Results tagged ‘ Luke Hochevar ’
As the Royals continue to roll, they continue to work on fundamentals. Back in Spring Training, Trey Hillman established that the basics are what this team would focus on, doing the little things right.
To find out what little things the Royals are doing now and how they are contributing to their current run of success, we go around the horn…
Two plays stand out from last night’s game that help illustrate that point. Up by three, Miguel Olivo smashed a double into the right field corner, driving home Jose Guillen who was charging hard from second. Olivo beat the throw from Matt Holliday with a slide into second. The hit ended an 0-for-21 slide for the Royals catcher. What was the key of the at bat? Olivo saw 10 pitches. Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis had nothing new left to throw to Olivo. So he threw a pitch Olivo had already seen and Olivo made him pay. Francis left the game and the Royals continued to roll.
Alex Gordon deserves some props for some solid defense in the top half of the fifth. Gordon was able to turn two by simply being aware of the runner on base. Chris Iannetta was on third and Willy Taveras hit a hard bouncer straight at Gordon. Iannetta froze, like most players would, to see where the ball was going. By the time he started to turn, Gordon had quickly applied the tag and fired the ball across to first baseman Ross Gload. Gordon helped out his pitcher Brian Bannister hold down the damage and quickly put the Royals in a more manageable situation with two outs and one runner on base.
Both plays were small in comparison to the 8-4 final score, but take them away and who knows what might have happened.
The team is having fun right now. Of course, winning will do that. But in the Royals’ eighth, Ross Gload hit his first homer since the beginning of September last year. The bench let him know when he got back. Normally the home run hitter finds a dugout full of high-fives awaiting his return. Gload found silence and no one really paying attention to him. The whole bench stiffed him and he was left hanging. But only for a few seconds. The team burst into laughter and Gload got his credit.
Today after a regular pitcher’s fielding practice (PFP) session, about 10 players along with Trey Hillman and Bob McClure started playing a quick-throw game of catch. “The Play-Catch” drill, as MLB.com reported earlier this season, is designed to work on the most basic fundamentals of the game, throwing and catching the baseball. Players scatter around the infield dirt and fire the ball to one-another as quickly as possible. There is no set pattern to throw in. The only rules, don’t drop it, throw as quickly as you can and try not to hit the guy standing on the mound in the head. The infielders played it earlier this season and went nine or 10 minutes without dropping the ball in the fast-paced game.
Today was the pitchers turn. They didn’t last as long, but they seemed to be having fun. And so were the onlookers. Catcher John Buck could be seen just smiling and shaking his head watching the drill near the first base line, while Miguel Olivo stood near the dugout counting
as each ball was caught and laughing as the pitchers scooped and fired. Infielders, for the most part, try not to put any movement on the balls they throw. However, pitchers want life. That can make a throwing drill a little complicated when 6-foot-5 sinkerballer Luke Hochevar lets one fly. Trey Hillman bent and caught one at his ankles and with a smile, yelled “Hoch is throwin’ sinkers over here.”
Over the last ten games, the Royals are 8-2…It’s no coincidence that David DeJesus and Mike Aviles continue to be an offensive force, scoring 18 runs, totaling 28 hits (15 for extra bases, with five being homers) and knocking in 20…The Royals claimed right-handed pitcher Robinson Tejeda off waivers from the Rangers this afternoon, moving John Bale to the 60-day D.L. to make room on the 40-man with another move imminent on the 25-man when Tejeda joins the team, probably tomorrow…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pre-press conference: Mark Grudzielanek is still out with a sore back and is day-to-day…Trey’s assessment on the Royals’ newest pitcher in two words: power arm.
We covered Joakim Soria yesterday but failed to mention that he’s a “cover boy”. Soria is on the cover of Royals Gameday Magazine from June 20 to July 23. Gameday is sold throughout Kauffman Stadium or by calling 1-800-6-Royals and is a monthly 128-page magazine containing insight and inside information on the Royals.
Tonight is the middle game of the Rockies series and a special note should be made that this is their first-ever trip to Kansas City. As we mentioned yesterday, manager Clint Hurdle and bench coach Jamie Quirk are Royals alums. Quirk is a Kansas City resident in the offseason and Hurdle is making his first trip back to K.C. since 1981.
We bring them up again because Quirk is also making an appearance in Gameday this month, under the feature about a Royals alum.
Question for you all tonight… Which Royals alum are you curious about?
Today’s Official Game Notes.
The sweep is complete. And now the Royals are on to bigger things. Like Giant things. Sorry, we had to throw at least one cheesy Giants joke in here and, we apologize, there may be more.
Tonight is the Kansas City Sky Show which is being co-hosted by 99.7 The Boulevard. It’s going to be the largest fireworks show in Kansas City history. To give some perspective, the Marketing Department said it will be five times as large as the Royals regular Friday Night Fireworks Spectacular, which as all of you know, is typically really spectacular. They are planning on 30 minutes, on-field pyrotechnics and special CrownVision videos. Should be fun and get people really in the mood for the Fourth of July
But back to the sweep, and for that let’s go around the horn…
Zack Greinke threw seven innings yesterday and it was the sixth consecutive “quality” start for the Royals (all five starters have posted a win over those six games with Greinke getting a no decision last Friday when the Royals lost 1-0 in the 10th.) Greinke gave up only two hits to the Cardinals. Unfortunately, Rick Ankiel made him pay for a mistake in the fourth. But Greinke shut the Redbirds down, giving up only one other hit, walking just one and striking out seven.
The rotation has a 1.91 ERA in the last 6 games, allowing just 9 runs in 42 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .216 and have struck out 33 times in the six-game streak. Ankiel’s homer yesterday is the only one they’ve allowed over the last week. With pitching like that, it’s no surprise we’ve won 5 in a row and 6 of 7.
Tonight’s starter Luke Hochevar began the Royals current five-game winning streak last Saturday. Hochevar, the Royals’ top pick in 2006, is looking to even out his record, as he’s currently 4-5 this season. But all four wins have come against some big names. For his first career win, he beat the owner of the second best ERA in the A.L., Shawn Marcum. C.C. Sabathia, last year’s A.L. Cy Young winner was his second victim. Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander was the next to fall. And then Luke beat the Big Unit, future Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson.
That foursome has a combined 451 career wins… Hochevar has four, but counting.
It’s no surprise the Royals have hit 25 of their season total 51 homers in the last 18 games and have gone 10-8 in that span… All three of the Royals’ wins in St. Louis featured homers in the eighth inning or later with a two-run blast by Mark Teahen yesterday, a pair of homers by Alex Gordon and David DeJesus on Wednesday and a game-winner by Mike Aviles in the series opener…The Royals are 7-2 against the National League this season with 9 interleague games remaining – all at Kauffman…From Manager Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: Joakim Soria’s availability, after recording saves the last three days is a game time decision.
Don’t forget about the other two great promotions this weekend with the Alex Gordon Bobblehead and the Salute to the Negro Leagues Day on Sunday when the Royals will be giving out Kansas City Monarchs caps.
The Royals will be dressed as the Monarchs and the Giants will become the San Francisco Seals. The day will also feature a Negro Leagues event outside the stadium with former Negro Leaguers on hand to sign autographs.
It’s going be a Giant weekend in Kansas City…We had to do it.
Here’s the Royals Official Game Notes. Please note the previous post about the sellout tonight at the K.
Yup, while we are all at The K watching Luke Hochevar and the Royals battle the Detroit Tigers at 7:10 p.m., Cook will be waiting for votes and watching the footage of his hometown visit to Kansas City including the visit to the stadium – where he threw out a first pitch and sang the seventh-inning stretch – and the pep rally at Blue Springs South High School where he met Royals mascot Sluggerrr (the newest pictures to add to our David Cook collection!).
So, in between innings – if you aren’t at the stadium, of course! – switch over and catch some of the Royals and Cook at The K on “American Idol.”
Go Royals…and go David Cook!