Know Thine Enemy: Royals Review
"After we beat Texas, we sprayed champagne and beer for the first time as major leaguers. And then we promptly went out and lost the final five games of the regular season, which had people wondering about the importance of momentum in the postseason. The answer: no importance whatsoever. All we proved down the stretch was that it's tough to play with a hangover." - Kent Hrbek, referring of course to the 1987 season.
Maybe the hangover is over, for the Twins, who are fresh off of a three-game beating in Detroit. In case you're wondering about the status of their various chases: the Twins are five games ahead of Texas for home-field advantage in the first round, one game behind Tampa Bay for the best record in baseball, and are now unable to win 100 games for the first time since 1965, so you can put that thought right out of your head.
For midsummer series in Kansas City, I always check the weather, since you can count on it being hotter than the surface of Mercury, but predictions for this week are mid-seventies and sunny. No excuses there, then.
|2010 - Kevin Slowey||13-6||29||27||0||0||0||0||153.0||165||74||71||20||29||115||4.18||1.27|
I'm quite confused about the Twins' post-season rotation. It'll be Liriano and then Pavano and then Duensing, but then there's all sorts of crazy talk about the fourth starter. As a candidate for that job, Slowey is... a starting pitcher, I guess? I don't suspect Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker, or Slowey have any certain idea of which one will start Game 4, and who will end up in the bullpen, and whether any of the three will end up sitting on the couch at home eating potato chips and crying quietly, instead of pitching out of the bullpen.
I suspect Slowey knows that he might have to be excellent against the Royals to make his case. He's won his last two outings, and struck out eight against Oakland last time out.
|2010 - Kyle Davies||8-11||31||30||1||0||0||0||174.2||192||103||98||19||74||121||5.05||1.52|
A few facts about Davies:
- According to Baseball Reference, his first name is "Hiram," while his middle name is Kyle. Other people with the given name "Hiram" include Hank Williams and Ulysses S Grant, the latter of whom was born Hiram Ulysses but changed his name at West Point after his senator mistakenly nominated him for the academy as Ulysses S.
- He pitched against the Twins on June 9, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits, and departing in the seventh inning. Davies walked five that day, gave up a Delmon Young home run, blew an early 2-1 Royals lead, and gave up an RBI to Nick Punto. Not a good day, in other words.
- He actually has four quality starts in his past five outings, and yet has lost three of the five. The Royals, everybody!
- Bert will like him: he's thrown more than 110 pitches in three of those outings.
Don't expect much: everybody's hurt. Joe Mauer could return at DH for the Twins, but everybody else is banged up, including two guys - JJ Hardy and Jim Thome - who were apparently injured by their beds over the weekend. Minnesota may play another Quadruple-A lineup, which I suppose should make it a "competitive" game.