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Game 29 Open Thread- Angels (16-12) at Royals (9-19)

I've always, perhaps unnecessarily, felt that there was a huge difference between a 2-2 split and a 1-3/3-1 series outcome. From the Angels perspective, this must, however wrongly, seem even larger. About 15 hours ago they were very close to taking the third game, with a 4 game sweep in sight. Now, they might leave KC with a split.

Of course, they're also facing a fairly hot Gil Meche (2-1, 2.18 ERA, 3.48 RA), making the task even more daunting.

And now, the obligatory quotation of the inexorably nonsensical Bell quote:

The right-hander allowed no earned runs and 10 hits over six innings while striking out five in an 8-3 win over Seattle - his former team - on Saturday.

"In terms of getting after it and doing what was needed it was probably his best grittiness all year," Royals manager Buddy Bell said.

Translation Attempt: Despite the multiple evocations of his not allowing an earned run, Meche wasn't that sharp. But we gave him a 6-0 lead, so we were able to just let him slog through a fairly miserable two hours. No, it wasn't his grittiest outing, it was his best grittiness.

Meche has been giving up singles and doubles like crazy (opponents are hitting .325 on balls-in-play against him), but he's keeping the walks down and avoiding homers, so... its all working. His VORP of 10.6 is good for 8th best in the AL, somewhere between Curt Schilling and Mark Buehrle, fairly nice company for "55".

Lineup, courtesy of the official Royals blog:


The Butler callup should really aide Bell in his quest to field the greatest number of lineups and batting orders humanly possible. The Royals have used 26 lineups and 28 (!) batting orders through 29 games.

Does Bell have an artistic or creative side we didn't know about? I love it!