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Game 118 Open Thread- Royals (41-76) at Indians (52-64)

Another two games against the Indians, another two one-run losses. Considering that the Indians have been one of the unluckiest teams in baseball through the first 80 games (after which they've simply seemed to have given up) maybe this is all a case of cosmic realignment or something. Plus, in the second game of the doubleheader yesterday, the Royals didn't lose the lead in the 9th, thank you very much they lost it in the 8th.

There's quite the argument concerning Bell raging in the comments, and "JQ" has posted a diary , with a poll, that you simply must vote in. "Jbrocato" has defended Bell mostly... (I've disliked Bell for so long I haven't even thought about the reasons why very much, so its good to see the other side) but "JQ" also offers a "tepid defense", the conclusion of which states:

So Buddy does not seem to do his job very well, but I also do not think he is doing it as badly as some seem to think. How well would I perform in a job as a national punching bag day in and day out? What I think Buddy does well falls into those areas we all hate to talk about, intangibles. Buddy lets the team know at least once a week that he is damn unhappy with someone's performance or the officiating. People in KC know that Buddy really gives a damn if the team wins once the first pitch is thrown. During the Angels series, when Buddy came out to argue balls and strikes to save Grudz from getting tossed, and he started throwing his arms around and taking his time getting off the field, the crowd loved that and we have so little to cheer about. It was nice seeing 25,000 people joined in the feeling, "Let's not take this loosing laying down!" I think Buddy does that part of his job pretty well. And when you have a team as bad as the Royals, it's nice to get your blood pumping every now and again as your team staggers its way through yet another season of disappointments and heartbreak. I don't think Buddy ever has let the losses cause the Royals community to settle into apathy. I think that has happened in Baltimore, Pittsburg and Texas. Better teams than the Royals, but I sure wouldn't want to be cursed with living in those coverage areas.

I'd still be surprised if Moore doesn't fire Bell in the offseason, but I wouldn't be stunned.

As for today's game, the Royals send one of the few recent bright spots out of the rotation to the hill, Luuuuuuke Hudson (5-3, 4.65 ERA). Hudson is 3-0 with a 3.98 ERA since the All-Star Break... The Indians counter with vaguely highly touted Jeremy Sowers (3-3, 3.93 ERA) who seems to be something of their version of Greinke or Gobble even (depending on what you think Greinke's potential is): a modest K guy who limits everything else and seems to have good control.

It should be an thrilling game, and I lament that a national audience won't be able to see it. Hopefully the Royals can avoid the sweep and inch closer to an awesome 103-loss pace.