Ding-dong the losing streak is dead! During the multi-hour rain delay, I kept thinking about how unlucky the fans in KC have been: with so much buzz heading into this series, the Royals begin with an ugly loss, then have a possibly Greinke start nearly delayed. There's nothing quite like the boredom and physical discomfort of standing in a concourse for two hours, but in the "eff the fans era" we can't have double-headers, so its what we do. Luckily, the weather cleared and they got the game in, even playing in clear weather.
- The obvious starting point is Zack Greinke, who improves to 7-1, with an ERA of 0.60. Greinke was slightly off to begin the game, which for him, this season, means he was pitching merely at an All-Star level. The Orioles have a pretty good lineup and they took their share of pitches. Still, by the end of the game, the line was 7 IP, 6 Hs, 2 BBs and 6Ks. I think Greinke's K/BB ratio actually got worse tonight.
- Greinke's semi-laboring early, combined with the lopsided score, meant that Trey Hillman needed to have someone pitch the eighth and the ninth. So obviously, that means... Juan Cruz in the eighth inning of a 8-1 game. Obviously. Makes perfect sense. How could you question this at all? (Pause) I know, I know, "he needed work". Sure, the Royals play tomorrow, but when you have a chance to have your best reliever pitch in garbage time, you take it. The Royals have had an odd month regarding their closers, as there's only been a handful of games with either Soria or Cruz appearing in a standard situation. Cruz has appeared twice since May 10th, both in meaningless situations. I hate to be even somewhat negative after a game like this (actually, I don't) but... what... the... hell?
- Why it had to be the eighth and not the ninth? No idea. The ninth was the province of Kyle Farnsworth, who pitched another scoreless mopup inning. (Is it time to rethink Kyle Farnsworth?)
- The bats had a really nice night, possibly showing that the deep thaw that the team suffered through on the West Coast has lifted. Mike Jacobs homered again to make it 3-1, and Miguel Olivo erased all doubt with a game changing three run homer to make it 6-1. Is it just me or did Olivo look more patient tonight at the plate than he maybe has ever?
- Every Royal starter other than Crisp had a hit.