Before we jump into this afternoon's preview, let's recap some of yesterday's game stats:14: Number walks issued by Royals pitchers (tying team all-time record)
34: Number of walks issued by Royals pitchers in the last three games
0: Number of walks issued by Carlos Silva in last night's game
1: Number of ejections (Paul Bako, fifth inning)
0: Number of hits by Mark Grudzielanek, ending his 11-game hitting streak
All contributing to our embarassing 14-3 loss. I'm going to have to agree with everyone's comments-- at least our Friday night loss inspired glimmers of hope at various moments. Last night was just plain painful.Now onto this afternoon's game, where we will be trying to avoid being swept by the Twins at home. This will be made more difficult, of course, by the Twins' keen awareness that they are still a game-and-a-half behind in the wildcard race.
The Royals will be sending Odalis Perez (4-4, 6.68 ERA) to the mound. This will be his second game in a Royals uniform after his efforts last Tuesday against the White Sox. The Twins are countering with Mike Smith (0-0). This will be Smith's first major-league game since 2002. The Twins recently selected Smith's contract from Triple-A Rochester, where he was 9-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 23 games.