Royals drop another, 1-0. High Desert on brink of elimination...
RC was in Frederick for a thrilling Carolina League playoff game tonight, so we didn't get to see much action from the Royals game. However, we understand the offense returned to its anemic ways, as the Royals failed to score a run while stranding 12 men on base.
On a positive note, Aaron Guiel, after a miserable start, has finally started hitting a bit, and Mark Teahen added a base hit and another walk to continue his relatively hot September. Andres Blanco, despite going 0-for-3, showed off some stellar defense and range at second base, and Mike Wood somehow managed to work around five walks to put up a pretty solid start (6.2 IP, 1 R). Ambiorix Burgos entered the game in the seventh inning and threw 1.2 perfect innings, striking out two more batters while lowering his ERA to 3.66.
Tomorrow, J.P. Howell will try to salvage the series finale as he goes up against Freddy Garcia. This weekend, the Royals head to Detroit to face a team that is presently in the midst of a seven game losing streak.
On a good note, Chris Lubanski continued to solidy his reputation as a clutch hitter, as he was the lone bright spot for the Mavs. Lubanski went 4-for-4 with two homers, a solo shot and a three-run job. Lubanski was money for the Mavs down the stretch, and he rode his hot streak to the California League RBI title, knocking in a very impressive 116 runs.
We're also looking forward to seeing RC official sleeper Chris Demaria get some action this month for KC. Demaria was one of the best relief pitchers in the minor leagues this season, posting a 2.13 ERA in 76 innings between High Desert and Wichita, both stops being in notorious hitters leagues. Demaria posted an absurd strikeout-to-walk ratio, as he struck out 92 batters vs. 12 walks this season.
We noticed Demaria early on this season, and we've been curious about him for some time. He was acquired from the Pirates organization last winter in the triple-A portion of the Rule-5 draft after posting two consecutive excellent seasons in low-A ball. Thanks to Calleaguers.com, we've learned a bit more about what Demaria throws.
Demaria is a soft-throwing control pitcher with an amazing change-up. His fastball tops out in the mid to upper 80s, but his change is the great neutralizer. We've heard opponents' announcers raving about the change-up, and we're eager to see it first hand. The fellow who runs the Calleaguers website expressed some concern about Demaria's pitches getting flat when the change isn't working, and there's certainly some concern about the 11 dingers he surrendered between High Desert and Wichita. However, we wouldn't be at all surprised if Demaria's pitches regain some movement now that he's free of the 4000 foot elevation of High Desert. After all, in the two seasons prior to this one, Demaria surrendered only eight homers in nearly 150 innings. If he can keep the ball down and get his change over consistently, the Royals could have a very effective pitcher on their hands. Stay tuned.