|KANSAS CITY ( SHIELDS )|
COLORADO ( MATZEK )
|977||KANSAS CITY||-155||Ov 9.5,-115||-140||Ov 9.5,-115|
|978||COLORADO||+145||Un 9.5,-105||+130||Un 9.5,-105|
|vs Left-handed Starters||19-17||+2||14-21||3.8||0.266||0.313||4.2||0.253||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.8||5-2||5.4||0.296||0.332||4.7||0.261||0.296|
|vs Right-handed Starters||33-56||-24.1||47-34||4.8||0.279||0.327||5.4||0.272||0.334|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1||5-2||5.1||0.282||0.347||4.7||0.262||0.325|
|8/5/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ ARIZONA||MILEY(L)||12-2||W||-130||7 ov||O||15||5||1||5||6||0|
|8/6/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ ARIZONA||COLLMENTER(R)||4-3||W||-145||7.5 ov||U||5||4||0||12||11||0|
|8/7/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ ARIZONA||NUNO(L)||6-2||W||-115||8.5 un||U||11||5||0||7||5||0|
|8/8/2014||VARGAS(L)||SAN FRANCISCO||BUMGARNER(L)||4-2||W||-115||7 ev||U||7||2||1||12||8||3|
|8/9/2014||SHIELDS(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||HUDSON(R)||5-0||W||-145||7 ov||U||9||3||0||4||4||0|
|8/10/2014||DUFFY(L)||SAN FRANCISCO||LINCECUM(R)||7-4||W||-155||7.5 un||O||10||7||0||8||9||0|
|8/15/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ MINNESOTA||NOLASCO(R)||6-5||W||-140||8 ev||O||12||7||2||9||5||0|
|8/16/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ MINNESOTA||HUGHES(R)||1-4||L||-115||7.5 un||U||8||7||1||6||9||1|
|8/17/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ MINNESOTA||MILONE(L)||12-6||W||-115||8 ev||O||13||5||0||7||4||1|
|8/18/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ MINNESOTA||MAY(R)||6-4||W||-155||8 ev||O||13||10||0||7||4||0|
|8/19/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ COLORADO||MATZEK(L)|| |
|8/20/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ COLORADO||DE LA ROSA(L)|| |
|8/22/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ TEXAS||LEWIS(R)|| |
|8/23/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)|| |
|8/24/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ TEXAS||MIKOLAS(R)|| |
|8/25/2014||SHIELDS(R)||NY YANKEES||PINEDA(R)|| |
|8/26/2014|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|8/5/2014||ANDERSON(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)||5-6||L||-125||10 un||O||15||12||1||8||8||0|
|8/6/2014||LYLES(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)||13-4||W||+115||9.5 ov||O||16||4||0||8||5||0|
|8/7/2014||FLANDE(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||HENDRICKS(R)||2-6||L||-120||10.5 un||U||7||6||1||8||2||0|
|8/8/2014||MATZEK(L)||@ ARIZONA||ANDERSON(R)||3-5||L||105||8 un||P||9||7||2||8||9||1|
|8/9/2014||DE LA ROSA(L)||@ ARIZONA||CAHILL(R)||4-14||L||-105||8 un||O||6||5||2||15||2||1|
|8/10/2014||MORALES(L)||@ ARIZONA||MILEY(L)||5-3||W||145||8.5 un||U||9||7||2||8||10||0|
|8/11/2014||LYLES(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||HAHN(R)||3-4||L||155||6.5 un||O||5||5||1||8||7||0|
|8/12/2014||FLANDE(L)||@ SAN DIEGO||DESPAIGNE(R)||1-4||L||115||7 un||U||6||6||0||6||5||1|
|8/13/2014||MATZEK(L)||@ SAN DIEGO||KENNEDY(R)||3-5||L||140||6.5 ov||O||10||8||0||10||7||0|
|8/14/2014||DE LA ROSA(L)||CINCINNATI||SIMON(R)||7-3||W||-125||9 ov||O||10||6||0||6||3||1|
|8/19/2014||MATZEK(L)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|8/20/2014||DE LA ROSA(L)||KANSAS CITY||DUFFY(L)|| |
|8/24/2014||FLANDE(L)||MIAMI|| || |
|8/25/2014||MATZEK(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||PEAVY(R)|| |
|8/26/2014|| ||@ SAN FRANCISCO|| || |
|KANSAS CITY: KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - James Shields thinks back to last year, thoughtfully piecing together what was missing from the Kansas City Royals as they made a late push for the postseason.|
The pitching was strong. The offense was coming around. The defense was sublime.
He finally settled on experience.
''These guys that didn't realize or have never been to September, when you're fighting for a playoff spot, now you have that experience,'' Shields said. ''And I think that was one of the things we were lacking last season, the experience. You tend to put too much on your shoulders. And I think the second half we definitely relaxed and put all that aside and had fun and played the game the way we know how to play, and it showed.
''I think with the experience factor now,'' Shields concluded, ''we're ready to go.''
After finishing 86-76 a year ago, and contending into September for the first time in a decade, the Royals have their sets sight squarely on their first playoff appearance since 1985 this year.
Anything less would be a disappointment. Anything less would be a failure.
''Last year was a blast. When the end of the season came in Chicago, nobody wanted to leave,'' first baseman Eric Hosmer said. ''They knew how close we were. We were right there. And it left a good taste in everyone's mouth going into the offseason, knowing how good everyone can be.''
Indeed, the Royals return most of their key players from a year ago, signing left-hander Jason Vargas to replace their only significant loss, starting pitcher Ervin Santana. They also upgraded at their weakest spots, trading for Norichika Aoki to play right field and bat leadoff and signing Omar Infante to settle a second base position that has been a black hole for years.
All of which left the notoriously frugal franchise with a record-setting payroll.
Royals manager Ned Yost hopes all those moves will pay off for a rotation that was among the league's best last year, and an offense that was among the league's worst.
''It's going to be a lineup that has offensive sequence from one to nine. You're not going to have any dead spots,'' Yost said. ''You're not going to get something going and then bam, run into a wall and have to get going again. At least, I hope not. I don't think so.''
So with more experience and an upgraded lineup, Kansas City enters its season opener Sunday at Detroit with boundless enthusiasm.
|COLORADO: DENVER (AP) - Justin Morneau wears Larry Walker's old number and is stepping in for Todd Helton.|
Just so it's clear, though: He doesn't expect to be the next Walker and certainly isn't trying to make Colorado Rockies fans forget all about Helton, the everyday first baseman in the Mile High City since 1997.
Morneau can only be himself, a slick fielder who's a four-time All-Star and former AL MVP.
That's not too bad, either.
Still, the Rockies wouldn't mind if Morneau channeled a little bit of those two Colorado icons to help them get back to the postseason. But that's a lot of cleats to fill, especially when it comes to Helton, the franchise's leader in virtually every offensive category.
Morneau's goals are more modest: Slide seamlessly into to this potent lineup, one that includes good friend and reigning NL batting champion Michael Cuddyer, along with Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.
The 32-year-old Morneau knows the comparisons to Helton are inevitable. No. 17 spent 17 seasons in purple pinstripes, endearing himself to the community. The team will honor Helton on Aug. 17 when they retire his number (although Helton's first send-off will be hard to top, when the club gave him a horse in his last home game).
''From the outside looking in, it looks like I'm coming in to replace him,'' said Morneau, who wears No. 33 because of Walker, his boyhood idol. ''But that's not my thought process. My thought process is to just come in and be me and do what I can do.''
Cuddyer thinks Morneau will fit in just fine.
''If you think about the guy you're replacing, you're already not doing yourself a good service,'' said Cuddyer, who was teammates with Morneau in Minnesota. ''He respects (Helton), but he also understands he has to go out there and be himself.''
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-COLORADO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Rockies Preview* ========================
Kansas City (68-55) at Colorado (49-75), 8:40 p.m. EDT
The surging Kansas City Royals own baseball's best interleague record at 14-4.
Their final two such contests are against the NL's worst team.
The visiting Royals will be facing a Colorado Rockies pitcher who has been hit hard in losing all three August starts when they get their first look at Tyler Matzek on Tuesday night.
Kansas City (69-55) holds a two-game AL Central lead over Detroit and is a major league-best 16-3 since July 30 as it searches for its eighth straight interleague road win. Colorado (49-75) owns baseball's worst record since that date at 6-12.
The Royals used strong starts from James Shields (11-6, 3.29 ERA) and Jason Vargas to take two home games May 13-14 from Colorado. Shields also starts the opener of this two-game set.
Matzek (2-8, 5.50) had not reached the big leagues at that point, getting recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on June 11 and remaining in the rotation since.
No NL rookie has more losses than Matzek, who has a 9.60 ERA in dropping all three starts this month. He struck out a season-high nine while giving up five runs over six innings in Wednesday's 5-3 loss at San Diego.
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in two interleague starts.
Shields is 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA in five contests against the NL. He limited the Rockies to one run and struck out eight in seven innings in a 5-1 win May 13.
The right-hander's only other start against Colorado was his lone one at Coors Field in 2007. None of the Rockies he faced in that game are currently available.
Shields has plenty of experience against Justin Morneau (15 for 44 against him with four homers) and Michael Cuddyer (7 for 17). He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in his last eight starts, going 3-2 with a 1.94 ERA.
Morneau is day to day after he missed Sunday's action with a stiff neck.
Shields is one of five AL pitchers with two hits at the plate this year.
Kansas City captured its eighth straight series by taking three of four at Minnesota to start a nine-game trip, winning 6-4 on Monday. Alex Gordon went 8 for 15 in the series and Billy Butler, hitting .400 in his last 15 games, was 7 for 17.
Catcher Salvador Perez had two hits and two RBIs before leaving in the seventh inning. Manager Ned Yost said Perez tweaked a tendon in his knee while running the bases in the fifth, but was removed purely as a precaution.
Erik Kratz replaced Perez and hit two solo homers.
"It's great to help the team out when you do get in there for any bench guy," Kratz said.
The injury-plagued Rockies received a boost when Cuddyer returned after missing 60 games with a left shoulder fracture for Sunday's doubleheader sweep of Cincinnati. He went 5 for 10 and hit for the cycle in the nightcap.
"It's good to see Cuddy out there and swinging like it's midseason form," manager Walt Weiss said. "Big night for Cuddy."
Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson was 4 for 9 with a homer and five RBIs in the two games. He is batting .417 during a career-best 12-game hitting streak but went 0 for 3 off Shields in May.
|Last Updated: 9/18/2014 8:48:27 PM EST|