Royals Outpost

The heart-felt musings of a Kansas City Royals fan who isn't always right, or logical, but does always care.

21.4.06

Two Rallies, One (More) Loss

When Steve Phillips made the emphatically bold pick of Cliff Lee as the best lefty in the AL, I rolled my eyes and changed the channel. After seeing Lee struggle to subdue an offense that was just crushed under the mighty heel of the Chicago rotation, I scoff at Phillips' ascenine analysis even more audibly.

Kansas City rallied from 3-0 and 6-3 deficits in this one, but fell one ninth inning double shy of their third victory of April. Mark Grudzielanek added three more hits to his club-leading tally of 14, and Mike Sweeney finally broke free of his funk with four hits in five trips to the plate, including two doubles. Reggie Sanders stole his second base of the season, giving him 299 for his career. He is five homers and a swipe away from the 300/300 club.

Cliff Lee went 5.2 innings, but allowed nine hits and a walk. By comparison, the recently activated Mark Redman allowed five hits in six innings, and even matched Lee's strikeout total of five. Lee is a fine young talent, but his lack of size reminds me a bit of Casey Fossum, and I could easily see some consistency troubles with him down the road. Definitely not deserving of such heady accolades. Steve Phillips should be modest with his words, lest he tarnish his sterling reputation (hhha!).

The Royals hung tough in this one against a tougher, younger team, and eventually pounded out 14 hits, although nobody but Sweeney contributed an extra-base hit. Wouldn't you know it, it was the previously-unflappable Elmer Dessens that let this one slip away. That's just the way it goes on a team struggling for some scrap of identity. Just when you think you've got one department covered, it fails you the one time you actually need it for a win. Oh well, at least we made 'em sweat, eh?

Paul Byrd will take the mound for the Tribe tomorrow, and he could be trouble. The Royals don't have much of the left-handed thunder that Byrd fears, so if he's economic with his pitches early, he could initiate cruise control pretty quickly. Royals have to get aggressive and, sadly, a little lucky in the first and second innings to do any significant damage.

Let's beat the streak, fellas!

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