For the curious, the Royals have had ZERO chance of winning the division or taking the Wild Card since late May, which is fairly impressive, considering they sim the season One Million times. Right now, teams like the Orioles, Indians, Marlins, Nationals and even the Cubs and Pirates all have statistical chances of making the playoffs. If you sim the rest of the season one million times using today's data, the Pirates win the NL Central 248 times out of those million seasons.