Saturday, August 25, 2007

The triumphant return of Zack Greinke

...The bold king again
had mind of his glory: with might his glaive
was driven into the dragon's head, --
blow nerved by hate.

If you saw the smiles on Zack Greinke as he received congratulations for his three innings of work -- one hit, no runs, faced the minimum, two strikeouts -- you'd think he just slew Grendel and lived to tell about it. Of course, if he played the part of mythic hero-king in last night's drama, John Bale turned in a convincing Wiglaf, tossing three innings of his own and striking out five, many times when he absolutely needed it. His punch-out of Casey Blake to end the 6th, when the Indians had the tying run in scoring position, resulted in a celebratory whoop that signaled to any who watched that this game would not be lost on account of the bullpen.

Four relievers followed Bale to close out a 2-1 victory.

C.C. Sabathia allowed two very cheap runs, but from a Royals perspective, they were things of beauty. The first came on an Emil Brown ground-out in the 4th, when the Indians had the infield back. Nothing great there. The second was significantly more narrative-worthy. In the next inning, Tony Pena Jr. got brushed by a pitch (or didn't) and was awarded first base. He took second on a passed ball, as Joey Gathright was trying to bunt him over. As it happened, Gathright, who's played the part of Willie Mays Hayes to a tee as of late, ended up bunting TPJ to third. With one out, Esteban German drove him in with a sac fly, providing all the cushion the Royals would need.

The teams are at it again tonight at 7:10 p.m. CT, Kyle Davies vs. Aaron Laffey.

POSTSCRIPT: Face of the Royals, Mike Sweeney... who just might be resigned. Rob Neyer picked this blog's namesake.

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