Results tagged ‘ I-70 Series ’

Weekend Recap

6-30 Art 3.jpgSo we’ve got some catching up to do around here at Around the Horn… As promised, we’ve got photos from Art’s Hall of Fame induction and the Diamond of Dreams charity event.

Today, we’ll give you a run down of Art’s induction and crunch the final numbers from last Thursday. So far things are looking like a huge success and the Dream Factory will be very happy with what we were able to do.

Lot’s of stuff has been going on with the team in town for the last three series. We’ve been playing well, welcomed over 105, 700 fans to the K for the Cardinals Series and we have a new Hall of Fame member. To bring everyone up to speed, let’s go around the horn…

First
Art’s ceremony was touching. Rather than re-hash what was said which you can find here. We’d first like to compliment the Kansas City Star on the nice piece about Art which appeared in yesterday’s paper and show you what happened on the field before Saturday’s game.

 Getting the Royal Treatment:

6-30 Art 1.jpgRollin’ out the Blue Carpet for Art Stewart.

6-30 Art 2.jpgArt making his speech to a sold out Kauffman Stadium. One of the more memorable portions of his speech was about all the player’s with monuments at Monument Park in Yankee Stadium But there were none of the great scouts who signed those players. The Royals were one of the first teams to recognize the work of the scout. 

Thumbnail image for 6-30 Art 4.jpg
Art threw out the first pitch to fellow Royals Hall of Famer Frank White.

 
6-30 Art 5.jpg

Art and the gang: the Royals Hall of Famers who were present for the on field presentation, Jeff Montgomery ’03, Dennis Leonard ’89, Frank White ’95, Willie Wilson ’00, George Brett ’94 and John Mayberry ’96 (Hal McRae ’89 was on the field for the ceremony but returned to the Cardinals to attend to his duties as Hitting Coach and Paul Splittorff ’87 was in the Royals broadcast booth).

6-30 Art 6.jpg
Senior Assistant to the General Manager Art Stewart and General Manager Dayton Moore.

Second
While the Royals lost the final two games of interleague, we still tied for the second best interleague record in the Majors (Detroit also went 13-5 and Minnesota went 14-4). The Royals record is also their all-time best in interleague. In 2006 and 2007, the Royals went 10-8 which stood as their best record until this season.

As for the Redbirds, we won four games against St. Louis. The Royals had never won more than three games in one season before 2008 against the Cardinals (except 1985). The 4-2 mark against St. Louis is also the first time since 2001 that we’ve won the season series.
 
Short
Leading off, lead-off man David DeJesus left yesterday’s game with a bruised lower right ribcage because he landed on Cardinal catcher 6-30 DeJesus.jpgJason LaRue’s helmet after a collision in the first inning yesterday and is not starting in tonight’s game…DeJesus’ hitting streak is still intact despite not getting a hit yesterday because he walked and did not record an official at-bat…From Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: DeJesus is day-to-day and still feels sore on the deceleration of his swing…Also from Trey: He made a note that Mark Grudzielanek does not play like a 38-year-old, he’s tough…Speaking of Grudzielanek, today is his 38th birthday, so happy birthday Mark…Billy Butler will start his first game tonight after a recall from a stint in Omaha in which he hit .337 with six doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs. 

Third
Still lot’s going on even with the team out of town…

Tomorrow: Online Chat Series with Deric Ladnier, Senior-Director of Scouting.

This week: ATH will have plenty of insight on the team (we’ve got a man or two on the inside). And we will have renovation updates as well as a Diamond of Dreams recap tomorrow.

All-Star Balloting: Stuff the boxes, it’s almost over.

On TV: The next seven games are all on FSN-KC. Saturday’s telecast was not originally scheduled but will be added to makeup for the May 22 rainout in Cleveland. It will be a regular telecast with Royals Live with Joel Goldberg starting at 5:30 and game coverage beginning at 6. (all times are CT)

Lineup

Aviles SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Teahen RF
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Buck C
Gathright CF

Greinke P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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THE weekend is here.

6-27 Meche.jpgThe Royals and the Redbirds. We swept them last week on their side of the state. They were missing a few key players who are back and looking for revenge this week. We’re ramping up to have a huge weekend here at the K. It’s the “Eye”-70 Series 2008 2.0, presented by Silverstein Eye Centers, and to get inside the match up, let’s go around the horn…
 
First
Gil Meche is on the hill tonight. Meche leads a Royals team that’s playing some of its best baseball of the season. They are still the hottest team in baseball, winning 10 of their last 11 (along with the Twins). The Royals and their division foes to the far North also share the distinction of the best interleague record in the Majors.
 
With one of their top twirlers on the mound, the Royals are looking for a season series win over the Cards and the positive end to this homestand. Meche’s strikeout numbers, a key to his success, have seen a jump in the last month. He’s punched out 51 batters in his 49 and two thirds innings, including 10 a few weeks back in Arizona. Over his last 11 starts, he has a 3.69 ERA.
 
He’s been solid of late and he will look to continue his run of strong starts tonight in his second career appearance against the Cards.
 
Tomorrow in front of an already sold out crowd, Mitchell Boggs (2-0, 5.40) goes against Kyle Davies (3-0, 3.12). Davies downed St. Louis last week with 7 strong innings of work. As a note to those lucky enough to have tickets, the Royals are asking everyone to be in there seats by 5:45 p.m. for the special pre-game ceremonies of Art Stewart’s Hall of Fame induction. Tomorrow, we’ll talk a little about Art and what he’s meant to this organization and Sunday we’ll have a full recap of the ceremony plus the second installment of Touch ‘em All, this time with Hall of Fame portrait artist John Martin.
 
Then on Sunday for the final game of the series and the nine-game homestand, Braden Looper (9-5, 4.22) draws the Royals daytime dominator, Brian Bannister (7-8, 4.47). Bannister is 5-1 during day games this season and opponents are batting .228 against him under the sun.
 
Second
The Royals offense is here and in gear. They are hitting .278 over the last 13 games with 30 doubles, 2 triples and 15 home runs. Going homerless on Wednesday, the Royals have still hit 30 in their last 24 games and at least one in 10 of their last 13 contests. The team’s 47 extra-base hits over 13 games are tied for fifth in the Majors over that span.
 
Ross Gload, David DeJesus and John Buck all have longer hitting streaks coming into tonight’s game with DeJesus looking add on to his Major League leading .451 average with runners in scoring position. Only one other player (Cleveland’s Casey Blake at .415) in either league is hitting over .400 in that situation right now.

Short
As we mentioned with the Rockies in town earlier this week, Hal McRae, a Royals Hall of Famer, is the Cards hitting coach (McRae wears No. 8 for the Cards but wore No. 11 here in KC)…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: Mark Grudzielanek is making a return to the lineup after missing a few games with a sore lower back…Also of note: Jose Guillen is at DH tonight because of some leg trouble which has been bothering him off and on for a while…The Royals on-going chat series will have another installment on Tuesday. Royals’ Senior Director of Scouting, Deric Ladnier, will be online at 3 p.m. CT to take questions from fans.
 

6-23 Diamond of dreams.jpgThird
Our Diamond of Dreams charity event took place last night. We’ll have specific figures as soon as we can about the attendance and the money that was raised for the Dream Factory, but we’d like to thank Dodge, the event’s primary sponsor along with Teva Neuroscience, Sliverstein Eye Centers, VML, Tiffany & Co., Sprint, Swiss Re, Fox Sports Net, HOK, Aramark, Better Ideas, Budweiser, C&C Produce, Glazer’s, Hitchin Post, Larry Moore, Miller Brewing Co., Pepsi, Shotbee Photography, Sysco Foods, The ZEROS, US Food Service, Village Gardens and all of the volunteers who helped. We’ll have a full report and pics up soon, so please check back.
 
Tonight’s Lineup:
DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Gordon 3B
Guillen DH
Grudzielanek 2B
Teahen RF
Buck C
Gload 1B
Gathright CF
 
Meche P
 
Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Cardinals Week 2.0

I-70.jpgTomorrow the Cardinals invade Kansas City and Kauffman Stadium. It’s going to be another big weekend out at the K and Saturday is nearly a sellout already and both Friday and Sunday’s tickets are going fast.

But before we start getting worked up on this beautiful off day in Kansas City, let’s get a few things straight.
 
Here’s what we know. The Royals and the Twins are the hottest teams in baseball, both having won 10 of their last 11 (note: Minnesota currently trails San Diego in a Thursday matinee, 1-0, in the third inning). The Royals have the best interleague record (12-3 mark) which is half a game better than the Twins entering today.  Yep, you can gloat a little.
 
Trey Hillman rightly brought us back down to earth when he said following last night’s win that it was a “step” and said we need to focus on continuing to take baby steps. He’s right, but today’s an off-day. Time to soak in the success of the past two weeks and look forward to what promises to be a wild weekend here at Kauffman. Let’s fill the K will blue and drown out the red.
 
Let’s get in a quick pick-me-up before we focus in on St. Louis, and go around the horn…
 
First
The Royals have gone 11-2 since June 12, an .846 win percentage. They’ve shaved five and a half games off their division deficit and sit in fourth place, seven games back. We’ve won four series in a row for the first time since June of 2003 and already have clinched a winning mark in June.
 
On top of those four series wins, the Royals have won all five interleague series this season, squaring off against some tough foes including the Florida Marlins, who were in first place at the time back in May and sit just two games back in second now, the Arizona Diamondbacks who currently lead their division, the Wild Card-leading Cardinals, the third-place San Francisco Giants and the defending National League Champion Rockies.
 

6-26 Hoch.jpgSecond
With a low scoring game last night and the longest outing of Luke Hochevar’s career, we want to talk some more pitching. Royals starters have been impressive in interleague play and during this hot stretch. They’ve gone deep into games, averaging 6.2 innings a game during interleague play and 6.1 innings over the last 10. No surprise, they are 11-1 with two no decisions in interleague this season and 8-0 with two no decisions over the last 10 games. Going deep also keeps the bullpen fresh and effective. Just ask opponents how fresh and effective Joakim Soria has been (he has six saves in the last 10 games).
 
Hochevar earned his fifth big league win last night, going eight innings and throwing just 95 pitches. The sinkerballer recorded lot and lots of groundball outs last night, and is now fourth among American League pitchers with at least 13 starts with a 1.97 groundball/fly ratio. To explain that a bit more literally, Hochevar recorded 24 outs last night. He recorded 17 ground outs and three fly outs (along with three strikeouts and a caught stealing). That equals a groundball percentage of 85 (17 out of 20 outs put into play came on the ground).
 
If that was over your head, just remember, the key to Hochevar’s success is to keep the ball down. He’s a sinkerballer and wants groundballs.
 
Short
The Cardinals Albert Pujols came off the disabled list to play for St. Louis today, allowing the former Fort Osage High standout to make a homecoming this weekend…Royals pitchers on the D.L., Leo Nunez and John Bale, might be coming off shortly after the All-Star break, although they still haven’t thrown off the mound yet…Joakim Soria has 21 saves and KC’s pre-All-Star break record is 25 (Jeff Montgomery in 1993)…he has nine saves in the month of June alone…Mr. Clutch, David DeJesus leads the Majors with a .451 batting average with runners in scoring position, 29 points higher than Cleveland’s Casey Blake.
 
Third
The Silverstein Eye Center “Eye”-70 Series is moving west this weekend. To steal a Dodgers’ slogan: “Think Blue.” With three games on the line, we want Kauffman to be coated in blue. Don’t wear you’re white or gray or pink or mauve or whatever Royals jerseys and T-shirts. Opt for the blue alternates. Break out the powder blues, the Gil Meche T-shirt Tuesday shirts from last year. Whatever blue you’ve got, wear it.
 
We swept the Cards for the first time in St. Louis last week and we’re looking to keep it going. The Royals won 2 of 3 last season at Kauffman with a memorable moon-shot by Alex Gordon into the right field fountains. The Royals need just one win to secure a win in the season series after splitting last year. A second sweep this season would put the interleague series at 25-26, making next year very interesting.
 
Like we mentioned yesterday, plenty of promotions going on this weekend and tickets are going fast. Friday is also a silent auction to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In honor of Art Stewart being inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night, keep an eye out for our second Touch ‘em All interview on this blog, with an exclusive look into John Martin’s world. John is the man who has painted every Royals Hall of Fame portrait to date as well as numerous Royals media guide covers and much more. So look for that right here on Around the Horn.
 
Enjoy the off-day and continue to think blue.

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Brooms Back For Second Sweeping?

6-25 Guillen.jpgFor the second time in a week, we’re looking to get out the brooms. And for the second time in a week, we’re looking to win our fifth in a row.

Luke Hochevar started this nice little run (9-1 in last 10 games) when he squared off against Randy Johnson in Arizona on June 14. Hochevar toes the rubber tonight, looking to keep the Royals winning ways going. To see how we got here, let’s go around the horn…

First
The offense is on a tear lately, but we’ve talked about that plenty in this space, although we’ll never get tired of it. One thing we also can never talk about enough – and Dayton Moore would agree with this – is great pitching. 

Zack Greinke wasn’t nice to the Rockies last night. He tied a career high when he whiffed 10 and walked none. That’s what happens when he’s on. He throws strikes and makes the hitters work to get on base. Greinke threw 99 pitches last night. Only 29 were balls. Greinke succeeded and he picked up his seventh win of the season because of it. True, his teammates gave him five runs while he was in the game and added another two for insurance. 6-25 Greinke.jpgBut Greinke made sure they wouldn’t need to do too much, picking up his 12th “quality start” of the season. Gil Meche is the only other Royals starter to punch out 10 in a game this season, which was on June 15 in Arizona and was game two of the Royals current 9-1 run. Greinke is the only Royals’ starter to do it last season. In fact, since 2003, the Royals have just five games in which a starter struck out 10 since 2003. Greinke’s got two.

What’s maybe more interesting, is that Greinke did it in six innings, as 10 of his 18 outs recorded were punchies. Meche went seven during his 10 K day and Greinke went eight last year when he hit double-digits.

Greinke has 84 K’s this season in 106 innings with only 33 walks. Last night he earned his seventh win, which ties his 2007 totals and is one shy of his career high from 2004, his rookie season. His career high for strikeouts is 114 in 2005.

While strikeouts don’t guarantee wins, they sure help. They can kill rallies and give a boost to the crowd at the same time. Greinke’s seven wins put him in a tie with Brian Bannister for the team lead. Bannister is a different kind of pitcher, a guy who pitches to contact, so his K numbers aren’t as high as Greinke. But for No. 23, lots of strikeout numbers has transferred to a good deal of wins this season.

Second
Speaking of pitching, the team has an ERA of 3.08 over the last ten games and is averaging 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings, including last night’s new season high 14 K’s as a staff. Despite the overall good pitching, Dayton Moore has shown he is not going to leave well enough alone and be content with good pitching. Since Sunday, the Royals have called up Joel Peralta, purchased the contract of Horacio Ramirez and claimed Robinson Tejeda from the Rangers.

Tejeda (Tuh-HAY-duh), will be in uniform tonight, wearing No. 51. The new Royals pitcher is a 6-3, 230 pound right-hander with a cannon for an arm and Major League experience with the Phillies and Rangers. Trey Hillman calls him simply “a power arm.” He has previous starting experience in the Majors and had four relief appearances with the Rangers earlier this season.

Yasuhiko Yabuta was optioned as the corresponding roster move. Yabuta will report to Omaha. Hillman said he just needs to work on getting back to where he was a month ago when he had 10 appearances in which he only allowed one run over 9.2 innings for a 0.93 ERA. Opposing hitters were batting just .176 against him during that period. 

Short
Lefty Ron Mahay, an unsung hero this year in the ‘pen, has not allowed a run in his last eight appearances, totaling 9.1 scoreless innings…Mike Aviles, David DeJesus and Ross Gload all have hitting streaks of four games or more with DeJesus reaching double digits last night with 10 straight…Aviles has also recorded at least one RBI in five straight…With their 11th win of the season over a National League team yesterday, the Royals secured their best interleague record in team history…The only game the Royals have lost over their last 10 was last Friday, which also happens to be the only game they haven’t homered in during their last 10…Note from Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: Yasuhiko Yabuta, who was optioned today, has no timetable on when he may return. The Royals don’t set timetables on recalls…The Kansas City Star‘s Bob Dutton, as president of the BBWAA, has been named one of the official scorers for the 2008 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium. Congrats to Bob!

Third
This weekend is a big one. It’s Cardinals week 2.0. The festivities here at the K really get started with the sold out Diamond of Dreams charity extravaganza tomorrow and then the Redbirds come to town Friday. Silverstein Eye Centers, sponsor of the “Eye-70″ series (get it?), will be giving out a Rally Racket on Saturday, which is also the day Art Stewart will be inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame. Sunday children can pick up free admission to the new Coco Key Water Park just across I-70 from the ballpark in the Sheraton.

Tickets are going fast for the “Eye”-70 Series. The Royals are hot and the Cardinals always draw well, so get ‘em now so you don’t miss out.

Lineup:
DeJesus RF
Aviles SS
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF           
Teahen DH
Buck C
Gload 1B
Callaspo 2B
Gathright CF

Hochevar P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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And so it starts.

6-17 85 WS.jpgAll eyes in the state of Missouri will be on St. Louis over the next three days… or at least they should be.

The legacy of ’85 is draped over Kansas City-St. Louis, otherwise known as the I-70 Series. Since interleague started, the cross-state rivals have been a fixture on the Royals schedule. Today is the first of six games in the 2008 Show-Me-State series. After a 3-3 record last season against the Cardinals, KC owns a 4-2 record this season against two first place National League teams.

First
Kyle Davies (2-0, 1.53 ERA) throws tonight, coming off a no decision against Texas last week. Davies, who has been impressive so far this season, faces Joel Pineiro (2-3, 4.41. Davies run since his recall from the Omaha Royals on May 31 has been pretty stellar, allowing only three runs to cross the plate in 17.2 innings. In fact, before his recall, Davies was leading the Pacific Coast League in ERA and had allowed just four earned runs in his last 25 innings in Triple-A. Quick math for the challenged, that’s a 1.48 ERA in his last 42.2 innings.

Thumbnail image for 6-17 Davies.jpgSecond
With Davies throwing tonight, the Royals look to extend the strong starting pitching performances they have had over the last seven games. The next two games in St. Louis, the Royals send Brian Bannister and Zack Greinke to the mound.

Wednesday: Bannister is 1-0 versus the Cardinals when he pitched seven shutout innings in Kansas City last summer. In a switch from the original probables , Braden Looper pitches tomorrow instead of today.

Thursday: Greinke looks to continue his streak of nine straight shutout innings after seven on Friday night in Arizona. Anthony Reyes will be recalled from the minors for Thursday’s day game.  He will take the place of ex-Royal Todd Wellemeyer who is battling right elbow inflammation.

Short
Yesterday’s off day was the Royals first in 13 days, going back to June 2…They had also played the previous 20 straight days before June 2…Joey Gathright (3), Mark Grudzielanek (5) and Jose Guillen (10) enter tonight with three or more game hitting streaks…The Club scored 20 runs in the final two games of the Arizona series, including season highs for runs (12) and hits (17) on Saturday.

Third
Tonight will be big, not just because the Royals start their first series of the season with St. Louis viewing party in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the 192 square foot HD video screen in the KC Live block. The Game Entertainment folks will be working hard all night with complete between inning features throughout the entire game including the hot dog derby, in-game host Tim Scott and plenty of contests and prizes.

The fun will start an hour before first pitch with performances by the Lee’s Summit North Broncos drumline and the Lee’s Summit North Northern Stars dance team – the reigning Class 6A Missouri State Champions. Sluggerrr and the K Crew will be on hand as well.

Look for tonight’s starting lineup later today, until then here’s the Royals Official Game Notes.

See you at the Power & Light District.

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The Show-Me-State rivalry begins in '08

The team had a successful trip to Arizona,winning the series over the Diamondbacks. And they are enjoying their day off in St. Louis.

This week is the first of two Cardinals weeks. It’s blue versus red – the I-70 Series 23 years later. The Royals encourage all of you to sport your blue this week and attend the watch party tomorrow in the Kansas City Power & Light District.

Meche 6-16With that said, let’s go around the horn…

First
How about that starting pitching of late? Gil Meche threw four perfect innings yesterday. Yea, perfect. Meche did eventually allow three runs, but he got the win and finished off a nice series win over the Diamondbacks.

As for the rest of the rotation…They’ve delivered. Meche, rookie Luke Hochevar, Zack Greinke, Brian Bannister and tomorrow’s starter Kyle Davies have been sharp over the last week. In pitching 46.1 innings, the group has a 2.53 ERA. That’s 13 earned runs during a seven game span. Royals’ starters have allowed just 3 homers and struck out 36 (big thanks to Meche for his 10 K’s yesterday) during those seven games. Now that is quality pitching.

Second
6-16 DeJesus.jpgRoyals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre said it during yesterday’s FSN-KC broadcast. David DeJesus is locked in right now. The praise came after the Royals outfielder hit his first career grand slam into Arizona’s version of a splash down – the pool in right-center field. DeJesus is hitting .350 over his last 20 games, which includes a 12-game hitting streak. DeJesus has 11 extra base hits during that span including four homers.

Short
Recently recalled Mike Aviles is killing the ball with a .368 average and a .711 slugging percentage over his last 10 games…Jose Guillen is too, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and upping his average to a season high .288.

Third
This weekend spells a ton of great stuff for fans. Three games versus the San Francisco Giants and three great promotions.

Friday: The Royals present Kansas City’s largest firework show ever, The Sky Show hosted by Pepsi and 99.7 The Boulevard…The Royals are 4-2 in interleague play this season.

Saturday: Alex Gordon Bobblehead Night…The Royals are 1-0 on Bobblehead nights this season, winning 4-2 on Big John Mayberry night versus Cleveland

Sunday: Salute to Negro Leagues Day and Kansas City Monarch Caps…For one day, it’ll be the Monarchs versus the San Francisco Seals as both teams will wear Negro Leagues throwbacks.

 

Royals Vice President of Sales and Marketing said seats are going fast for Friday and Saturday

Hope to see you out at the K this weekend and remember, it’s the first of two Cardinals weeks…WEAR YOUR BLUE.

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