The Royals cruised to a road sweep of the Tigers last night behind Brian Bannister’s six shutout innings and a 10 run offensive outburst that featured just one extra base hit. Hey, good things happen to teams that are playing well. Even Tony Pena Jr. knocked in two runs last night.
With the Royals now a full game out of last place in the A.L. Central, they have a better than even chance of finishing something other than last for the first time since 2003. If Kansas City can win just one game in Minnesota, it would require the Tigers to take three of four from Tampa Bay (or three of five if Detroit ends up having to make up a game with the White Sox on Monday) to get back into fourth. With Gil Meche going on Saturday, I like the odds of getting that one win.
For now, I am not going to worry about the motivation of the competition that the Royals have laid waste to in September. I won’t complain about Zack Greinke not getting one more start. In fact, I might even agree with the analysis that led to not running him out there on Sunday. I have even stopped worrying about how many plate appearances Kila Kaaihue is getting - it’s easier since we are several days removed from a Ross Gload sighting. For now, let’s just revel in the fact that the Royals are playing well, winning games and will finish the season in a series against a team trying to make the playoffs.
Some great comments to Craig’s column yesterday, that will serve as the statistical analysis portion of my post (yes, that’s codespeak for Clark is in a lazy mood this morning).
- Chris added more statistical fuel to the Zack Greinke question posed by me last week.
- Jon lamented the abililty of the majority of the Kansas City hitters to function with two strikes.
- Paul pointed out the ‘Pitcher Runs Created’ formula and the high rankings of both Zack Greinke and Gil Meche. As a side note to this, caught the Tigers’ broadcast on XM Radio Tuesday night and they were raving about the Royals’ one-two punch of Meche and Greinke. Always nice to hear something positive from rival broadcast teams.
I am in the process of working up a plate discipline themed column that I’ll save for next week as opposed to throwing it out with limited detail today (again more codespeak for ‘lazy’ there), but here is a quick look at Runs Created to chew on today.
David DeJesus leads the Royals with 96 runs created, which is 25 more than Alex Gordon and 26 more than Jose Guillen. David has compiled that total in just 20 more plate appearance than Gordon and with 39 less plate appearances than Guillen.
Mike Aviles is credited with 60 runs created, just six less than Mark Teahen. Of course, and you saw this coming, Aviles did that in 187 fewer plate appearances than Teahen accumulated.
As dissapointing as Billy Butler’s season might be, his 55 runs created in 468 plate appearances is 13 better than Ross Gload (418 PA) and 14 better than John Buck (406 PA).
One final fun one: Ryan Shealy has 13 runs created in 64 plate appearances. Tony Pena Jr. has 5 runs created in 229 plate appearances.
Just a quick look at a usually very telling stat. As we enter the off-season, we will have plenty of time to dissect this and other numbers. For now, once again, let’s enjoy this final series as the Royals solidfy their hold on ‘not last’ and play a spoiler in the race for the Central crown.