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The Royals shake their fists at the fates, crushing the Rangers 12-3

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The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune put one between the Royals proverbial eyes on Thursday, as hip surgery put Alex Gordon, possibly the Royals best hitter on the DL for 10 weeks.  But under the cruel bludgeonings of chance, the Royals collective head was bloody but unbowed.  And now they sit alone in first place.

What went right:

  • Mark Teahen - 5 for 6 with a HR, double, 3 singles and 3 runs scored
  • Mike Jacobs - 2 for 6 with a HR, double and 4 RBI
  • Coco Crisp - 1 for 3 with a HR, 3 RBI and 2 walks
  • Alberto Callaspo - 3 for 4 plus a walk and two very impressive plays on defense
  • John Buck - 2 for 4, 2 runs scored and a walk
  • Billy Butler - 2 for 5 plus a walk
  • Willie Bloomquist - 2 for 3 plus a walk
  • Mike Aviles - 2 for 6 and 2 RBI
  • Gil Meche - 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K (2.25 ERA)
  • Jamey Wright - 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (0.00 ERA)
What went wrong:
  • David DeJesus - 0 for 5 plus a walk
  • Doug Waecther - 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 HR
  • Horacio Ramirez - 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 HR
The good news that is bad news:

Willie Bloomquist's nice day at the plate means he's going to get a good deal of playing time with Gordon on the DL and Teahen as the everyday first baseman.
“I’m going to run him [Maier] out there on occasion,” manager Trey Hillman said. “But with the at-bats that Willie (Bloomquist) had tonight, I don’t know that I’m immediately going to take him out of the lineup.”
I guess this means I'm looking forward to Jose Guillen coming off the DL in a week.

The bad news that is good news:

Horacio Ramirez continues to consistently pitch at a little league level.  Instead of inducing a lot of playable groundballs, he's giving up line drives and home runs.  Hopefully his persistent suckage will convince Hillman and Moore that Horacio Ramirez has no business in a major league rotation, nor in high leverage situations (the latter of which, he has avoided so far).  As the schedule currently stands, the Royals won't need a fifth starter again until April 26 against Detroit.  Hopefully the Royals will have given up on HoRam as a starter by then.  That would be a good time to call up Hochevar, who likely would have spent enough time in the minors by then to buy the Royals an extra year of team control.

Now this great offensive performance needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  The Royals put their 12-spot up against t-ball pitchers Harrison, Eyre, Rupe and Guardado.  But that's what you're supposed to do against bad pitching.  You don't just squeak out 4 or 5 runs.  You use it as extended batting practice and bury them.  And that's what the Royals did.

The flip side of the coin is that Gil Meche faced an excellent offense featuring a murderer's row lineup which had scored 19 runs the day before and completely shut them down.  He doesn't like pitching in TBIA Rangers Ballpark, but when he's working that kind of stuff and control, he could dominate in any park.

I don't want to make too big a deal of this, but in the first game after finding out that they'd lost arguably their best position player for 10 weeks, the Royals could have felt down and played accordingly.  Instead they responded with vigor and had their best game of the season.  Does that mean something?  I don't know.  But I like it.