Tonight, I took my son and his buddy to our last Royals game of this miserable season as they took on the White Sox. In the chilly night, I sat and watched as the Royals trodded their way closer to their winter break, losing 4-2. This team obviously is anxious to get this season over with. Tonight was their 7th straight loss, and I'm not sure when the last time was that they scored more than 2 runs.
Against any other team, John Garland would have given up 3 or more runs in the first two innings. He struggled with his control and the Royals capitalized in the first with a run on Calvin Pickering's fielder's choice with the bases loaded. Garland loaded them again in the second, but the Royals couldn't push anybody across. The Royals got one more run in the 6th after Pickering walked and was moved around on a couple of sacrifices. Alberto Castillo drove him in on a single.
On the positive side, rookie pitcher Denny Bautista pitched surprisingly well. Bautista came to the Royals in a trade with Baltimore sending veteran reliever Jason Grimsley to the O's. Bautista dominated in AA, and was called up in September. He struggled in his first few starts, but showed some promise tonight. He began by striking out the side in the top of the first. His fastball was crisp and he was hitting around 94 on the stadium radar pretty regularly. He had a nasty slider working tonight, something we haven't seen from him before. He froze several batters with it, reminding me of the Mike MacDougal of early 2002. He ended with 6 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk and 6 K's. Not bad - I'll take that over a typical Maynderson start any day. Then the suddenly awful bullpen took over and gave up a couple more for the loss. I think the Royals then were anxious to see the fireworks, as they went very quietly in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. 103 losses and counting. Bluh.