Gil Meche, RH Steve Trachsel, RH (1-1, 4.40) (0-0, 4.05) CF D DeJesus 2B B Roberts 2B M Grudzielanek 3B M Mora RF M Teahen RF N Markakis DH M Sweeney SS M Tejada 1B R Gload 1B A Huff 3B A Gordon LF J Gibbons LF E German DH K Millar C J Buck CF C Patterson SS T Pena, Jr. C P Bako
Whenever I need to know anything about the Royals, I go to SBN's Royals Review, which is just a brilliant blog. Like me, the esteemed author of RR.com enjoys the finer things in life, like writing feature articles about Paul Bako.
The O's are batting a hefty .213 this season, second-worst in the majors. Here's some knowledge-dropping: That's got to improve. Brian Roberts has been stomach-turning in the leadoff spot outside of drawing some walks, hitting .139 through the first nine games. He torches Meche for his career (.522, 4 2B, HR, 4 RBI). Tejada has been no prize himself, since it's tough to win when your team's best player is hitting .250 with one extra-base hit. In fact, this team is pretty awful at the plate. The amazing thing is the pitching has mostly been fine and we still suck. How do you like them apples?
Last year, the O's played the Royals in May at Camden Yards and swept the chumps, but that was a Royals team that started Runelvys Hernandez (Red Sox), Mark Redman (Braves) and Denny Bautista (Rockies), so clearly this is a much different outfit. In fact, only Redman is even in the major leagues right now.
I mean, it's easy to make fun of the Royals for overpaying for Gil Meche, but someone had to, and my God, when you've had the disastrous pitching they've had, Gil Meche looks like freaking Roger Clemens. Not that we have any room to talk, necessarily. At least these dudes got over .500 once in the last mother humping decade.
Sometimes I lie awake at night and I think of games like these. Steve Trachsel pitting his wiles against Gil Meche, who may someday be exactly like Steve Trachsel, trying desperately to hang on at age 36. Or Friday's Bedard/Duckworth duel, or Sunday's Greinke/somebody affair. I think about watching 23-year old Alex Gordon flail away with a 2-for-26 start to his big league career, one home run, no walks, and 10 strikeouts. I think, "Wow, this guy was supposed to be so awesome." And then I remember Hank Blalock in 2002 and how awful he was, just up too soon and totally overmatched. And then I think, "Well, gosh, Blalock turned it around." But then I remember that Blalock had two pretty good seasons and now kinda stinks, and that he was definitely not The Next George Brett.
It brings me back to Alex Gordon, because like George Brett, he's a Royal. Is Gordon simply The Next Hank Blalock? Maybe. I feel for the super prospects and the fans who need them to be everything they're supposed to be. What an incredible burden, to have all two or three thousand remaining diehard Royals fans praying that you save their team. I find it hard to identify, as the Orioles haven't had a super prospect in a very, very long time.
I love when we play the Royals. It feels so good to match up with a team that I feel like I understand.