Less fat Elvys excellent in return...

Take that, Rotoworld!

When RC saw Runelvys Hernandez in Spring Training, we were amazed at how big he'd become. When he took the mound at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday, it wasn't hard for us to see that he had lost significant weight over the last two months, and he shocked us further by tossing an excellent ballgame.

Elvys required just 82 pitches through seven two-hit innings, and every one of his pitches had great movement. His two-seamer and slider were diving, his changeup was dancing, and he was still throwing his four-seamer 91 mph in the seventh inning. In fact, this might have been the best we've seen him since the 2003 season, and we're actually looking forward to his next start.

The only mistake Elvys made all evening was a pitch he left up to Justin Morneau, who deposited it over the right-center field wall. It would have been a two-run homer if not for the excellent diving catch by Doug Mientkiewicz on a Torii Hunter line drive. Regardless, Hernandez kept his composure and didn't allow another baserunner for the remainder of his outing.

The bullpen came out in the eighth, and the combined efforts of Elmer Dessens and Ambiorix Burgos nailed down the game for the Royals' fifth victory of the season. They go for the series win this afternoon, as Mark Redman opposes Twins' ace Johan Santana.

Sorry about the late, short post. We'll have more for you tonight after the game. Stay tuned.


At 4/27/2006 12:16 PM, Anonymous KowboyKoop said...

'Elvys was INCREDIBLE. This is several outings in a row where our starting pitching has been pretty good now.....would be a nice trend to continue. Regardless of wins and losses, good pitching and defense would be great to see all year, as we know the offense is going to get better when guys like Huber and Gordon and Butler get to the Bigs.

At 4/27/2006 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huber, Gordon and Butler are the hope of the future. They must improve the offense, but of these three only Gordon plays solid defense. How are Huber and Butler progressing on that front? It won't do the team much good to improve the offense if there is a simultaneous lapse in defense.


At 4/27/2006 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think Hernandez might have had a little extra motivation (as if he needed it), considering his first opponent was the Twins? Today is his birthday, and remember last year when asked how he planned to celebrate it, he responded, "I'm not celebrating until [Thursday]. We're winning [Thursday]"... also against the Twins. After the game, the Twins ridiculed his prediction:
"It makes you not want to play, when you know you are going to get beat."
--Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, in a sarcastic response to Hernandez’s statement (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"I wouldn't guarantee a win in baseball at all. If it is Michael Jordan, yeah. I'm never going to say, 'I'm going to take him deep.' It's not guaranteed. Happy birthday."
--Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, on Hernandez’s guarantee

"He's a good pitcher, no doubt about it. But you have to clean your act up. Baseball is a game where you can't talk smack at all. It's a game of inches, all about the right timing, and the time is not now."
--Hunter, on Hernandez

"It was such a screwed-up day…Luckily we came out on the top edge of it and didn't make Hernandez's birthday happy. He said it, not me."
--Gardenhire (Kansas City Star)

At 4/27/2006 1:46 PM, Anonymous KowboyKoop said...

Well...considering that Butler will likely be out LF....and that Emil Brown is already a horrible defensive player...I don't see too much lapse there. As for Huber, yes, he will be a loss defensively, but he WAY more than makes up for that with the boost he gives us with the bat..especially in terms of power. Bottom line, they make our offense MUCH better than what they MIGHT take away from our defense (and who knows, Butler and Huber can still get better defensively.)

At 4/27/2006 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen Huber play 1st or Butler play LF? Neither have been there long, so I'm hopeful too that they will get better defensively. I have never seen either, so I'm wondering if they have to potential to be average ML defenders (i.e. can Butler be any better than Brown)?

- Dave

At 4/27/2006 8:17 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

This was easily Runelvys' best start since 2003. That he still doesn't miss enough bats is something the Royals should be very concerned with, but as long as he continues to throw strikes low in the zone and change speeds with his changeup and slider, he should be okay.

At 4/28/2006 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He didn't miss bats because the Twins are the hardest team in the major leagues to strike out. He had a lot of movement on the ball, was his first time out, and got a bunch of bad swings.


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