Well, the Royals have started losing again, dropping a quick three of four games since the All-Star break, albeit against two quality opponents. Still, through 92 games last season the Royals were 32-60, so, by the low-standards we're used to, life is still fantastic. The less said about last night's game the better: only allowing four runs in Fenway is a solid night's work from the pitching staff, but unfortunately the offense continued its downward spiral. Unfortunately, it seems we're amidst another offensive malaise, the second or third bad stretch of the campaign. Ahh, the glories of a singles-based attack!
Sadly, I'm less than enthused about replacing Gathright with Reggie Sanders as well.
Tonight, the Royals hand the ball to Leo Nunez (6.99 career ERA) for his first big-league start. I guess an AL lineup is going to be tough no matter what, but it always seems like the Royals end up throwing green starters against the Red Sox or Yankees, usually on the road. Fortunately, every fanbase believes the old baseball saw about "our lineup never does well against guys they've never seen before" whether or not its actually true.
The Red Sox counter with Tim Wakefield (10-8, 4.47 ERA), who has quietly moved into the "quietly old as hell/long in the tooth" portion of his career. For the time being, I'll avoid speculation as to how the Royals will handle the knuckler: success or failure against Wakefield usually has more to do with his fingers than whatever the hitters do.
With 161 career victories, Wakefield ranks 13th amongst active pitchers.