Royals outclass champs, take series...
RC had a feeling about this game. Curt Schilling just hasn't been himself all year, and we figured the Royals had a decent chance of laying a pretty good midwestern whoopin' on him. And sure enough, the boys in blue hung nine hits and six runs on him, forcing Schilling to live with the embarrassment of being outpitched by Jose Lima.
Hopefully the Royals can carry the momentum from two straight series wins with them as they head to New York this weekend to take on the hated Yankees. As much as we dislike the Red Sox, we hate the Yanks about seven times as much, and it would be a shame to see their victories over the Sox help propel New York back into the playoffs. If they can take a game or two off the Bronx Bombers, then we won't have to feel guilty in October if the Yanks manage to fight their way back into the postseason.
Call us Dr. Frankenstein...
Another roster move could be forthcoming, as Matt Stairs injured himself tonight when he lunged at a ball down the first base line and wound up doing the splits in a very painful-looking contortion. The smart money would be on either Justin Huber or Calvin Pickering getting the call up to KC, if Stairs winds up on the DL. We already know that Huber is scheduled for a September call-up, so he would probably be the guy, although Pick has been crushing the ball lately.
Butler (.348/.419/.636 - 25 HR) and Wood (.323/.385/.681 - 41 HR) were the California League's best hitters in 2005.
In addition to the power those five provide, the team also promises to have great speed, as the Phillies' Michael Bourn (36 SB), the Astros' Josh Anderson (48 SB) and Charlton Jimerson (26 SB) will form perhaps the fastest outfield in the league.
If there's any glaring weakness to the team, it is in the starting pitching. The staff really only has two quality starting pitchers: Jason Hirsh (159.1 IP, 153 K, 39 BB, 3.11 ERA) from the Astros and Jared Weaver (64.2 IP, 77 K, 22 BB, sub-4.00 ERA) of the Angels. Of course, starting pitchers in the AFL don't throw a whole lot of innings, and the team has a nice assortment of very good relievers. You can view the entire Scorpion roster here.
As for the game, we left early because unbeknownst to us beforehand, it was also "Dollar Night." And if you've never been to a Dollar Night in Woodbridge, you've missed what could have perhaps been the most frustrating experience of your life. That is, unless you like shuffling past the mass of cheap people who paid $1 for their tickets in order to wait four innings for a chance to buy a beer or a cold $1 hot dog.
Of course, before our exit, we snapped a few photos of a couple top Astros prospects. The guy we originally went to see, Hunter Pence, is perhaps the oddest-looking prospect we've ever seen. The guy is clearly strong, but he's just so damned gangly that it's funny.
Ugly swing, but the guy does hit the ball hard. He might be someone to watch. The other guy we looked at is a 24-year old shortstop who is currently sporting an OBP over .500, Ben Zobrist.
Zobrist has an odd stance, but a nice swing. He doesn't have much power, but he's done nothing but hit since he was drafted.
Up next for RC is another Carolina League game on Saturday between the Frederick Keys (Orioles) and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Braves). The Pelicans have a catcher that we really like, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, so we'll try to snap a few photos of him at the game.