Of course, no one ever accused the Royals of being unable to hit – particularly at home – it’s the other half of the game that they hadn’t been doing well. And they didn’t do it well tonight. Luke Hochevar, who some might have called the ‘ace’ of the 2011 Royals staff (much like Nate Cornejo was the ‘ace’ of the 2003 Tigers), allowed 6 earned runs and didn’t make it through the fourth inning.
Unfortunately, Charlie Furbush – perhaps looking to put to rest any lingering optimism that remained following his somewhat decent first start against the Angels – gave up 9 hits (including a homer) and two walks while recording only 8 outs.
By the time the third inning was over, the Royals had 9 runs and Detroit had little hope of ever catching them. Of course, 5 of those Furbush runs were unearned, but I’m not willing to cut Furbush any slack on allowing 11 ‘legitimate’ baserunners in the first three frames. Big league pitchers can’t do that.
Another two unearned runs scored after an absent-minded failure to catch by Ryan Raburn in the 6th, so one could say that sloppy defense made the difference in this game. I’m not ready to call for Ryan Raburn’s head quite yet, though I am aware that many have been calling for it for months if not years (I know you’re out there somewhere, Bob.) Raburn did cost the team a couple of runs in the field, which he does occasionally do, but when he isn’t failing to do something easy he’s often succeeding at doing something difficult. At the plate, Raburn went 2 for 3 with a walk – continuing to show definite signs of life that some (Brandon Inge knows who I’m talking about) still are not. Inge is 2 for 31 in his last 10 games. Raburn is now 11 for 35 with a couple of home runs in his last 10. [Even the lowly Magglio has an OBP over .400 the last couple of weeks] The rumors that we hear have the Tigers seeking help for the rotation and the ‘pen, but nothing to do with second or third. If due to some miraculous intervention, Raburn was actually able to perform in the second half as he did in the second half last year, I don’t think I need to tell any Tigers fan the impact that would have on the offense. Since there seems to be little chance of a personnel change, lets continue to hope.