Royals Series Preview


*for the defense numbers I’m using DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) available at FanGraphs.

The Royals suck. There’s no two ways about it. They don’t pitch very well, don’t field very well, and don’t hit at all. Yet for some reason the Twins always seem to have trouble with them. The Twins acquitted themselves well last series against the Red Sox, and it’s hard not to be optimistic about Francisco Liriano’s outing. Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing has a nice rundown on SB Nation, which of course I can’t find to link to. As I said on Twitter a couple days ago, the Twins are starting to get a picture of how Target Field works: nothing goes out to centerfield, but there’s must more carry in the corners.

Friday’s game is Zach Greinke v. Scott Baker. Greinke of course is the reigning Cy Young winner and one of the best pitchers in baseball. How to attack him? Well, I think it’s just take pitches and try to rack up the pitch count to get into the bullpen. That’s about it. Baker, meanwhile, has shown a startling lack of efficiency, and has racked up some bigger than he should pitch counts. With the day off the bullpen got yesterday, Baker can afford to only go 6 if he needs to.

Gil Meche, he of the almost 19 ERA, takes on Nick Blackburn in Saturday’s game. Blackie had an efficient, if not stellar, day last Saturday in Chicago. Meche meanwhile has the talent to be a good pitcher, and has been one in the past, but coming off an injury he will (probably) be on a pitch count and we’ll see how much we can get into that bullpen.

Sunday’s finale pits Pavano v. TBD. Pavano has a blowup in him somewhere, and actually against a TBD might be the best time to do it.

Go Twins. And, since it’s NHL playoff time, go Penguins