Odalis Perez: 4 runs, 4.2 innings.
Brilliant foresight on the part of Buddy Bell, who had Perez pitch the first game out of the All-Star break so that his bullpen would be fresh to go at least four innings.
Here's an interesting stat the Cleveland announcers cited: in innings 4-6, the Royals have been outscored by 56 runs this year, while the Indians have outscored their opponents by 43. This makes sense for the Royals: their starters are mostly young or Odalis Perez, so they're liable to begin slowing down as they face opposing hitters for the third time. Meanwhile, the bullpen that takes over after the 6th is simply dominating.
As the announcers were retelling the story of "our Papelbon" -- referenced on this message board owned by our friends in New England, in which they discuss an Octavio Dotel for Willy Mo Pena trade rumor -- Senor Smoke promptly blew two fastballs past Ryan Garko. I thought that was pretty cool.
Royals 4, Indians 5
A couple friends of mine love C.C. Sabathia, and mostly rightfully so: the man's durable, he's consistent, he's striking out more batters than ever while walking fewer, and he he's unquestionably the ace of the Indians' staff.
The Royals shelled Sabathia for 11 hits and six runs -- all earned -- in seven innings.
But remember that stat about innings 4-6? Here's how the teams fared in that span:
Indians 4, Royals 0
Luckily, KC's bullpen is awesome.
Royals 6, Indians 5
Missed the game because I was playing in an Ultimate tournament called Philly Invite in Allentown, Pa., which isn't really that close to Philadelphia but close enough for me to say I was there for loss No. 10,000... even though I wasn't, because I was home that night. We don't have to tell anyone that part though.
The Royals lost the rubber match in Cleveland, despite the efforts of newly acquired shortstop Jason Smith, who homered.
The lo-down on Smith:
29 years oldKC's probably Smith's last chance to prove himself at this level. Luckily, all he has to do is outperform a man who doesn't walk. (Nice job, Dayton, to anticipate Tony Pena Jr.'s impending BA plummet. I'm afraid it's already begun.)
.228 in 195 ML at-bats
23rd round pick by the Chicago Cubs
Waived by Diamondbacks
Royals 3, Indians 5