This season’s critical month is underway. It’s early, but June is off to an interesting 2-2 start for the Royals. They, and their bats, came alive in St. Louis, “sweeping” the Red Birds. They tallied 14 runs cross state, and have plated a total of 16 runs in 4 games. Danny Duffy dazzled in a short start, recovering nicely from his previous two clunkers on the bump.
Last night’s loss was disappointing, but nothing for the team to feel ashamed of . Adam Wainwright is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and brought his A game. The Royals scratched their way to a 2-2 tie once they reached their bullpen. Yeah, one of the reasons they tied the game was due to a dropped third strike on Eric Hosmer‘s golden sombrero, but that doesn’t take away from Lorenzo Cain‘s clutch hit, or another solid start by Jason Vargas.
Speaking of Eric Hosmer. Does he need a trip to Omaha? Hosmer struck out four times last night and finished 0-5. Even Rex Hudler is calling him out for swinging at bad pitches. Eric Hosmer is off-balance after every hernia inducing swing. He looks awful, and even with a new hitting coach! A far more intelligent and professional look into this can be found in this morning’s post from Hunter.
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Alex Gordon‘s hitting career has been streaky, and it’s so much better when he is on the good side of the streaky spectrum. This positive streak feels sustainable and very encouraging. Expect Gordon to finish the year with close to All Star numbers. He may not give the Royals his 2012 numbers, but he’ll better on his 2013 results.
Who would have thought the crew cut sporting Dayton Moore would turn into such an amazing quote machine? It’s been a pleasure watching him evolve from a cliché dropping, god fearing leader into my eccentric uncle. He was asked about the constant turn over at the hitting coach position. He started with a chuckle, “I don’t want to open up a can of worms here”. And that’s exactly when we knew he would do just that.
When Moore says something like that, you can just see reporters wag their tails and smile all wide. Moore made one thing clear. His ideal scenario at batting coach was one where Brett would take the intern off of his coaching title, and still be in place. “If there was a chance George Brett would do it long-term, I wanted to give him that opportunity. … I was wrong, but I felt he had a chance to do it.”
Moore spilled additional, delicious beans about this season. “I hinted one time up in the box. I asked him what he is doing this summer. He said he had a lot going on. He knew what I was talking about. He didn’t say it.”
Wow. Why, why even say that? All he is doing is making it clear that Pedro wasn’t his ideal stand alone guy, that Dale was not his first choice as Pedro’s replacement, and that he and Brett have a passive and awkward thing going on. I don’t see how any of this helps Moore, but I am beginning to just enjoy this odd ride. I get the feeling we will see even more interesting and aggressive behavior from Moore. When a guy has his back to a wall with less and less to lose, he often swings big. Sometimes he connects.
How much better does this team feel with a healthy Lorenzo Cain in its lineup?
How dumb do I look for predicting that Alcides Escobar would continue to decline as a hitter this season. Dude will never be a world beater at the plate, but he has been one of the lineup’s best and most pesky weapons this season.
Tonight’s game feels huge, if only because it is the return of Yordano Ventura. KC Fans, can you say bated breath ? Blue loving bible belters will thank the Lord if Little Pedro throws an easy 6-7 innings tonight. Yes, the win is important, but pales in comparison to the kid’s health for the rest of the year. Tonight’s game has large implications.
After the Birds fly home, the Royals have the Yankees and Indians in town. They then travel to Chicago and Detroit. This June’s schedule, and where it currently finds our blue balled heroes, should determine if the are sellers or buyers at the break. It still looks like an uphill battle, but we are seeing some reasons to believe.