Zack Greinke took the mound last night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, hoping to keep the Royals’ winning streak alive and to give all those who showed up for his free “ace of diamonds” t-shirt something to remember. Unfortunately, when Greinke left the ball game, the memories he provided — courtesy of a worthless defense — wasn’t exactly what the free t-shirt planners had in mind. Greinke’s night ended with a less-than-ceremonious finish when he gave up a two-run homer to Mark Reynolds.
Greinke’s numbers for the night: an underwhelming six runs in 6 2/3 innings. Two of those were unearned, thanks to two errors fourth inning. News of a positive light: Greinke struck out nine Diamondbacks and his ERA stayed below two runs a game (1.96). If, however, his team would like to keep it that low, they might want to defend the field a little better. In other news, considering how well Gil Meche has pitched in his last two outings (zero earned runs, 17 strikeouts), the next time the Royals do an “ace” shirt for a pitcher, they might want to try Meche on for size.
In other, other news, does anyone out there want to win the AL Central? Despite their putrid play before their mini winning streak, the Royals are still only 4.5 games out of first.
There’s losing in baseball and then there’s the Kansas City Royals. As pointed out by Big League Stew, the Royals have lost over 500 games since the 2004 season. Yeah, losing is an art form here in KC, but I can’t recall the last time they lost because of a fowl ball.
Somehow, this little gem slipped under my radar until TBL’s daily baseball post. Kind of sad for a KC resident, I know, but you can blame the NBA Playoffs for my ignorance. I only have the capacity for one or two sports obsessions at a time. Nevertheless, it’s fitting the day after Greinke continued his one-man salvage operation of the Royals season worked his record to 8-1 is when my ignorance ceased. Unfortunately, the Greinke shirts won’t be on sale at this time because they are part of the Royals’ give-away promotion, and are schedule to be handed out to the first 20,000 attendees on June 16.
I will say, however, if Royals fans want these bad enough, they can follow the lead of some Kentucky fans who convinced Nike to sell the Jodie Meeks/Witness t-shirts, which were initially intended for the team only. Make capitalism work for you by letting the Royals know you are willing to spend actual money on the Greinke shirts. If the demand is high enough, do you really think a smaller-market team is going to turn down an influx of merchandising money?
As for Greinke, if his season continues like it started, the next batch of shirts will feature him holding the Cy Young award.
Mired in a six-game losing streak, the Kansas City Royals are once again calling on the “best pitcher in baseball” to pull their collective bacon out of the fire. The problem is, the Royals, while having a decent pitching staff, are rather inept on the offensive end — 21st out of 30, and because of that, losing streaks are bound to happen. That also explains why Zack Greinke is needed as a streak-stopper. Right now, Greinke is simply lights out. He has a 6-1 record, an 0.51 ERA — just ridiculous — and is absolutely destroying batters with an awesome array of pitches to choose from.
Last week, I did a post discussing Zack Greinke’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and how that designation could jinx what is looking like a promising season for the Kansas City Royals. The thought was either Greinke or the Royals as a team would experience some kind of fall off now that the sporting world knows about them. Fortunately for the Royals, Zack Greinke — who is living up to that “best pitcher in baseball” hype — is laughing at such a suggestion.
Well, that was fun while it lasted. Thanks to Sports Illustrated, a promising season for the Kansas City Royals, led by the unable-to-score-on Zack Greinke, looks like it might be coming to an end. What would cause such an early season collapse after a respectable 10-9 start? Injuries? Bad hitting? Bad pitching? Bad managerial moves? Nope, none of that. The culprit can be found on the upcoming SI cover, featuring the Royals’ ace, Greinke (I know Gil Meche is the Opening Day pitcher, but Greinke has been just nasty, something his 0.00 ERA — after four starts — suggests).
I suppose the silver lining is if the Royals — and Greinke — do go in the tank this summer, they now have something to place the blame on: Sports Illustrated and the cover jinx. Yes, it’s an age-old, built-in excuse, but it’s hard to argue with history.
So there you go, Royals fans — and there should be more of you now, supporting your young team that shows signs of competing in the AL Central for the whole season — if the bottom falls out on this promising season, or worse, Greinke gets injured, you know who to blame.
What do you do if 162 games aren’t enough to decide which team from the AL Central gets to go to the playoffs? Why, you have yourself a one-game playoff, and that’s just what we have tonight when the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox meet in the Windy City to see who gets the golden ticket. After playing the allotted amount of regular season games, the Twins and White Sox have the same record at 88-74.
Hence the need for the extra game, which takes place in Chicago with the first pitch scheduled for 7:30/6:30 Central. For the White Sox, Ozzie Guillen is sending John Danks and his 11-9/3.47 ERA to mound. Ron Gardenhire counters with Nick Blackburn, he of the 11-10/4.14 ERA record.
Based on that and the fact the White Sox have the home-field advantage, it’s hard not to like Chicago’s chances. They are also 7-2 versus the Twins at home. However, the last time these two teams met — admittedly in Minnesota — the Sox were swept. This should give the Twins a boost of confidence; although, their record at U.S. Cellular Field looms large.
The winner, as indicated, gets a trip the playoffs and will be facing the Tampa Bay Rays, a devil of a team.