Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bullpen shuts down win for Odalis Perez in St. Louis

Here's a pretty incredible stat for you: entering last night, Albert Pujols was 13-for-19 with 5 HRs and 15 RBIs against Odalis Perez. That's a football stat: 13-for-19 with five touchdowns sounds more like it. But rest assured, I mean what I typed: 13-for-19, five homers. Pujols indeed.

(By the way, is it just me, or has anyone else heard the joke, "Pujols? More like poo holes."

Lest you're wondering, the joke came from a girl, the more perspicacious sex. Fitting. I honestly can't picture a guy watching Albert Pujols at the plate think out loud, You know what Pujols kind of sounds like? I mean, it sounds exactly like poo holes. Get it? Pooooholes?)

Wisely, Perez intentionally walked Pujols in the first, the beginning of a series of crafty moves that enabled him to go six innings while giving up just three runs. Can we really call any of his quality starts "shocking" anymore? He now has six quality starts (40 percent of his outings) and easily could have four more, if only this little thing or that fell his way. The Royals, including last night's rather dominant 5-3 win, are 5-3 when Perez goes at least six while allowing no more than three.

"If you can go six innings," Perez is quoted in the above-linked story, "you know the bullpen will take care of the rest of the game."

This, by the way, is very true. Long were the times, it seems, when the Royals' bullpen blew leads. Way back then, when it was racked with injuries and fans were bewailing their perpetual fate to witness horrendous relief pitching -- it all seemed so 2000ish -- a few of us preached patience, said, "Octavio Dotel and David Riske" will provide stability, so on and so forth. Well look at this squad now: as Royals Authority reports -- yes, I'm going to crib off them, and also because I want to refer you to a nice article -- the bullpen has allowed just three runs and 18 hits in the last 26 innings, with a three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio. So O-Dog, just keep doing what you're doing -- the bullpen really will shut it down.

POSTSCRIPT: Here's something amazing I heard from Megan Stock over at Around the Horn and neglected to mention yesterday. Check out TPJ's quotes from Jeffrey Flanagan's Father's Day column...

Royals shortstop Tony Pena Jr. was asked what he was going to get his father, former Royals manager Tony Pena, for Father’s Day:

"Two hits and a phone call," Tony Jr. said.

What about another home run?

"I'd rather give him the two hits," he said.

...and his
box score for the day:
Pena: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H

Neat, huh?

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