Royal Blues

July 16, 2009 11:24 PM

The one where I get smoked in the face by a pitch

(Alternate title: Oh hey, Erin Andrews and I have something in common!)

After yet another long road trip - plus the All-Star Break - the Omaha Royals returned to Rosenblatt. It was Thirsty Thursday (where beers are $1 and there are plenty of them), and Kyle Davies was scheduled to pitch, so Omaha fans had reason to think this was going to be a good night.

For me personally, it got un-good pretty early. While Davies was warming in the 'pen before the game, I was sitting in the camera well next to the Royals' dugout, going over the evening's itinerary when someone yelled "Watch out!" Well, shoot, I thought. I'm in the camera well, far away from the bullpen, and the bullpen is the only place where there are any baseballs flying aro--THUNK.

That was the sound of a baseball, which had apparently skipped over the catcher's glove out in the bullpen, skated along the railing in front of the seats, and popped over the camera well wall, hitting my face.

So far, the Royals' new homestand was off to a bad start. (For those who are concerned - Hi, Mom! - I'm mostly OK. Pretty dizzy though.) Sadly for Davies, that errant pitch was indicitave of how his start was going to be. He looked tense and frustrated from the get-go, and before recording a single out, allowed Redbirds runners to reach first and third.  By the end of the inning, only one run scored, but Davies had thrown 28 pitches. Eleven of those came in an epic 2-out battle with Memphis left fielder Allen Craig, who eventually struck out on a foul tip.

Despite throwing 96 (!) pitches to get through 3.2 innings, Davies only allowed three runs (two earned). You'd think that with that pitch count, he would have walked a ton of batters, but he only walked one, and had six strikeouts. Actually, his was a strange line tonight:
Kyle Davies: 3.2 IP / 6 H / 3 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / 0 HR / 2.28 ERA

The Royals kept it close until late in the game, but Memphis exploded in the later innings and won 11-6. (Full box score here.) I'd say more, but I'm dizzy (possibly concussed?) and need to call it a night. But I figured you fine people would want to know how Davies was doing, because Dayton Moore has to decide something about that #5 spot in the rotation at some point.

Random notes from around the dugout:

-Lenny DiNardo was sporting a mustache tonight. Apparently he showed up this afternoon with a beard, which is not allowed on this team, so he pulled a Giambi and left a neatly trimmed 'stache. He's fully aware that it looks creepy.

-Because being drilled with one baseball wasn't enough for the evening, two Royals chucked softee baseballs at my head during the Hurl the Pearl promotion (in which fans try to throw numbered softee baseballs into a pickup truck on the field). I don't know who did it, but I suspect Tim Raines, Jr. (who had an unbelievable outfield assist in the 6th inning), Irving Falu, or Mario Lisson.

-Luis Hernandez cleared waivers and was aparrently assigned to Omaha. Tony Pena Jr. was (FINALLY) designated for assignment, and should clear waivers as well. If he is not released, Omaha will have a glut of middle infielders - Hernandez, TPJ, Lisson, Tug Hulett, etc. Look for some potentially messy roster moves at the end of TPJ's waiver period. 

A Member Of