Jeff Niemann Dislikes the Royals

  • Sometimes Jeff Niemann exhibits all the attributes of an extremely good pitcher and leaves you saying "Damn." Today was one of those occasions. What the Royals lack for in talent they make up for by lacking in performance. They still are major league hitters, and anytime you strike out seven of those suckers without walking a soul, it's worth applauding. Admittedly Niemann didn't draw a ton of swings and misses (about 7% today) but he generated more grounders than fly balls and looked a lot like the pitcher he was in June/July than April/May.
  • Remember all of that moaning and whining I did about Niemann using his curveball more? He's done that. Check out his month splits:
Month FB CV SL CH K% BB% FIP GB%
April 73 7.1 13.6 0.3 13.3 11.2 5.97 34.7
May 71.5 10 15.6 0.2 13.2 9.3 5.17 41.1
June 73.9 12.3 12.1 0.4 13 10.4 3.26 40.7
July 72.4 14.7 11.5 0 19.6 4.1 2.63 45.8

 

Don't place too much emphasis on the FIP because his home run rate was unsustainably low these past two months, but here's the thing: everything in his control has improved. Whatever Jim Hickey has beat into his head - guessing a nice combination of words and boards - worked splendidly in July.

  • Watching Miguel Olivo on a daily basis must be the most irritating and predictable task in the world. Earlier in the season I named the Royals baseball's version of Sisyphus, I think he's the catching version. Every game you can guarantee Olivo is going to A) swing at a really awful pitch out of the zone and B) let a ball bounce by him.
  • I was wondering whether that triple will have a sustained affect on Pat Burrell's self interpreted speed. It will if his attempt to stretch a bloopy single into a double is any indication.
  • How you know it's your day:

 1. Dioner Navarro hits a home run and Pat Burrell triples

2. Carl Crawford throws someone out at home.

3. The Kansas City Royals are in town.

  • Jeff Bennett with the least dramatic reliever debut of the year behind Dale Thayer's mustache; two outs, both strikeouts, a few whiffs, and a single. Good job.
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