Friday, April 16, 2004

To say that the Royals are lucky to be just one game under .500 is an understatement; two dramatic come from behind victories means we're just this close to being 2-7 right now. Otherwise, this team has held to form so far:

-- The offense has been very good. The Royals are near the top of the league in runs, home runs, and OPS. Berroa hasn't produced, and we can nitpick about Juan Gone's run production,but overall this lineup will be a force all season, barring injury (jinx!).

-- The bullpen has been as good as expected, except for the blown save by Leskanic the other day. Don't know if Nate Field and D.J. Carrasco, two marginal major leaguers, can continue to pitch well, but so far I don't have any complaints. What more can you expect?

-- Oh, Sally, the starting pitching. All 7 of the people who REALLY care about the Royals knew this IS the weak link of this team. But who knew it would be this bad? The Royals Our bodacious top three of:

-- Brian "I'm Really a #4 Starter, But I Play #1 on the Royals!" Anderson
-- Darrell "Is One Good Season REALLY Worth a Few Million Dollars?" May, and
-- Jeremy "if he could just overcome those damn blisters he'd win the Cy Young!" Affeldt (everyone's pre-season darling)

have been spectacularly terrible, producing a grand total of ZERO quality starts between them. Brian Anderson did only give up 5 earned in 6 2/3 the other night, and in the process watching his ERA plunge to 8.62. It makes for top-notch trivia that the Royals have had all left-handed starters, but must they all SUCK at the same time?

Mathematically speaking, we're in good shape, though -- because it cannot get any worse than ZERO quality starts. We only have room for improvement - this is a bonafide fact. Mr. Gobble gave us one excellent start, and Reyes filled in well for another (though his four walks in 5 innings suggest his future is in the bullpen and later on waivers). The scary thing about this beginning is this team has NO starting pitching depth - Snyder, Ascencio, Hernandez all out for this season and beyond. Where do you go from here?

Anyhoo, the starting pitching cannot be this bad all season, so there is hope yet. If they are just merely "below average" rather than "historically bad", the Royals may yet win 75 games!

But I'm an optimist! Let's watch JGob string together his second consecutive quality starts tonight in Cleveland! Maybe. Probably not...


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