Thursday, May 12, 2011

5/12/11 Kansas City Royals 11, New York Yankees 5

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Game 3 of 3

Hello, Eric Hosmer…welcome to Major League Baseball!
This was my first “official” look at Hosmer in a Royals uniform. I already had this broadcast dialed in a few weeks prior, as an out-of-market fan I try to catch every Royals TV broadcast I can manage to (except for those on ESPN, my boycott is still in full force). When Hosmer was called up by the Royals to appear in his first MLB game ever on May 6, 2011, I was sure to be watching this broadcast, even though it was against the high-media-profile Yankees.

I was certainly not disappointed.

On gameday, the Yankees series is tied 1-1 and the Royals were 20-17, in 2nd place in the AL Central and 3-1/2 games behind the surprising Cleveland Indians. Hope springs eternal! Calling up Hosmer as early as they did controversially reduced his definitive playing time for the Royals by one year. Will the callup improve the Royals’ chances for an AL Central crown, or even anything beyond that? Only time will tell.

After a rocky start for the year (1-2 in 4 starts and 2 relief appearances, including a blown save, 3.41 ERA) Sean O’Sullivan’s outings are getting longer (5 innings on his first start, 8 innings in his last start) and he’s boasting a consistent, yet unformidable average Game Score of 58 over those 4 starts. His opponent today, Ivan Nova, is faring somewhat better in the W-L category, but is a bit inferior in ERA and Game Score, mostly hampered by a few rough starts; when the Yankees need him the least, he’s starting to catch up. But not tonight.

Nova is roughed up “right off the bat” (pun totally intended) as the Royals clobber little Ivan during a ferocious 6-run 2nd inning. Nova would leave the game in the 4th without recording an out, allowing 10 hits total and 8 runs (4 ER) buffered by 19 total bases (including 3 doubles and 2 HRs). Amaury Sanit makes his MLB Debut and attempts to keep the lid on the Royals, he lasts through the 8th with 3 more ER to his credit, with the Royals up 11-4 on the Yankees.

Hosmer’s family is in attendance, and gets to see him plunk his 2nd HR in as many series (not to mention his 2nd MLB career HR), he finishes the game going 3-for-5 with 2 RBI and 7 total bases.

This is the Royals’ first series win in New York since August of 1999, ending the longest winless road series in MLB. The Royals are rubbing their eyes with a season-high 16 hits. The amazing item of note is, despite the final linescore you see above, consider the following:

Royals: Team LOB = 12, Team RISP = 6-15 (.400)
Yankees: Team LOB = 5, Team RISP = 2-6 (.333)

It’s hard to put one’s finger on ‘what went wrong’ here, other than kudos to O’Sullivan and Blake Wood in relief for handcuffing the Yankees where it counts the most…and caveat to the Royals for producing such a level of offense (against such a flaccid pitching staff) yet stranding so many baserunners in the process. The ‘glass half full’ analysis is: the Royals beat the crap out of inferior pitching performance. The ‘glass half empty’ analysis is: the Royals stand the chance of being shelled in return should they face a pitching squad just a few percentage points better than this one, in similar circumstances.

An early Eric Hosmer callup isn’t going to sway the risk of the latter in having an effect upon their season.

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