Great Lakes Royals

August 17, 2009 4:50 AM

Davies Good Enough; Royals win 46th Game

It's too bad that these posts are date/timestamped, because that headline truly has optimistic intentions.

By that, I mean that Davies probably wasn't good enough.  Zack Greinke threw 7 innings of 3 hit ball yesterday, and that wasn't enough.  9 hits and a walk in 6 innings is not good, and as a right-hander, you really have to groove a pitch to get taken to the left field seats at Comerica by present day Magglio Ordonez.  Add on top of that a middling three strikeouts from a pitcher who is only good when getting K's, and you've got all the makings of a middle reliever on the 2010 Royals.

Today's game went extra innings: the Royals needed 10 innings to scratch out their 5th hit and 3rd run: the hit, off the bat of Josh Anderson went all of 30 feet down the third baseline.  The game-winning hit came off the bat of Billy Butler, a ground ball right down the line that turned into a throwing error.  Replay showed that 1) the ball was most likely foul when it was fielded, and 2) there have been far worse defensive plays called hits.

Joakim Soria gave up a single to Miguel Cabrera when he hit the ball not precisely where *defensive replacement* Yuniesky Betancourt was standing.  Needing two steps to get to a three hopper, Yuni nearly got there, making it one and a half steps to his left and catching a bad hop when the ground ball was bouncing a little closer to the ground than he would have ideally liked.  This was, of course, ruled a hit.

As for Soria, he threw another two innings today after throwing two innings three days ago, and two innings four days before that.  This is how Joakim Soria is of best value to Trey Hillman.  He's worth a lot more in terms of converting games the Royals would not normally hold onto into wins, and in doing so, pitching the same amount as he would be collecting traditional saves half the time and splitting the other half of his appearances between keeping the Royals close for the inning before they inevitably lose in extra innings, and mopping up the 9th inning of a 7-run deficit.  Sadly, the latter was how Soria was used, if at all, for a majority of this year.

It's worth noting that Dayton Moore's collection of talentless position players is getting better on defense.  When you go David DeJesus, Mitch Maier, and Josh Anderson left to right, you have one of the best defensive outfields in the major leagues.  Add to this Alex Gordon's return to third base as a plus defender, and this team is really only weak in the middle of the field: shortstop, second, and catcher.  They're still working with the worst defensive middle infield in the history of the game of baseball, and they absolutely can't go into next season with Alberto Callaspo at the keystone and Betancourt at shortstop.  Pick one or the other, and if you want both bats in the lineup, move one or the other to outfield or DH/1B.

Here's your player awards for the game:

Position Player of Game: None

Pitcher of Game: Jamey Wright/Joakim Soria

The Royals continue the tour de Central tomorrow in Chicago as they try to repay the favor to the White Sox.

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