Posted on 06 May 2013.
Welcome to a new feature on I70 Baseball, the Royals Power Rankings. Each week we’ll rank the top five Royals in 2013 with a heavy emphasis on their performance in the past seven days. Just moments ago, Alex Gordon topped a 4-1 week with a walk off hit in the tenth inning. The club now sits at 17-10, on pace for 102 victories. As awesome as Gordon’s hit was, the week belonged to Lorenzo Cain, who continues to be the best hitter on the club in 2012.
#5 James Shields- Big Game James was brought in to be the ace and I seriously doubt the Royals thought his 3.00 ERA would rank third on the starting staff more than a month into the season. Shields picked up a victory off his old team with a gutsy performance on Tuesday night. After surrendering two runs in the first, Shields proceeded to pitch six shutout innings and notch his second victory of the season. It was the third time this season Shields has pitched 6+ innings and given up two runs of less.
#4 Alex Gordon- Sunday’s big hit aside, it was a rough week for the Royals’ left fielder. Gordon was 3/23 on the week before his 10th inning stroke and saw his average slide from .337 to .303 this week. Still, he leads the team with 20 RBI and is tied for the team lead in both home runs (3) and doubles (6)
#3 Jeremy Guthrie- The performance of the week goes to Guthrie for his complete game shutout of the White Sox on Saturday night. Guthrie completely owns the Sox, and has now gone a club-record 17 straight starts without a loss. Guthrie hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts.
#2 Ervin Santana- The official stats will tell you that Ervin Santana didn’t even pitch last week, but of course we all know that’s not true. Santana continued his dominance on Thursday afternoon before a snow out erased his efforts. To say Santana has been great this year would be underselling it. He’s struck out 31 batters in 36 innings and sports a 2.00 ERA.
#1 Lorenzo Cain- Cain was one of the biggest question marks heading into the 2013 campaign and so far he’s been incredible. He leads the club with a .341 average and didn’t do anything to hurt that this week. We was 8/20 with five runs scored and five RBI on the week (including the only two RBI in the team’s 2-0 win on Saturday night. Through five weeks Cain has been the best player on the team and one of the best in the league.
Honorable mention: Bruce Chen- Chen picked up his second victory of the season with two shutout innings against the Rays on Wednesday night. Chen has now made five appearances out of the pen without allowing an earned run. Perhaps more impressively, he’s struck out 11 batters in only 9 2/3 innings.
Posted in Royals
Posted on 28 October 2011.
Improbable. Unbelievable. Impossible. Ridiculous.
For as ugly as it was, Game 6 of the 2011 World Series will be remembered as a classic. Five home runs. Three lead changes. Five ties. A two-strike, two-out, bases clearing triple to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. A two-run home run in the tenth to give Texas the lead. An RBI ground out and broken bat single to tie it again. The first time a team has trailed in the ninth and extra innings in a World Series game and come back to tie. All the defensive miscues that marred the early stages of the game have been forgotten thanks to the late-game drama.
Why do I love baseball? Because Kyle Lohse, pinch hitting in the bottom of the tenth inning, down two, almost bunted for a base hit (he sacrificed the runners into scoring position). Because the Rangers have thrown knockout punch after knockout punch at the Cardinals, and the Cardinals keep getting up. Because Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, Mike Adams, David Freese, Lance Berkman, and Jake Westbrook have all been the hero at different points during the game. Because games can’t end because the clock runs out. You have to retire 27 men, and if the game is tied you have to retire 3 while holding the lead.
Bad managerial decisions get trumped by clutch hitting and pitchers making pitches. Tension rises and falls with every hit, every out, every pitch. Fans yell until they’re hoarse. Beer flows until it’s gone. Children wonder why their fathers, mothers, siblings, and relatives shout at the TV on each play.
And then, channeling a Game 6 seven years ago, replicating a feat pulled off by the man St Louis traded to San Diego to get him, David Freese launches a home run deep into the batter’s eye in dead center. 10-9 Cardinals.
Unbelievable. Improbable. Impossible. Ridiculous.
I have no more words. I’m thankful I got to see this one and can’t wait to watch tomorrow.
Mike Metzger is an I-70 Baseball contributing writer. He also writes about the San Diego Padres for Padres Trail. Follow him on Twitter @metzgermg.
Posted in Cardinals, Featured
Posted on 22 September 2010.
“A star works at being a star … that’s how you tell a star in baseball. He shows up night after night and takes pride in how brightly he shines. He’s Wilie Mays running so hard his hat keeps falling off; Ty Cobb sliding to stretch a single into a double; Lou Gehrig, after being fooled in his first two at-bats, belting the next pitch off the light tower because he’s taken the time to study the pitcher. Stars never take themselves for granted. That’s why they’re stars.” – Jim Murray
Jim Murray was one of the greatest sportswriters who ever lived, and his excellence earned him a Pulitzer Prize as well as enshrinement in the Baseball Hall Of Fame. One of the great things about the Internet and social media is that I have found there are thousands of budding Jim Murrays out there.
If you’re one of these once and future baseball scribes, you can show off your writing chop by entering to win the BaseballDigest.com BASEBALL Essay Contest!
Entering is easy, just go to the Baseball Digest Facebook page, sign up, and post what your essay is going to be about*. Then, send your essay (no more than 500 words) to Baseball Digest Online Editor Mark Healey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If your essay is chosen as a winner, it will be published on BaseballDigest.com and you’ll be entered to win the Grand Prize of a copy of “BASEBALL” The 2010 DVD Boxed Set (which includes The Tenth Inning).
*Only entries by certified Baseball Digest Facebook followers are eligible to be selected for the Grand Prize drawing.
Posted in Classic, Featured