I was only able to hear about the first 4 or so innings of the game today before I had to go to work, and boy did it start off lousy. The Royals managed to give up 6 runs in the first inning, half of them coming due to Teahen's errant throw on a botched double play. The good guys did manage to scrape a run in the 2nd inning off of a Billy Butler solo shot with 1 out against Anna Benson's husband. However, they gave up 3 more runs in the bottom of the 2nd including back to back home runs followed by a triple, all off of Brandon Duckworth. The Royals did manage to get back 4 runs in the 3rd inning, 3 of them coming off of a monster home run by Mike Jacobs to right field. There was no more scoring until the 7th inning when the Rangers pushed 1 run over the plate. They got 2 more in the 8th before the Royals added 2 more in the top of the 9th. Add it all up and you get a 12-7 win by the Rangers. Not exactly what you're looking for in the first game of Spring Training, but much better than 12-0. The Royals muscled up today and hit 4 home runs (Butler, Jacobs, Olivo, Maier) as well as draw 6 walks, and for that, I am proud.
On the first ball hit near him Mark Teahen tried to flip to the SS covering 2B for an attempt at a double play. The only problem was that he threw the ball into LF instead. It took all I could not to immediately give up on him as a middle infielder at that point in time. Granted, I couldn't actually see the throw and it may have not been as bad as it sounded, so I decided to give Mark the benefit of the doubt and withhold judgement. Then, a few plays later Mark dives for a ball and it goes under his glove. At that point I was frustrated. Then Mark makes a poor throw on a double play attempt and booted an easy ground ball for another error. Other than that, he did just fine in the field. I'm not ready to give up on him as a 2nd baseman just yet, because as he pointed out, the year Grudz won a gold glove he made 3 errors in his first Spring Training game. Let's hope Mark gets it together though.
Jose Lima's brother?
Teahen wasn't alone in his quest for suckiness, however, as Horacio Ramirez was nipping at his heels the whole ride there. Horacio faced 10 batters in 2/3 of an inning, recording one strikeout and giving up 6 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits including a home run to Hank Blalock. Sure, Horacio wasn't helped out by his defense, but by all accounts he was leaving everything up in the strike zone, which in Arizona in Spring Training is a big no-no. We'll see how he bounces back next start, however.
Miguel Olivo took a foul tip off the back of his right hand. Olivo stayed in the game, also hitting a home run. He caught four innings total. X-rays after the game were negative, and he isn't expected to miss any time.
Batter of the Game
I originally wanted to give the batter of the game to Billy Butler, seeing as he was the only Royal with 2 hits, including a HR. However, I decided Mike Jacobs would be the better choice, as he had a monster 3 run shot, and hopefully this love will get him to listen to me when I tell him it's okay to walk. (to first base, that is) So congratulations, Mike, you're the official RRC batter of the game.
Pitcher of the Game
This choice was easy for me, half because he was the only pitcher to go two innings without giving up a run, and secondly because I'm really rooting for him to make this team. The first RRC pitcher of the game goes to Lenny DiNardo, he of the Italian heritage. Lenny pitched two scoreless innings, including 1 hit and striking out the last two batters he faced. Not bad for your first action in spring training, though at this point, most people argue the pitchers are ahead of the hitters. (Though that didn't seem the case today, for either squad)
Tomorrow the Royals play host to the Rangers (they were the visitors today.) The game is scheduled to start at 2:05 CT, and will be broadcast on 610 AM KCSP again. Kyle Davies gets the nod against Kevin Millwood. Also scheduled to pitch for the Royals are Heath Phillips, Julio Pimental, Tim Hamulack, Matt Wright, and Carlos Rosa. I'm much more excited for the pitching tomorrow than I was today. Kyle Davies, Matt Wright, Julio Pimental, and Carlos Rosa are all young players who I hope do well. Matt Wright deserved a shot in September last year, in my opinion, but was unable to get it.
Anyway, as always, thanks for reading. Look for another update tomorrow.