Monday, April 4, 2011

A wild weekend

If the Royals were looking to drum up fan interest this past weekend they certainly went about it the right way. After losing on opening day they won the next three games in their final at bat, and while they had their fair share of heroes (Kila, Getz, Treanor, Crow, Collins, etc.) the Angels bullpen proved to be the biggest hero of all. KC's pen was flat out dominant, which was unfortunately necessary since the rotation only managed one quality start (Jeff Francis) in the four game series.

Here is a bullpen comparison from this past weekend.
Royals 3 0 2.12 1 17.0 19 5 14 1.412 2.80
Angels 0 3 5.06 1 16.0 19 13 14 2.000 1.08

The Angels might be in trouble.

On offense the Royals did a lot of what we saw in spring training, took the walks the Angels so generously offered and stole some bases. I really liked the aggressiveness on the basepaths but I don't expect them to continue to steal at a 90% clip. Yost is handling Jarrod Dyson exactly as I was hoping, he pinch ran him in three of the four games, Dyson scored the winning run Saturday and stole a couple bases yesterday. It's possible he could steal 30+ bases this year just as a pinch runner.

The Royals had 6+ walks in two of the games and are now 112-50 since 2000 when they accomplish that feat. I don't believe it's random either, the Pirates for instance are 116-66 in the same time period. This one of the reasons why I shudder every time Moore brings in a free swinger. Walks matter.

Speaking of walks, the Royals put together a pretty rare game in the finale. Since 1919 (b-r's play index only goes back that far) yesterday was just the ninth time a team has had 10+ runs, 10+ walks, and 6+ steals in a game.

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt R BB SB
1 2011-04-03 KCR LAA W 12-9 12 10 6
2 2001-07-22 CHW BOS W 13-8 13 10 7
3 2000-09-03 CLE BAL W 12-11 12 10 6
4 1999-07-10 CIN CLE L 10-11 10 10 6
5 1983-07-17 OAK BOS W 13-9 13 11 7
6 1977-07-28 CIN CHC L 15-16 15 10 6
7 1948-07-21 SLB PHA W 17-5 17 10 6
8 1946-09-08 BRO NYG W 11-3 11 12 8
9 1930-07-25 PHA CLE W 14-1 14 10 7
If we lower the steals to 5 we find that has happened 26 times, 4 times by the Royals, who interestingly enough were the last team to do it. Here are the four 10-10-5 games in franchise history.

Date Tm Opp Rslt R BB SB
2011-04-03 KCR LAA W 12-9 12 10 6
2009-09-21 KCR BOS W 12-9 12 11 5
1979-04-27 KCR CLE W 15-7 15 11 5
1973-07-16 KCR DET W 10-2 10 10 5
3-1 and first place is a nice way to begin the season. It may not last, and probably won't, but it was a fun and wild weekend. And in a case of being in the right place at the right time my brother and I were able to get our picture taken with George Brett. We ran into him in the Royals hall of fame on Saturday, so a great day (Royals win, futures game) achieved epic status.

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