After six games, the Royals stand at 3-3. Now, while this may not seem like a big deal for fans of other franchises, this is good news for the Royals, especially in the horror show that the month of April usually is for them (2003 notwithstanding). In addition, they went 3-3 while on the road against a possible up-and-coming franchise in the Detroit Tigers, and the 2004 AL West Champion Anaheim Angels. Let's look at some highlights, and lowlights...
- Lima Time! wasn't synchronized or something, because Jose got tagged in his first two games more often than the big, slow kid does in Elementary. Dmitri Young was playing the fast kid, telling Lima "You're it!" to the tune of two home runs, then hitting another one for good measure on Opening Day. Only my beloved Royals could make a player like Dmitri Young stand among the all-time greats, even if only for a day. Lima's second start wasn't good, either, though sloppy defense contributed to the overall run total. However, the fact that Lima couldn't get an out after the crucial error in the 4th inning of Saturday's game speaks volumes. About as bad of a beginning as Lima could have.
- Runelvys Hernandez and Denny Bautista provided hope in the form of two good starts. Well, in Runelvys' case, it was a good start considering all the time he's spent hurt; hopeful, in other words. Bautista was freaking lights out, striking out 8 Anaheim Angels batters in 8 innings (Vlad was twice a victim) and only allowing one run. Oh, and he walked zero, which is actually a better sign than the other things.
- Zack Grienke was a bit scary, getting a liner off his forearm that ended up ending his day prematurely on Thursday. Supposedly not serious, but if Zack goes on the DL because of this, I may slit my wrists. Just kidding. Sorta. I may just go with slicing my jugular instead.
- Brian Anderson was...the Brian Anderson Royals fans hope for: the 2003 version. He was competitive, holding down the Angels potent offense to 3 runs in 6 innings. Most impressively, he had 5 strikeouts vs. zero walks. Nice. Now do that about 30 more times...
- David DeJesus, after a crappy Spring, has drawn six walks in six games. Couple that with his early .348 batting average, and it's difficult to have anything but hope for this guy.
- Calvin Pickering notched his first bomb of the '05 regular season campaign, and his wife is about to deliver a baby. Good stuff.
- Emil Brown hit two homers, showing the power from his Spring may not have been a flash in the pan. Unless it really was, of course.
- Eli Marrero has yet to get a hit despite numerous at-bats.
- Mark Teahen and John Buck are struggling early, with Buck showing the same affinity for strikeouts that he showed last season.
- Ruben Gotay was struggling as well, until he had the anti-struggle game of his short career by going 4 for 5 on Sunday with a double and a big fly.
Things to look for in the upcoming week:
- Jose Lima finding a way to be something other than horrible.
- Grienke making his next start pain-free, and being the Zack we all know and love.
- Bautista's follow up to his dazzling 2005 debut.
- Tony Pena deviating from the youth movement by playing Tony Graffanino in lieu of Ruben Gotay and Mark Teahen (leave the freaking kids in, Tony).
- Mike Sweeney's continued absense from injury-related news.
That's it. We'll see how this plays out at home, as the Royals face off against another franchise looking to turn around after a bad 2004 in the Mariners. Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, Ichiro!, a bunch of other dudes in Kansas City for the Royals home opener.