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Royal Blues


June 28, 2009 12:30 AM

O-Royals drop "Home Opener Part II"

Don't get me wrong here - I love the College World Series. "Back Home in Omaha," all the cheesy video montages ESPN shows of Series past and scenes from around town, the dogpile at the end. I love all of it.

BUT.

For all three seasons I've worked for the O-Royals, I've ended missing them terribly while they're on their super-long road trip. A number of players before the game expressed the same relief to be back, except Disco Hayes, who said, "I'd say I'm glad to be back too, but I've never been here." Good point. (Hayes, as you'll recall, was promoted to Omaha on the day they started the Road Tip of Doom. And this happened that day, too.)

Hayes and the rest of the O-Royals were welcomed back by perfect weather and a crowd of over 6,500. Matt Wright, still seeking his first win of the year, didn't actually pitch too badly, but several of the Albuquerque hits and walks came in one big bunch in the 2nd inning. Wright's final line was 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (both earned), 3 BB and 3K. The Royals lost 4-2, dropping them to 28-47.  

I thought it might have been Wright's best outing of the year, but it fell a little short, according to Game Scores.
Matt Wright Game Scores by Outing

May 14: 41
May 19: 17 (yikes)
May 24: 52
May 30: 47
June 5: 32
June 15: 57 (best of season)
June 20: 39
Tonight: 53

Wright has yet to pitch more than 6 innings in a start, and he's only made it that far twice. I don't know if any of that has to do with the groin injury he suffered during Spring Training, but I doubt it. He just tends to have trouble getting through opponents' lineups more than twice in a game, and that problem was part of his game last season too. Would the bullpen be a good place for him?

-Kila Ka'aihue homered tonight, and had a pretty good night defensively, snagging two hard line drives that were not too far above his shoetops.

-It was delightful to finally meet Hayes. I've been looking forward to watching him pitch for a very long time, but he didn't get into tonight's game. Victor Marte followed Wright, and gave up two runs on two hits in two innings. He also had - you guessed it - two strikeouts (and walked one).

Then came Yasuhiko Yabuta. A tiny, terrible part of me sort of wanted to see him get blown up so Hayes would come in. Instead, he struck out the first batter he faced in the 7th, and then the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the one after that, too. Yep, Yabuta faced six batters and struck them all out! Pretty amazing!

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