Win number 41 was both thoroughly enjoyable and totally unexpected. The Royals are still just one game behind the White Sox in the win column, and exactly as far behind the Yankees as the Yankees are behind the Red Sox. Call it powers of seven. (Not to be confused with the educational classic, Powers of Ten.)
Odie put in a typical Odie effort (5 innings, 5 runs allowed, could have been much worse), which amazingly stood up thanks to four scoreless innings from the bullpen. While Soria and Dotel combined for the final bit of glory, whats been somewhat overlooked is David Risk's comeback:
Riske by the Month:
April: 10.1 IP, 6.97 ERA
May: 13.1 IP, 0.00 ERA
June: 12.2 IP, 1.42 ERA
July: 7.1 IP, 2.45 ERA
(Did anyone else not notice that Riske was perfecto in May?)
With his season ERA now at 2.47, he's as low as he's been since 2003. Not bad for a guy who seemed like an instant rally-starter in April.
Leo Nunez, we hardly knew ye. Nunez has been sent back to Omaha, while Ryan Braun has been brought back up. Nunez's quick re-demotion, I wonder what would have happened if he hadn't taken a shutout into the 5th inning. Wearing a Chukar uniform? Braun's part of the new breed of Royal short-inning workers that can actually strike guys out, getting a K an inning this season at Omaha. Even if Dotel and Riske get flipped, we're starting to build something resembling depth. (Braun pitching splits at Omaha, here.)
-Clark at Royals Authority discusses the murky situation the Royals have at first base. Worth reading. So rough that Shealy isn't the cheap and easy source of pop that we all thought he'd be. "KCBOYATHEART"'s idea of next year's roster solves that problem by bringing in RR favorite Adam Dunn.