Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Game 1 of 2
Opening Week (and then some) was a particularly brutal one for the Royals. This game represents the 2nd of 3 consecutive extra-innings games during a course of four days. The short series with the White Sox wasn’t so short; both games went into 12 innings, the series was split 1-1. During this 3-game stretch-and-then-some, the Royals were 2-1.
The large hurrah after 3 hours and 32 minutes of play was certainly Melky Cabrera’s game-winning walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th, driving in Chris Getz. This is good, because many of us are still half-wondering how Melky’s going to fit into the lineup…especially now that the lukewarm SS the Royals got for last year’s cold SS in the Brewers trade has had a very good April; the downside being: one cold player displaced by another one. I call this the Che Guevara rule of Baseball, where instead of cruel leaders being displaced, teams are rewarded in trading expendable position players by sometimes more expendable position players. Cabrera did VERY WELL in this game (3-for-6 with 3 RBI).
Funny, how outspokenly concerned I was about the acquisition of Jeff Francoeur in the offseason, moreso than Cabrera, and how my mind has been changed about that…so far…
But, I digress. To me, what’s bigger news: Alex Gordon is FINALLY starting to show his baseball teeth. Who cares if it’s April…haven’t we been waiting for this Alex Gordon to take the field and show ‘em how? Yes, we have.
Gordon went 3-for-5 with 2R, 2RBI, and a scorching 1 on, 1 out HR to deep CF, right side of the ‘big green thing’ at the K, in the 1st inning. His first HR of the year. He scored in the 8th after getting on base with a 2B to left CF on Billy Butler’s HR blast in the same direction off of LHP Chris Sale, in relief for starter Gavin Floyd.
But, of course, Billy Butler…we really expect him to do this. Gordon, on the other hand…well, the suspense is starting to slowly kill some of us. So far in April, he is blowing away his previous season numbers and performance. This is a marathon…can it last?
And to that point…will Luke Hochevar, who left the game after 6IP with 6H and 5ER, be able to do something snazzy this year? Perhaps, something snazzier than Jeremy Jeffress’ successful and very snazzy pick-off of pinch-runner Brett Lillibridge…
BTW, since I do track these kinds of things:
Gordon broke two bats during this game (remember, that’s a “BLS” on my scoresheet, for “Broken Louisville Slugger”), one of them by Floyd and the other by Sergio Santos that fell for a broken bat double, not the first time I’ve scored such an event but notable just the same.