Before I start this entry, I should note that I'm having to watch the Royals game archived on MLB.tv* (which is awesome, by the way), but I am irritated with whoever decided to schedule this entire Royals vs. Tigers series for day games. Maybe it was because it's early in the season and nights are cold (?) in Detroit in April. At any rate, I've had to work during every single Royals game thus far, which has seen them roar into the lead in the AL Central while sweeping the pre-ordained entrants to the playoffs those Tigers of the $137 million payroll.
*(Pozterisk?) Why is it that the archived games have the long break in between halves of innings? If someone at MLB.tv is reading this, as I'm sure is the case, that's something that could be fixed...
Now before I get too excited about the Kansas City Royals owning the best record in all of baseball--which is totally true, I just looked it up--I should mention I do not believe that they will go 162-0. They will probably lose a game sometime soon. I'll cry a bit. And then I'll cry some more. But until then, it's now a few days into the baseball season, and the Royals are looking pretty good.
All right, on to the game. Greinke looked a little shaky in the first but that seven pitch second inning was pretty nice. Gathright's running catch on the Clete Thomas fly to the warning track in left center in the first was very nice, too.
As I'm watching the top of the 3rd, TPJ got to a 3-0 count. Do I smell a TPJ walk here? Nope. To his credit, Bonderman did throw three straight strikes...
Now, I know the Royals offense gets going as the game progresses, but so far Mark Teahen is the only Royal to reach base.
I like the comment from the booth about how Jim Leyland believes that Clete Thomas was the most talented guy in the Tigers' minor league system. I wonder if that has anything to do with how they cannibalized that system to win now. And Clete looks foolish on a swing-and-miss on a two-strike count.
Alex Gordon crushed that ball in the 4th. He hit a Bonderman change-up (that one that he's been working on in spring training for the past three years...) pitch 410 feet to the opposite field. And Bonderman has put his third straight runner on base to start the inning. Nice first-to-third for Guillen on Gload's single to right. The Royals have been working counts, getting that pitch count up in the fourth.
Keeping in the spirit of this year's Kansas City Royals, I'm living the High Life right now in the fabled 32 ounce tall boy fashion**.
**(Double Pozterisk?) On a much mentioned road trip with two of my bros, Chad and Mark, we made a discovery of Columbian proportions. Sure, someone had more than likely already been there, and we probably didn't find what we had set out to find, but it was a happy accident without question. At a convenience store in rural West Texas--either Marfa or Alpine--we discovered that Miller High Life came not only in those classy 12 ounce glass bottles, befitting the Champagne of Beers, and those golden 12, 16, and 24 ounce cans, and those large bottles (32 ounces, I think), but it also came in these gargantuan 32 ounce cans. These are not your parents cans. They are quite possibly wider than the Fosters tall boy cans. They are certainly as tall as any 24 ounce tall boy you'll ever see. They are really quite impressive. Almost as impressive as this new Royals squad.
Now Greinke seems to be getting into a little bit of trouble in the fifth. He mishandled a grounder and ended up with Inge and Clete on first and second. He fell behind 3-0 to Polanco. He got out of the inning unscathed, but a bit of a scare there.
Man, Teahen really turned on that pitch fast. It got out in a hurry. Here's to hoping he can build on that and not get stuck with another single-digit home run season. And yes, I took a sip of the High Life there.
Greinke worked around that Magglio double off the wall in deep, deep center with aplomb. Two shallow pop flies, one of which elicited an expletive from close friend of Ugueth Urbina, Ivan Rodriguez, and a routine grounder to Gordon later, and he's out of the inning.
Why does anyone try to run on the arms of Guillen and Teahen? Sheffield looked foolish when he got thrown out trying to stretch a fly ball that dropped between a sliding Teahen and TPJ into a double. Teahen threw him out side-armed and off-balance from his knees. Embarrassing.
All right, so the Royals pitching has been very good so far. The bullpen has given up, what, one run. And while it worries me a bit that Soria has three innings pitched in three games, it does bode well for the team if they're playing close games and possessing the lead late, so I can't complain. The starters have been great so far. Bannister put the naysayers down for another start. Greinke kept the potent Tigers in check and wasn't even really lights out like he can be.
It's really hard for me to temper my excitement. Maybe it's because I know it probably won't last and when the hell else will I get to be this excited about the Royals this year, but I'm feeling like I did in the first few months of 2003.
Can someone please make sure that GMDM doesn't sign Juan Gone in an effort to put them over the top for next season?