Saturday, June 9, 2007

1980 World Series tied 1-1

Tomorrow the reprisal of the 1980 World Series ends in a rubber match between your Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies. A win won't reclaim the trophy that's lost -- a beauty, ain't it? -- but it will help us recover from the game tonight.

Here's an updated list of the pitchers who have shut out the Royals this season:

Steve Trachsel
C.C. Sabathia
Jon Lieber

Lieber struck out six straight after giving up a lead-off single, and to compound that absurdity, it took Tony Pena Jr. to end the streak, with a bunt-out in the 3rd. Lieber finished with 11 K's. Tomorrow you'll find news stories in the Star and quotes from players and coaches and analyses from bloggers, and all varieties of words will be spent explaining how much the Royals' offense is struggling. But really, all you need to know is this: Jon Lieber, who had 35 strikeouts in 58 and two-thirds innings coming into today, threw an 11-K shutout. Right now the only way the Royals can score is if the opposing pitcher is injured.

Jamie Moyer -- another oldie who has an above-average chance of tossing a shutout -- faces Jorge De La Rosa tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. CT.

POSTSCRIPT: Before I leave Cleveland behind, I need to mention that the city is crazy right now with Cavs fever. Living outside Cleveland -- especially in a place without an NBA team, like KC -- you might not even know the NBA Finals are on. But the Forest City's appetite for professional basketball is so insatiable that local news reporters are scouring the San Antonio Riverwalk as we speak, asking people questions like, "What's a Spur?" and concluding -- on camera -- that "no one knows what a Spur is." A couple of WEWS NewsChannel 5 anchors set up shop outside the SBC Center after Game 1 and took up three-quarters of the news, mostly with live coverage of the Cavaliers' post-game press conference. One of the anchors -- genuinely psyched about his assignment, I noticed -- said, "The whole world knows about Cleveland now," and I thought, You know, that's kind of true. In an America of increasing entertainment options and shortened attention spans, it's nice to know that the world has shrunk enough that national sporting events can still hold meaning -- because if the NBA Finals weren't televised in international markets, could anyone justify Steven A. Smith still having a job? I can put up with bloviating and screaming if it's for a purpose -- the entertainment of China, whatever -- but not for nothing. And if China wasn't watching these Finals, this series sure would seem like very little.

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