They came into tonight 12-6 under their new manager Buddy Bell. They recently swept both the Dodgers and Yankees. They're still the same team I picked to lose 100 games this year.
It wasn't pretty, but the Sox notched another one in the W column.
Brandon McCarthy was about as I expected him to be. He's still got a significant amount of work to do. He did use a change-up this time out, but I don't think he was ever able to grab a strike with it. Without that pitch, he doesn't have much margin for error in the big leagues. The Royals were pretty clearly sitting on fastball, protecting against the curve, and watching the change-up. I can't be overly critical of his performance because he pitched about exactly as I expected. That's why I took the Royals and the over.
Unfortunately for my wallet, the Sox batters got to face off versus a collection of guys who don't belong in the major leagues either. Jose Lima served up two more gopher balls, one to Paul Konerko and one to Frank Thomas. The Royals sent a series of pitchers to the mound who featured ERAs closer to ten than they are to five. That's crazy.
I thought sending McCarthy, Luis Vizcaino, and Shingo Takatsu was bad. That's nothing compared to the 7.82, 8.66, and 7.97 the Royals trotted out to the mound. Their final pitcher of the night, Jimmy Gobble, sported a pristine 0.00 ERA, but tonight was his first appearance of the season.
The only bright spot I could draw from this game was Neal Cotts, who now checks in a few ticks under 2.00 at 1.93. I was a little worried that with a few extra days off he might have lost a little bit of that control he's been featuring lately. He wasn't quite as sharp as he's been for most of June, but he was certainly better than the other pitching machines we had out there.
A win's a win. The best team in baseball is supposed to win games against the Royals. The Sox did just that, so I'm not complaining.