The Royals went on to give up two runs each in the 7th and 8th innings via Kyle Farnsworth and Jimmy Gobble, tying the Cleveland Indians 9-9 today.
Although the Royals managed to score 9 runs, their hitters were pretty disappointing, in my opinion. They had 13 hits but drew just 2 walks (both by Mike Jacobs, go figure..) and struck out 9 times. I realize this team has a lot of starters at the WBC, but 9 Ks to 2 BBs isn't just unacceptable, it's really bad. The one positive coming from the strikeouts was that 2 of them were from an 0-3 Gload, who *fingers crossed* will manage to suck so bad he won't make the team out of Spring Training. John Buck had a a double to go along with his home run and was 2-3.
As a group, the Royals pitchers were bad, you never want to have a team ERA of 9. However, they did manage 12 strikeouts, which is encouraging. They also surrendered 5 walks, which is discouraging, but not too bad if you're getting 12 strikeouts. Greinke gave up 2 home runs, which is disappointing, as he had an excellent first outing, but I'll give him a free pass because it is ST. Roman Colon had another scoreless outing, which brings him up to 3 scoreless innings with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. It's looking more and more like he might make the team.
Hitter of the Game
The hitter of the game award today goes to Alex Gordon. Alex was 2 for 3 and hit a grand slam, totaling 4 RBI and 1 run. Alex is hitting .250/.357/.583 so far this spring. I realize it's early but if can keep that production up it would be a good building block off of the second half of last season when he hit .277/.392/.496 in 41 games.
Pitcher of the Game
The pitcher of the game award goes to Joel Peralta, who logged a scoreless inning, striking out 2 and walking none while giving up just a single. Joel hasn't had a good spring so far, and was very susceptible to the home run last season, but he's still a fairly reliable veteran who should be stashed in AAA in case he doesn't make the club. I'm more than confident he'll have some solid major league innings this season, once again.
Brian Bannister will face off against Kevin Millwood and the Rangers tomorrow in Surprise. He will be followed up by Luke Hochevar, no word yet on the other scheduled pitchers. First pitch will be at 2:05 central time.
The Royals finished signing the rest of the non-arb. eligible players on their 40 man roster today, namely; Mitch Maier, Billy Butler and Mike Aviles. No real news there, and it's interesting that Aviles agreed to the deal while not even in camp (he's at the PR WBC camp). Further proof that he really isn't involved in the process at all (at least late in the process). This isn't necessarily true though, because he could have agreed last week sometime and they were just waiting for one of the other three to finish up because the Royals wanted to announce the signings at the same time.. Who knows.
Thanks as always for reading.