Gil Meche is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and is in the midst of tossing a gem against the Cleveland Indians. The Royals are currently up 2-1 in the bottom of the 7th. Meche is the reliable talent the Royals invested in after Meche’s 11-8 2006 season with Seattle.
Even though Meche has had his struggles in Kansas City, he has posted ERA’s below 4.00 in each of his first two full seasons, and has started 34 games in both. This season, with a better Royals offense and a better staff, Meche and the other Royals’ pitchers are looking to anchor Kansas City’s path to the playoffs.
Zack Grienke is 3-0 and has not yet given up a run. He has dominated three straight starts and is turning into the prospect the Royals thought he could be after 2004. However, Grienke suffered through a horrific 5-17 2005 campaign and his 2007 and 2008 seasons, while his ERA’s were solid (3.69 and 3.47 respectively), Grienke was still having issues on the field. That all looks to be over this season, and he is turning into the ace he was built up to be.
Even Kyle Davies has turned out three solid outings with a 1-0 record and a 2.89 ERA. This, however, probably won’t last.
But the starting rotation (aside from Sidney Ponson) is more solid than it has been in years past and the bullpen (aside from Kyle Farnsworth) is good as well.
OK, can Kansas City please explain Kyle Farnsworth to me? Are you kidding? He gives up bombs like he’s paid to (114 career). He is 0-3 out of the ‘pen this season. Those are three wins the Royals should have had, and ones that Farnsworth gave up. I used to love it when this guy played for the Yankees, because I knew whenever he came in, the Red Sox were getting hits. Farnsworth gave up 28 home runs while with New York.
That tangent aside, KC is looking good. Joakim Soria (The “Mexicutioner”) has five saves, and the offensive additions Mike Jacobs (4 HR) and Coco Crisp are both contributing. After a slow start, Crisp has picked it up. Coming into the season, I picked Kansas City as a dark horse, mostly because I think the AL Central isn’t that great, and a little because the Royals are my second-favorite baseball team (for reasons I am still unaware of). If the pitching holds up, look for Kansas City to surprise the Central and stay in the race well into September.