The majestic beauty of home runs

The chances were looking pretty slim for the Royals. Down 2-4 to the Rays last night in the top of the ninth, it looked like it was going to be another disappointing series loss at the wrong time in the season. It looked like the Royals were going to be coming back to Kauffman with their heads held low, about to face the toughest team in the division. Then Salvador Perez stepped up to the plate.

We all know the value of home runs in the MLB, but we never truly appreciate them, I think, until they have a major impact on a game. For instance, the grand slam in the fourth inning that put the Rays up 4-2 with one swing. It seemed as though that sucked the life out of all the Royals players and fans.

I can’t imagine what Salvy was thinking when he came to the plate in the ninth. Two runners on, one out, and a chance to start clawing back into the game. I can honestly say the pressure would be too much for me to handle. Probably most of you, too.

Instead of cracking under pressure (like he did in his previous at-bat when he popped up to 2B with bases loaded) Salvy took the pressure, and smashed it to RF. I was sitting in my car listening to the game, and cheered so loud I actually shook the car. That’s how excited I was.

It’s safe to say this Royals team isn’t the most exciting team, and home runs are hard to come by. This one couldn’t have come at a better time.

Salvy didn’t just win a game last night. He invoked a fire in the Royals players and fans at just the right time. The Royals are going to need all the energy and passion they can get against the Tigers, and hopefully finish the first half of the season on a high note. 4.5 GB the Tigers for first, the Royals are sitting pretty in second place.

Salvy remind us why we all love home runs. He reminded us how they can make or break a game. He reminded us how they get our blood flowing and fists pumping. He reminded us how much better they are than singles and stolen bases.

Salvy’s home run last night was more than a home run. It was a majestic, beautiful gift from the baseball gods that might just be enough for the Royals to punch the Tigers square in the nose on our home turf.

Thank you, Salvy.

Advertisements

Vacation, Raul Ibanez, and the ASG

When you go on two consecutive vacations, return for a week, then leave for another two days, I have to admit that it’s hard to keep up with your work. Yes, I consider this blog work, because well, someday it will be.

In my hiatus from writing, I also took a brief hiatus from the Royals, as you can imagine. My trip to South Dakota was a success, and my trip to Branson was fun-filled with all of my friends. In all of that though, I simply forgot about the Royals.

Sure, it happens sometimes and we all need a little break, but now that I’m back, I almost regret it. The Royals are my team, and it sucks to know how poor they are doing right now. Maybe I should just go on another vacation.


 

When I saw that the Royals acquired Raul Ibanez, I almost lost it. The dude is 42, and an outfielder. The Royals already have about 20 outfielders, and what could Ibanez possibly offer at his age?

Of course, Dayton Moore said the age wasn’t a problem, and that he planned to use Ibanez in a multitude of ways. He made his first appearance Tuesday night against the twins, and fared pretty darn well. He’s even hit a home run. I’d say he’s been quite the acquisition.

What will be interesting to see, however, is how long he can produce, and how much he produces. He has a batting average similar to that of Mike Moustakas’ this year, and didn’t get much attention while playing for the Angels. I think the last time I even heard his name in a highlight was about four years ago.

Who knows though, Dayton Moore does have a pretty good track record with the old dudes he picks up.


With the All-Star Game just a week away, it’s disappointing to know that the Royals will have ZERO players representing them in the Mid-Summer Classic. Sure, the Royals have talent, but in a mediocre season nobody gets noticed.

For the Royals, this year isn’t about how many All-Stars they have though. I think it was clear 20 games into the season this was going to be just another year for this team. As the season is now halfway over, the Royals need to focus on one thing; winning.

4.5 GB Detroit and with series coming up against Cleveland and Detroit, the Royals have a perfect opportunity to both secure their current position in second (Cleveland is trailing them) and gain some ground on Detroit. A 3 game series at Cleveland and a 4 game series at Kauffman against Detroit means it’s time to buckle down and finish out the first half on a strong note.

Baseball is about taking advantage of opportunities, and this is one of the best one the Royals might have all season. With a decent record in June, it’s time to go even further in July and start playing like real contenders.

Check back tomorrow for a Cleveland series preview.

Happy 4th of July!

 

Boy, Was I Wrong. (Kind Of)

I knew the Royals were on an offensive surge, but I didn’t expect anything like this. I predicted the sweep, but my score predictions were way out in left field. The Royals dominated the Sox, outscoring them 22-6. Yikes!

The bats were hot the entire series, and finally, we saw the team hit some dingers! There is no other way to guarantee runs with one swing. Sure, doubles are great (the Royals lead the Majors in doubles) but homeruns are even better. A double could provide a run, a homerun does provide a run. 

More importantly though is the series that the Royals begin tomorrow. A four game set against Detroit provides a great opportunity to launch into first place. Just 1.5 GB the Tigers, this series could do some real damage in terms of standings. 

The Royals are riding a seven game winning streak, and right now isn’t the time to get cold feet. They are entering what could be the most pivotal series of the season, as June is shaping up to be a fantastic month for the team after a less than stellar April and May.

As much as I would enjoy posting a series preview, I’ve got a 11:30 tee time at the Meadowbrook Country Club in Rapid City, South Dakota tomorrow. Needless to say, I’m enjoying my vacation.

Chicago White Sox Series Preview (6/13-6/15)

Hey folks, currently writing this on my way to South Dakota. I think. Secret family vacations make for great road trips.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt my first series preview. This could either be really good, or really good. There will be no in between. So here goes nothing.

OVERALL: Okay, we know the Royals aren’t the greatest team this year, but the Sox are even worse. In a division full of crappy teams, the Royals are the best. The Sox might be the worst. The Royals bats are hot as of late, and hopefully it can carry over to tonight’s game. They’ve gotten through the string of 14 games in stellar fashion, and now have a chance to make up some ground in the division race. They could be in first place by the end of the week. We’ll see though.

GAME 1: Guthrie v. Quintana

This is a pretty even pitching match, as both have similar records and ERA’s. On paper it would seem that Quintana has the edge, as his ERA is significantly lower than Guthrie’s. We have to keep in mind though the fact that Guthrie has little to no run support in all of the games he has pitched. Despite the Royals surge of offense, he seems to pitch on their off nights when it comes to offensive production. In his six losses, the Royals have scored a total of 8 runs. With the Royals having hot bats lately, I expect them to finally give Guthrie the run production he needs in order to win. Give this game to the Royals, 3-1.

GAME 2: Duffy v. Noesi

I’ll be honest, I don’t anything about Noesi. Never heard of him before, and I always don’t know how the Royals have fared against him. What a great analyst I am, right? Anyway, this game could be a total toss up. It looks like Duffy is finally starting to come around, and when he gets in a groove early in a game, he stays that way. We last saw him dominate against the Cards in a 6-0 win last week. He was a little shaky against the Yanks in last Saturday’s 8-4 win, but he did just enough to keep the team in it. I expect Duffy to come out guns a blazin’ in this game, and the Royals to keep the bats going. Another win for the Royals, 5-2.

GAME 3: Shields v. Rienzo

Again, who is this Rienzo guy? It doesn’t really matter, because Shields is on the mound. 7-3 on the season with a 3.44 ERA, the guy has been rock solid for this team. I think fans are starting to realize that the Wil Myers trade is starting to payoff, as Shields is the ace in this starting rotation. Not to mention, Rienzo has a 5.25 ERA. That won’t bode well with Royals offense, especially if they continue this offense spurt that they are on. My prediction? Shields is on fire, throws a ton of strikes, and the Royals hit two home runs. Surely one of those will be wrong. I’ll let you decide which one will be wrong. Give me the Royals in this game, 6-2.

SUMMARY: The Royals march into U.S. Cellular Field, sweep the Sox, and start chasing after the Tigers for first place. Lions are better than Tigers, anyway.