If you looked at the box score for the 2009 Royals season opener you might think that you were looking at a box score for any game of the past few years. They wasted a great pitching performance by Gil Meche as he pitched 7 innings giving up 1 run and 7 hits with no walks. The hitting attack was weak as the Royals collected 7 hits and scored 2 runs while leaving 11 on base. The offensive highlight was Alex Gordon and his 1 run blast to deep center in the 2nd. Many are already second guessing Trey Hillman and his decision to pitch against Jim Thome who has a lifetime .310 average, 42 home runs and 119 rbi against Royals pitching. When Thome came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th with 2 on, you can just imagine what the result would be. You did not have to imagine very long.
The Royals went out and got Mike Jacobs to help with run production. He was hitless leaving 4 on base. Jacobs and the rest of the line up need to connect and manufacture runs. In the top of the 1st, Coco Crisp singled and Mark Teahen walked. Jacobs then promptly struck out. In the 3rd Jose Guillen walked and Teahen was hit by a pitch. Jacobs popped out to 2nd and Billy Butler lined out to the shortstop. White Sox starter Mark Buehrle who is 19-8 in his career against the Royals continued to take advantage of a team that can't bunch up hits and score runs.
The Royals should be winning this type of a game on a regular basis if we are to believe the team is starting to improve. Granted, it is only one game in a 162 game schedule. No promises of a championship were made for this season but Dayton Moore has set an expectation of winning and the fans are expecting the team to come through on that expectation. How the team bounces back on Wednesday will be a key indicator as to the development of the team and what fans are to expect in 2009. If Zach Grienke has another strong outing and the result is the same as in the opener, it may be another long summer. If the Royals should win on Wednesday then we have reason to believe that this could be the year we finally see a New Blue Tradition at the New K.
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