Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Toronto Blue Jays 13 at Kansas City Royals 1 - July 20, 2010

I was hoping to spend some time touring Kauffman Stadium last night, but a massive storm that passed through the area before the game kept me in the hotel. Look at the pictures below: the first is the normal view of the ballpark from the hotel, the second is during the storm. It became so heavy that the lights of the stadium were completely obscured.

I thought they might delay the start of the game but things cleared about around 6:30 so we took the shuttle over and got seats just 3 rows from the field. But there was just enough time to buy the BBQ Brisket and settle in for the game.

Runs, Rain, and Remarkable Defense

The skies were cloudy (see above) but the rain was holding off as the game started on time. Anthony Lerew started for the Royals and walked Fred Lewis (below) to start the game. Two batters later, Jose Bautista blasted 2-run homer, his MLB-leading 26th long ball, for a 2-0 lead.

In the second, Lerew walked Lyle Overbay and gave up a double to John Buck. He was then struck in the chest by a hard liner off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion. He managed to throw him out, but he suffered bruised ribs and a bicep contusion and was removed from the game. Kanekoa Texeira relieved and allowed both runners to score. The Jays added two more in the 3rd to make it 6-0 and the rout was on.

Jays' starter Jesse Litsch was strong through three, giving up just a bloop single to Yuniesky Betancourt. In the top of the 4th, the rains started again, but it was never strong enough to stop the game. The Royals broke the shutout in the 6th, but that was all they would manage off Litsch and four relievers.

Scott Podsednik grounds out

Toronto added 5 in the eighth including a 2-run homer from Adam Lind, who has a 13-game hitting streak. I was surprised to learn about his streak because he looked terrible in the first two games, striking out 4 times in a row without making good contact. That's him below trudging back to the dugout after another K.

The Jays plated 2 more in the ninth to complete the blowout 13-1. There were 27 hits between both teams, and the Jays had 8 doubles, including 3 from ex-Royal Buck. It was a great game for me although we were drenched by the end of it.

The score and tomorrow's matchup

All Royals pitchers gave up at least 2 runs. One of the relievers was Blake Wood (below), who I saw in Wilmington two years ago. He was a starter in the minors until this year, when he was moved to the bullpen at Omaha. He hasn't been that successful yet, but not terrible either, with an ERA of 4.73 and a WHIP of 1.425. For the Royals, that's adequate, so we'll see if he sticks for a few years.

Lost in all the runs was some superb defense by both teams. In particular Toronto's 2B Aaron Hill made at least two spectacular diving catches off line drives up the middle. One of them was on ESPN's Top 10 plays this morning (#3). It was nice to see the Jays firing on all cylinders today after the previous day's brain farts.

Powerless Hotel

When we returned, the power in the hotel was out. But the bar was open and giving away what little beer they had left, as the fridge wasn't working. A Jays rout and free beer? Could it get any better? It was surreal sitting there in the dark with a few other patrons, waiting for the power to come back. But even by midnight it was still out and the bar had to close, so we returned to the darkened room. With no ESPN or Internet, it was like 1975. Fortunately the power was restored overnight so we're back in the 21st century.

Next Up

The Royals and Blue Jays have a day game today with reigning Cy Young winner Zack Greinke taking the hill for KC against Mark Rzepcynski. In the evening, there's a Northern League game in Kansas as the T-Bones will host the Schaumburg Flyers. Let's hope the rains hold off and we can get the doubleheader in.



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