Thanks to their first classic loss of the 2007 season, the Royals are suddenly 2-4 and losers of four of five. This was the first moment of 2007 that really stripped away that first layer of optimism covering everything. I'd say there are about three more left, and at the point at which Meche strings together two more bad starts we'll lose another. So in a week, expect to be hanging by a thread or counting down to Chiefs camp.
After scoring seven runs on Opening Day the Royals have gone 1, 1, 3, 5, 2. The Royals have scored three fewer runs than the Indians... and the Tribe have still only played three games. Of course, considering the cold weather and the pitchers they've faced -- to say nothing of the small sample size -- there is no reason to panic yet. But that doesn't mean I'm not panicking.
Jim Leyland's old-school brand of wisdom and grit directly led to the Tigers winning in KC. Interestingly, it had nothing to do with the Tigers losing on Friday.
Its been a weird offense this first week. Jason LaRue leads the team in stolen bases while Alex Gordon has struck out eight times. The number 2 hitter, Grudz, has been throwing down 4 or even 5 outs a game, ditto for Gordon in the 5-slot, and Sweeney/Shealy. Only two players on the team have drawn more than one walk (Teahen and DeJesus). My prediction that Tony Pena Jr would last the weekend before his second walk drawn has stood up. Shealy walked in the first inning of Opening Day, and hasn't done so since either. That being said, its hard to imagine Pena having a much better week than he's had to begin the season, and the Royals have basically squandered it.
To be sure, there'll be a fair amount of teeth-knashing about Riske's blown save this afternoon, but considering the context I'm relatively at peace with the result as a small scale failure which can be controlled. Soria and Peralta have been damn good, and theres the possibility of Dotel's theoretical return at some point to provide the prospect of a brighter day. The fact that the 4th best (maybe) guy out of the bullpen for a 70 win team gave up three runs to the core of the Tiger lineup just isn't the end of the world to me. If anything, its just another data point on the unimportance of prior experience in forming a mythical closer.
And yes, there's a tear to be shed for Brandon Duckworth, but his stats still count, and theres no more beloved figure in this game than the "tough luck" pitcher.