The touching story of Joba Chamberlain and his father Harlan has a nice dovetail this season in the other dugout as Brian Bannister, son of former Royal and all-star Floyd Bannister, gets the ball for Kansas City. The Yankees have yet to face the two-time AL-Rookie-Of-The-Month, whom after coming over from the Mets has been the star of the Royals rotation this season as the only starting pitcher with a record (12-7) significantly over .500; also, his 3.16/1.15/.242/151 ERA/WHIP/BAA/ERA+ each lead the Royals starting rotation. He’s been vicotorious in each of his last four starts, allowing seven runs over 29.2 innings. Should the Royals win today, they are guaranteed that for the first time since 2003, they won’t lose 100 games in a season, a sobering thought about the sort of guff some people have to take in order to be a fan of their team.
Andy Pettitte took the loss in his last start when he was tagged for five runs by Tampa Bay after he was arguably left out on the field one inning too long. He looks to bounce back from his second loss since the break while facing a Royals battery that he has yet to see this season.
Beginning Friday August 3rd, the Yankees hosted Kansas City for three games, sweeping the Royals by a combined score of 31-14. Last night’s game was a horse race of a different color as Ian Kennedy and Gil Meche both pitched well enough, and neither recorded a decision. Most of the offense came in the second inning as ARod (who went 3-4 on the night) and Jorge hit solo shots in the top half, while Alex Gordon and Jason Smith scored in the bottom half on singles to knot the game at deuces. Abreu doubled with mustard off Musser to muster the game-winning run by scoring Jeter in the seventh, while Kyle Farnsworth’s perfect inning netted him the win, combining with six outs from Joba and three from Mo to finish the game for the Yankees.
Back to that sweep over the Royals early last month. Since then, the Yankees have lost series to Baltimore, Anaheim, Detroit, and Tampa Bay, while winning sets against Cleveland, Detroit, Boston and Seattle. The resulting 20-12 record over that stretch has netted them one-half of a game in the standings in the east, but Seattle has played 14-18 over that same stretch and plummeted to 9 games out in the west after being as close as one game back just over two weeks ago. The Mariners also find themselves four back of New York in the wild-card race after being in a virtual tie for the WC with Detroit and 2.5 up on New York back on that arbitrary date. The Tigers and Seattle continue their set at Comerica five minutes before the Yankees tee off against the Royals.
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