So what bad pitching decision are we going to make tonight?
Brian Bannister (12-9, 3.61 ERA) will make his final start of the season tonight, as the Royals will spare him of one additional start this weekend. While this is a good decision, there's also reason to believe its about a week late:
2004. 154 IP
2005. 154.1 IP
2006. 80 IP
2007. 186 IP
Noting that Banny also made four starts in Omaha this season, we can see that he's thrown 100 more innings in 2007 than he did in 2006. While there is no exact science to these things, generally, an uptick in 30 innings from one year to the next moves a player into injury risk. If last night's game is any indication, Buddy will do everything in his power to get Brian one last "W" for his stat column -- who does this make a stat-lobing geek, by the way? -- and with any success Bannister should get his fair share of work.
Honestly, I can't find a better story from the '07 KC season than Bannister's performance. He comes off as intelligent, humble and genuine in interviews, and no one really saw this coming. I'd really hate for it to have an unhappy inning.
Ask any doctor, arms are not designed to throw baseballs. "Building arm strength" should not be a concern, as the issue here is not muscles anyway, but joints, ligaments and bones, which don't really get stronger or weaker the way muscle tissue does...
The Royals will square off against Jose Contreras (10-16, 5.16 ERA) who absolutely slapped them down last week.
Long live the Hackfest!!