Game 1 - Opening Day Live Blog

So this is the first ever attempt at KoK for a live game blog. There’s sure to be some hiccups along the way as we, well I, figure out what the heck it is I’m doing here in order to make this as reader friendly as possible. Be patient. We’re working on learning some software to use for this – software to be completely honest I have no idea how to you – but for now we’ll just roll with the normal blog style that I’ll update with quick thoughts or reactions from the game. Or, in case Gubicza says something really stupid.*

*Note: I have to watch the Angels broadcast because I’m in California.These announcers are more frustrating than the Royals guys, if you can believe that.

If you’re not around a TV and stuck in the office, feel free to follow along and participate with your own thoughts in the comments section below – I’ll address them as they come in. Sit back, relax, and Happy Baseball Season e’rybody!

3:00 – Angels’ broadcast shows a graphic explaining how Maicer Izturis will be a “key to the season”. That’s right, a 5’8″ third baseman. Tony Reagins is a genius.

3:05 – Alan Thicke doing a diabetes commercial. What happened to Wilford? Sad news.

3:07 – Mark Gubicza has a very ugly looking squirrel growing around his mouth. My mom still probably thinks he’s attractive.

3:10 – I really, really miss Kauffman Stadium. Looks amazing as always.

3:11- That same squirrel on Gubicza’s face is also on Luke Hochevar‘s face.

3:12 – Just saw a picture of Alex Gordon on TV. Swoon. What’s the over/under how many times I profess my love for him today?

3:16 – Shut up, Gage.

3:18 – Nassty two-seamer from Hochevar to get Abreu looking. Think goodness Matt Treanor‘s leadership called for that pitch right there.

3:20 – Obligatory 0-2 high fastball there. Nice to see pitching philosophies haven’t evolved past 1980.

3:23 – E-5 (which would have been the third out) then HBP to load the bases. Royals Baseball is back!

3:26 – Only 4 more minutes ’til I get to see Alex hit. Be still my beating heart.

3:27 – Gubicza wants us to know that Mike Aviles is susceptible to off-speed pitches. Cause, you know, that’s not the case for 98% of all batters, ever.

3:30 – Melky, first pitch swinging… Drink!

3:31 – Alex. Pop out. Boo.

3:35 – Does anyone else find Rob Neyer’s brand of pessimism about the Royals too much sometimes? I mean, I get it, but c’mon man.

3:36 – @Mike in the Comments: the Royals “first pitch swinging” drinking game is sweeping frat-houses across the nation. USC frat houses especially. (Google it.)

3:42 – Gubicza trying to tell us that Kevin Seitzer is trying to get the guys to go more up-the-middle and the other way at the plate. Yeah, isn’t that what got him fired in Arizona?

3:43 – @Gage in the Comments: agreed. Rob, you didn’t stay here and suffer like the rest of us, and you’ve made it clear you don’t watch games anymore, so you can go ahead and stop talking now.

3:44 – Angels announcers with their first reference to having “three centerfielders in the outfield”. Yeah, okay. #noyoudon’t

3:47 – Nice swing by Izturis there. Surprised we didn’t hear a Willie Mays Hay “oops” with that one. #keytotheseason

3:51 – Hochevar cruisin’. Sinker, slider, bone-chips.

3:52 – I have to ask – is there really a need for an app on your phone that controls the locks and the ignition of your car?
We can’t figure out a way to reduce dependency on foreign oil but we can remote start our cars from Finland?

3:54 – Alcides Escobar saw five pitches. I already like him more than Yuni.

3:55 – Hey, Matt. Nice to meet you. Hey, um, is Misty around?

3:57 – Mike Sciocsia has the phrases “pitching and defense” and “plays the game the right way” trademarked.

3:59 – Getz caught stealing: The Human Element! The Human Element!

4:01 – Um, LeAnn Tweeden is on my TV for an Angels commercial. That doesn’t suck.

4:03 – Yeah. Ball go far. 1-0 Angels.

4:04 – Hochevar setting up camp middle-middle with back-to-back XBHs. —

4:05 – Make that back-to-back-to-back XBHs. Looks like we’re in for The Hochevar Inning.

4:09 – Melky doing his Rick Ankiel impression with that route. 2-0 Angels. Ugh.

4:12 – @Mike in the Comments: me? No. I’m a Royals fan. I’m never optimistic.

4:14 – Someone tell Mike McCartney his intro of Alex Gordon needs to show a little more love. Oh, shh, Alex is hitting.

4:18 – Okay, Getz was safe, Cabrera was out. The Human Element!

4:21 – Billy Ray with a walk. Fantasy points! Oh wait, my two fantasy leagues don’t account for walks because apparently they’re taking place in 1992.

4:24 – Holy change-ups Batman. Still 2-0 Angels and the Royals offense not looking so hot right now.

4:27 – Hochevar is the very definition of what’s wrong with pitcher development in baseball. Out of college he was 95-97 with a nasty slider and a quick, athletic, explosion delivery. He gets drafted by the Royals, they slow him down, tell him to “pitch to contact” with the sinker, and he ignores his better swing-and-miss pitches. It’s very frustrating to watch.

4:30 – Hey, it’s Doug Eddings. When I was 16 and worked as a bellman at Station Casino (shut up) Doug used to stay at our hotel and we’d talk baseball before and after games. Always thought he was a nice guy. As it turns out…

4:31 – Nice freaking catch, Mike.

4:32 – Angels announcer speculates that they might give Aviles an error on the missed pop-out. Is it an error? Of course. But what he doesn’t realize is that “official scorers” hate pitchers. Well, baseball in general, does.

4:34 – Broken-bat single from Toriiiiii. That is clearly all skill and not luck. Right?

4:38 – Frenchy, FPS – drink!

4:39 – Obligatory 0-2 high fastball to Frenchy.

4:41 – Do “we” even have a freaking hit yet? Good God.

4:44 – Jimmy Johnson with a Denorex commercial. So that Denorex, it can be used for, other things, right Jimmy?

4:48 – Oh you have got to be kidding me. Mathis. Jeff Mathis? No. Didn’t happen. Jeff Freaking Mathis?

4:49 – And then that. Little League nonsense at The K. It’s 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, (I’m committing to this) 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011! Major League Moments!

4:54 – Hey look, it’s another re-draft 1st round pick! Aaron Crow!

4:58 – That a boy Crow. Instant success foreshadowing an amazing future. That, or I could just be distracted because LeAnn Tweeden is on my TV again.

5:00 – No, seriously, do we even have a hit yet?

5:00 – I knew you were always a jerk Doug Eddings. I knew it.

5:01 – See, that’s what happens when you have a centerfielder in every outfield position. Either that or Toriiiiiii is just like Jermaine Dye and he’s not fast enough to make the plays like he should.

5:05 – Yeah, see, I’m going to get crap for Alex and his two strikeouts so far today, but that last one by Jeff Weaver was on a damn good pitch.

5:06 – It’s 84 and sunny today in Orange County. I keep seeing people walk by the patio in their bathing suits on the way to the pool and I’m sitting here watching the Royals be the Royals. Now that’s, loyalty. Eat it, Neyer.

5:08 – @Gage in the Comments: shouldn’t you be studying or something? Jerk.

5:09 – Aaron Crow strikes out Toriiiiii. Clearly, Crow > Hochevar.

5:14 – I think the guy behind the plate wearing the Zack Greinke Brewers jersey has got our guys distracted. There’s no other reason for this. (Except that we’re just not that good.)

5:17 – KILA Bo—darn.

5:20- Angels announcers going on and on about the benefits of PFPs and how important they are. Actually, they’re not. Pitchers fielding practice is actually a coaches way of saying “I’m too lazy to come up with something actually productive to do, so let’s do this for 45 minutes.”

5:21 – Frechy Bomb! Somewhere Minda Haas’ heart is fluttering.

5:22 – Rally Mon—err, Rally time. Homerun by Francoeur and a oppo-single by Alcides and now a shot through the box my Matt Where’s Misty Treanor and the Royals are in business. 4-1 Angels, bottom 7th.

5:25 – Commercial with a voice over from Donald Sutherland. We should rank the top 5 voice over guys. He’s up there.

5:27 – Obligatory 0-2 high fastball

5:28 – Bullocks. Betemit K’s to end the threat. 4-1 Angels to end the 7th.

5:32 – Nathan Adcock enters making his major league debut. Looks like he’s got some workable stuff. Oh, sorry, “pitchability”

5:35 – Jeff Mathis is a terrible, terrible hitter. He has two XBHs today. Yes, it’s officially Royals baseball.

5:38 – Angels announcers making it a point to say that Mathis stretching that into a double was the right move because “you have to take the chance to get a runner in scoring position with two outs.” No you don’t. They say the same thing about trying to score there with two outs. No you don’t.

5:40 – Francoeur guns down a runner at the plate to end the 8th….

5:41 – GET OUT! Aviles Bomb! 4-2 Angels. Let the comeback begin. Oh, and, FANTASY POINTS!

5:43 – Walk (a walk you say, on the Royals?) to Cabrera brings up my guy Alex against a fastball dominant pitcher. My mouth waters.

5:45 – Jeff We Kept Him Over Napoli Because He’s Much Better Defensively Mathis allows a pass ball. Melky to second. 2-1 on Gordon. Fastball count…

5:46 – Darn you, changeups.

5:47 – Nice at-bat for Alex. Not much you can do with 97 just off the black but hit a grounder to short. 1 out. C’mon Billy Ray.

5:50 – Billy with a walk. That’s two. That’s a really good sign for him. Pitching change with two on and Kila coming up.

5:51 – Nolan Ryan commercial for Scotts. How does Nolan have time to shoot commercials when he’s busy winning games by himself for the Rangers?

5:53 – And the Royals continue to be stuck in 1986 as Mitch Maier pinch runs for Billy. Seriously, this is a major league franchise, folks.

5:55 – Kila walk. That three walks this inning. Someone make sure the Earth is still spinning. Bases loaded for Frenchy. No! Yes! No? I’m so confused as to how I feel about this.

5:57 – 2-0 auto-call for a strike away. Then Frenchy swings through a fastball middle-middle.

5:59 – Spinning slider at the shoulders and Frenchy swings through it. Shocker. Although if anyone has DVR check out the reaction of the guy in the Royals hat in the slo-mo. Priceless.

6:00 – Weak pop-up to the Gold Glove center fielder playing right from Escobar. Chance squandered and Ned used a pinch runner for our best hitter that never got past second. Brilliant. This. Is. Royals. Baseball.  4-2 Angels in the ninth.

6:02 – Tim Collins enters. Short guys everyone applaud.

6:04 – Angels give up an out to advance a base runner. This game is now the battle of stupid.

6:07 – Collins walks Abreu after a long battle. He (Collins) looks a tad tentative, which is completely understandable. But the 92 on the thumbs he just threw to Toriiiii was not.

6:08 – Obligatory high 0-2 fastball.

6:09 – Now that was nice. 93 mph on the inner black just above the letters. Good pitch. Toriiii strikes out.

6:11 – Wow. 2-0 straight change at 81 mph. Good pitch. Then Collins jumps a 92 on “Center fielder” Vernon Wells and he flies to left. Good inning. Going to the 9th, Angels 4-2.

6:15 – Treanor leads off the 9th. Sure would be nice to have a left handed hitter to bat here. Oh, what’s that you say, both Maier an Dyson were used as PINCH RUNNERS? Oh. *facepalm*

6:19 – After Treanor leads it with a walk Betemit strikes out on the obligatory high 0-2 fastball. Then Aviles foul pops to first. Awesome. Royals baseball.

6:22 – 1-2 to Melky. Gubicza just said Fernando Rodney throws a “free and easy” 96. Um, incorrect. There’s nothing “free” or “easy” about his delivery.

6:26 – After a looong battle from Melky he singles to right… Alex as the game-winning run! Ah! Somebody hold me up.

6:26 – Go! Go! Go! Go! Dammit. Foul.

6:28 – 1-1 high fastball swung through. 1-2 high fastball swung through. Both were balls. Game over. 4-2 Angels.

6:31 – Ugh. Just ugh.

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Tags: AL Central Angels KC Royals Live Blog Opening Day

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