It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Kansas City Royals. When I last blogged the Royals, they had just blown the 11th game in their 19 game losing streak. I was at that game, and it really made me depressed to see them self destruct.
They were finally able to win the last two games of their long road trip in Oakland and came home to face the world champion Boston Red Sox. I’ve been to both of the first two games of the Red Sox series.
The Royals were able to squeeze out an extra innings victory last night, but the key in both games was the squandered opportunities. In the first game of the series, the Royals had a runner at third in each of the first three innings and were never able to score. They eventually lost 5-2.
In last night’s extra innings game, they again had several opportunities but just couldn’t come through. John Buck, in particular, seems to be the goat in these situations. With the game tied 3-3 and the bases loaded and one out in the 6th inning last night, Buck grounded into an inning ending double play. Then, with the bases loaded in the 8th and two outs, Buck looked at a pitch that was right down the middle for strike three, again killing the threat.
Buck again struck out looking in the 10th, but mercifully there was nobody on base this time. I’d like to see Buck go down to the minors for a while to get himself straightened out. The Royals got Buck in the Beltran trade expecting a strong hitting catcher with some power. So far, Buck has been a disappointment.
It was interesting that in last night’s game the exact situation came up twice. With the game tied 3-3 in the ninth, Denny Hocking led off and flied out to center field on the first pitch. David DeJesus then walked, and Terrence Long singled. Mike Sweeney then walked loading the bases with one out. Chip Ambres struck out and Emil Brown popped out ending the inning.
In the 11th, the same thing happened again. Hocking flied out, DeJesus walked, Long singled and Sweeney walked. This time, however, Chip Ambres was able to get his bat on the ball and lifted a short fly ball to left field. DeJesus tagged up at third and scored when the throw was just up the line.
Just a side note: since I started wearing my KC Royals rubber wrist band, the Royals are 3-1.