And, we’re back. Thank goodness.
It’s been a fantastically under-marketed last few days around the world of baseball (a total MLB move) but we, as Royals fans, have been waiting for this day for a while now. The offseason is finally over and all the arguing and bickering about just how bad Chris Getz is, the worrying about the injury to Joakim Soria, and the excitement over all the new contracts can be put aside and we can all sit down to watch a game. Phew.
One thing that I started last year on this site was a Live Blog for those that couldn’t watch the games to stop by and enjoy some commentary. (And to try and steal some pageviews.) The same rules apply as last year with the main points still relevant. As I said last year:
“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…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 Mark Gubicza says something really stupid.”
Because I’m in California I don’t get the honor of listening to Rex Hudler eloquent explain what a “piece of cheese” is, or really just hear him try and set baseball back 20 years. Lucky me. However I do get treated to the stylings of whomever the Angels (or as Cardinals fans spell it, “Angles”) are putting on their broadcasts – I’m not optimistic – so if any of you feel so inclined to give me updates on the caliber of the new broadcast tandem for the Royals, please do so.
For now though, this is just a primer. The game doesn’t start for another hour or so and I’m sure there’s quite a bit of pregamming going on. As there should be.
So for now, go grab yourself your favorite cold beverage and fire up your PlayStation for some Home Run Derby on MLB The Show ’12, and I’ll see you back here in an hour.
Oh yeah, and, Happy Baseball Season e’rybody!
9:01 – We’re nearing gametime and, like I said, I have to watch the Angels broadcast. It’s already off to a roaring start as the Joel Goldberg equivalent referred to Jeff Weaver as “Weave”. You know, because that extra syllable is just too much to handle.
9:03 – Broadcast is showing replays of Albert Pujols running onto the field. Everyone lost their minds. These are also the same people that thing Mark Trumbo is good, so I’m skeptical if this Pujols guy is good too.
9:04 – Side note: the lady friend will be joining me tonight during the live blog. She’ll handle when the Royals pitch, mainly, because I don’t what to have to hear the phrase “pitch to contact” when Bruce Chen pitches, which is definitely going to happen. Also, she’s a Giants fan, and is losing her crap right now because they lost. Joy.
9:07 – The Angels bumper graphics cost roughly a third of Pujols yearly salary. I’m guessing.
9:08 – KC car commercials = Chevy and Ford. Orange County car commercials = Lexus and BMW
9:09 – Mark Gubicza swam to the stadium. At least, that’s what I’m guessing by looking at his hair.
9:09 – The Royals lineup is on the screen. My reaction: *swoon*. Eh. Yay. Yay. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
9:10 – Vernon Wells in left. #LOL
9:11 – Mark Trumbo at third. #LOL
9:12 – My Guy Alex pops up. Total regression so far. Total.
9:12 – Another “Weave” reference from the Angels guys. Seriously, don’t these people know I hate stuff like that?
9:14 – “Weave”. #drink
9:15 – Ugh. Well that was an uneventful first inning. Hosmer pops out to Fat Vernon Wells. Royals down in order.
Royals 0, Angels 0. Bottom 1st
side note: extremely sad Getz isn’t starting. I wonder who the Royals have in the line up to hit ground balls to the infield?
9:19- Chen is throwing strikes. I like that. I also like blue more than i like red, so I am rooting for the Royals tonight.
9:19- Stand up double with an 0-2 count… not great Chen
Albert’s first at bat as an Angel
9:20- strike, ball 2 upstairs, strike 1 ripped foul, ball up
9:22- Albert hits into a double play
Royals 0, Angels 0. End 1st
9:24 – I summarily ridiculed Sara for not bringing the funny that last inning. I apologize, everyone.
9:25 – “Weave”. #drink
9:25 – Country Breakfast goes down meekly and then Jeff IWillCertainlyRegress Francoeur lines out softly to first. This season is off to a promising start.
9:27 – Yuniesky Betancourt is batting. Yuniesky. Betancourt. UGH! Life just isn’t fair sometime.
9:27 – Yuni grounds to Trumbo and third and…you’re kidding me, an error? No way. #LOL
9:28 – Moustakas is up. Now, I’m not a Moustakas fan and never have been, but I’d be okay with a homerun right here.
9:29 – You know, for as much attention as Mike Scioscia gets for being a good manager, he’s really not.
9:31 – After what was really a pretty decent about for Moose, he pops out, weakly. Fantastic.
Royals 0, Angels 0. Bottom 2nd
Sara left the room. She’s not as committed to this venture as she should be
9:34 – Torrriiii Hunter is up. The most overrated player in baseball over the last 20 years. No, I’m not kidding.
9:35 – Hunter grounds out. See, I told you.
9:35 – Fat Vernon Wells is up. Sara is back in the room now. She should probably take over.
9:36 Vernon base hit up the middle. Pulled a change away, it was not a good swing and he is fat.
9:37 – double play
Pena is up, I like Pena, Kevin doesn’t really. But i think that he has a nice complexion and I have a soft spot for catchers.
9:40 Pena base hit. I had a courtesy runner when I was playing. its a cute softball rule that allows the catchers and pitchers to not have to run. Pena could probably use a courtesy runner
9:42 – I get the computer back in time to see My Guy Alex hit. I have concluded swooning.
9:43 – Angels announcers talking about bunting with two on and none out right now with Gordon up. That’s right, folks, it’s 1967 again!
9:44 – Although, I’m sure there’s some kind of nonsense Polk Points for laying down a bunt with in the third inning.
9:45 – My Guy Alex strikes out. “Weave” (#drink) had one helluva sequence there. Damn.
9:46 – You know, Jeff Weaver is not attractive.
9:47 – Lorenzo Cain swings really hard. Somewhere, there’s someone in their 50s complaining that he needs to not “try and kill the ball”. Somewhere, that person would be wrong.
9:48 – And now Cain strikes out. This is super exciting. #OurTime
9:49 – Selfish note: I’ve been retweeted 11 times in the last two days. I’m super popular, or something.
9:49 – And now Hosmer strikes out. Just how they drew it up: bottom two slap their way on, top three all strike out on balls out of the zone. #OurTime #Overreacting
Royals 0, Angels 0. Bottom 3
9:51 – Mark Trumbo #LOL is batting. Who wants to bet he doesn’t walk here?
9:53- Bruce Chen‘s first strike out of the game. I wasn’t watching so I can’t tell you if it was anything good.
a lot of these guys seem like they are putting more effort into chewing their gum then the are making a play or hitting the ball. kind of disgusting.
9:55- #17 foul tip strike out. Back to back strike outs for Mr. Chen.
announcer just said something SO stupid when he was talking about Chen… “for him to be successful he has to stay away from the middle of the plate.” Thanks for that observation.
9:56- base hit to right for Bourjos, I am positive that my best friends special needs cousin has a better swing than him. I wouldn’t have even called it a check swing.
I wonder how many real housewives of Orange County are in the stands tonight?
9:58- Bourjos picked off for out number 3.
Royals 0, Angels 0. End of 3rd
10:01 – Country Breakfast leads off. I’ve drafted Butler in every fantasy league each of the last three years. I haven’t decided it if it’s my own craziness, or his goodness. I’m betting goodness.
10:02 – Maybe not. He popped out. That’s another one. This is super enjoyable so far.
10:02 – Jeff Francoeur tapped on three feet. Angels TV guy tells us that a better feeling than a strikeout. He’s wrong.
10:03 – Also, when Francoeur hits .260 this year with a .300 OBP, will we hear everyone talk about how they were wrong last year when they said he was TEH AWESOME? I’m doubting that.
10:04 – Yuni pops out because he’s Yuni and #thatswhatyunido. Yes, I’m starting this.
Royals 0, Angels 0. Bottom 4th
10:06- Bruce Chen is still pitching. I know its only the 4th inning but it feels like the 12th. But a strike out for Chen brings us to one out in the bottom of the 4th. I am imagining his jaw feels like its the 12 inning too. he is still chomping on that gum.
10:09- Chen strikes out #47 but Pena miss handles the ball and now there is a runner on 1st with Albert P. coming to the plate.
10:10- Albert pops up to 3rd for out #2. I have a problem with the size of Albert’s necklace but we can talk more about that later.
10:15- Hunter lines out to the man that I will never be able to live up to (not that I am a man, just that Kevin loves him more than he will probably ever love me…) Alex Gordon.
Royals 0, Angels 0. End of the 4th
10:19 – Some minor Internet issues caused us to miss the three minutes the Royals were batting. It’s super cool to see the team’s patient, work the count approach, has carried over to 2012. Man, when Dayton Moore says he values on-base percentage, he means, amirite?
Royals 0, Angels 0. Bottom 5th
10:23 – Kendrys Morales flies out to deep right center. No word yet if he hurt himself in celebration of solid contact.
10:24 – Mark Trumbo #LOL is now up.
10:26 – The Angels have interrupted their Mercedes-Benz commercials to bring you a baseball game.
10:26 – Mark Trubmo #LOL pops out to center. Fans loose their minds because the ball went into the air. It was still caught. Still no score.
Royals 0, Angels 0. End of the 5th
10:27 – My Guy Alex is up. Let us all now pause in enjoyment.
10:29 – My Guy Alex strikes out. This has not been a good night for me.
10:29 – So remember when the Royals traded a 9 WAR pitcher and got an all glove shortstop and some other pieces? Yeah, Cain’s not looking so hot tonight. #snapjudgements
10:31 – And Cain strikes out for the third time. This game is moving right along and the Royals have yet to hit a ball hard. Yippee.
Royals 0, Angels 0. Bottom 6th
This whole 3 up 3 down things for the Royals offense is really cramping my bejeweled blitz time. I guess “Weave” is just that good tonight.
10:33- Eye-a-netta is up. pop up to center for out # 1.
10:35- I wonder if Chen gets a new piece of gum in between each inning? Out #2 ground out to second.
10:37- Out #3- pop up to my player of the game Hosmer. This game is pretty boring, but the announcers will just keep calling it a pitchers duel.
Royals 0, Angels 0. End of the 6th
10:40 – The 38th Lexus commercial of the night is just two behind the commercials for Mercedes.
10:41 – Billy Butler leads the Royals 7th.
10:41 – Billy Butler promptly strikes out.
10:42 – Jeff Francoeur has seen two pitches and has yet to swing. I may faint.
10:42 – Well how’s about that. The Royals first hard hit ball of the night is a 2-0 double off the bat of Captain Smiley. Now, let’s take advantage of this, folks.
10:43 – Oh wait, Yuni is up.
10:45 – And, on a 3-0 count, Francoeur is picked off of second base. Ooooof.
10:46 – A foul pop towards Mark Trumbo #LOL is missed. Who’d have thunk it? You know, except everyone?
10:47 – Yuni bloops one into left field. The signing is now justified.
10:47 – Moustakas takes a curveball high for ball one. This is a big spot here. The Angels have the middle of the order due up next inning and Chen is running late into the game. This is a big spot that a supposed superstar needs to come through.
10:49 – Man, and people wonder why I’m not a Moustakas fan. His 1-0 swing was a ball away that he can’t drive. His 2-1 swing was a ball away pull on the ground to second. I really hope he turns into a star, but everything about that swing and approach say he’s going to have a tough time making consistent contact.
(obligatory patriotism segment of the game)
Royals 0, Angels 0. “Good” game. Middle of the 7th
Sara has taken off to make me dinner, cause that’s how this works. (Well that and she’s hungry and I can’t leave the couch.)
10:54 – Aaron Crow enters the game for the Royals. So Chen goes 6 innings and because baseball doesn’t know how to train its pitchers properly, he’s unable to go more than 84 pitches.
10:54 – Dang. Crow goes fastball, slider (nasty) and a 96 mph fastball to strike out Howie Kendrick. Then starts Pujols with a slider and a dirty 2-seamer for 0-2.
10:57 – And then throws a diiirty slider for strike three. Wow. This is impressive.
10:58 – AND THEN starts Torii Hunter with two dirty sliders, and then ties him up with a 96. Strike three. That was one impressive inning. Very.
Royals 0, Angels 0. End 7th
11:02 – The Royals continue their fantastic team hitting approach and have two pitches, two outs. Yes, be aggressive, and never work a count. This style always works. (It doesn’t)
11:02 – My Guy Alex is up. Hopefully something positive happens here.
11:04 – Beans. My Guy Alex strikes out. Again. Jeff Weaver, or “Weave” (#drink), is on tonight.
Royals 0, Angels 0. Bottom 8
There’s still no score and there’s been a total of two balls hit hard tonight. This is baseball at it finest, I guess. This is not, however, Live Blog game watching, at it’s finest.
11:06 – Crow returns in the 8th for his second inning and will start facing Vernon Wells. I’m pretty sure we’ll see a slider here, somewhere.
11:08 – I think, think, Crow threw something without a bend in that at-bat to Wells. Can’t confirm it though. He did hang a slider though and Wells popped out weakly. Who’s shocked, really?
11:09 – Morales singles to right, through the whole, just after the Angels announcers say the Royals have an infield shift on. The ground ball passed to the left of Yuni. #Yunirange #thatswhatyunido
11:10 – Mark Trumbo #LOL lines a fastball middle-middle to center and now there’s something brewing. Uh-oh. First and second, just one out.
11:12 – And, here it comes. Chris Iannetta lines sharply to right but the Angels are afraid of My Guy Alex’s arm. Still not good though, the bases are loaded, one out. Crow comes out now for Greg Holland, who hopefully has the same slider that Crow had in his first inning.
11:14 – Holland comes in and immediately throws 96 mph to Bourjos who’s really quite an awful hitter. No pitch-to-contact here please.
11:16 – A nasty slider for strike two. 0-2 to Bourjos.
11:16 – Holland gets his thumb all over one and pulls a fastball. Ball away. 1-2
11:18 – Holland makes a decent pitch and Bourjos grounds weakly to third. Unfortunately, Moustakas isn’t a good third baseman and can’t make the play and then shields Escobar into a booted ball. A run scores.
11:19 – First ball, fast ball and Erick Aybar triples down the right field line. All three runs score. It’s 4-0 and this game looks just like every other game of the last 15 years.
11:20 – This is why you define roles in your bullpen and stay with them. Crow should have only gone one inning and Holland start a clean 8th — Kendrick is down 1-2.
11:22 – Kendrick strikes out on a good slider. Albert Pujols is up. Royals intentionally walk him. Good decision.
11:23 – Torii Hunter bats now with two outs. Remember how Hunter —
11:25 – Ah crap. Hunter bloops one in because, you know, that whole “pitch to contact” thing always works. 5-0 Angels now. I’m too sad to continue on with this.
11:25 – Vernon Wells is up. Mike Trout should be.
11:27 – Wells pops out. No one is surprised. I’m still sad.
Royals 0, Angels 5. End of the 8th
11:30 – Lorenzo Cain leads off. He’s looked awesome so far tonight. (He hasn’t)
11:31 – Cain grounds out on a fastball down the middle. This game is the same movie I’ve seen a number of times. Sad trombone.
11:32 – I looked away for 25 seconds and Hosmer struck out. He didn’t look good at all doing it. Ooof.
11:32 – Country Breakfast bats. I’d give anything for a hard hit double here.
11:35 – Not so much. Billy flies out to right field. This game was an incredible let down.
Royals lose, 5-0.