Friday, May 30, 2008

My Sports Life is a Rock Song: "You Can Do It"

Some numbers are rollin' around in my head this Friday evening. It's 5-4 Cleveland (leading the Royals) at home, in the bottom of the eighth. They were leading this ball game three innings ago, and my prediction of one year ago -- that the Royals would threaten to play .500 ball this year -- is suffering its worst valley of this season. The 11-game losing streak has been absolutely brutal -- (Update:the Tribe just turned two to end the inning) -- in the sense that a losing streak of that length is bad enough by itself, but even worse the way it's gone down. Details after the jump.

Every streak of losing -- trust me, I have a PhD in them by this point -- is rough. Last year's franchise-record 19-game stretch was ugly. Yet somehow, it doesn't seem as though that one was as rough as this one's been. Perhaps it's because I had more faith -- it hasn't yet expired, by any means -- in the club headed into the season. Perhaps because with the good pitching assembled by Dayton Moore, Trey Hillman, and company, I figured the sticks of Teahen, Gordon, Butler, and Buck, added to by the Jose Guillen acquisition, would be a nice complement to the squad of hurlers, setup men, and Soria as the closer.

This streak, though, has some numbers that are way painful to stomach. Courtesy of today's The Kansas City Star, here are some token losing-streak stats:

Kansas City has allowed 67 runs, compared to 28 scored. Starters have allowed five or more runs seven times. And the doozies include: three surrendered grand slams, two shutouts, two extra-inning defeats (one they tied in the ninth, one they allowed a ninth-inning tie when they entered it up five), and a no-hitter. Yes, that no-no by Lester of the Red Sox seems like it was an eternity ago, and it perhaps was the impetus for this trail of doom and misery. But enough about Boston and woe.

It's time to turn to O'Shea Jackson, and a track from Volume II of the War & Peace album: "You Can Do It." Cheesy, I know. But I've been beaten about the spirit and the gut for the better part of two weeks. (Update: Though I don't expect this post to affect tonight's game, it is interesting that Esteban German just plunked one off the top of the left-center wall for a stand-up double.)

"You can do it,
Put your back into it."

Amazing lyrics, right?

"It's a marathon,
F--- the cemetary that a n---a gets buried on."

(Update: And Grady Sizemore just slammed into the wall, robbing Jose Guillen of a base hit.)

"And it's sink or swim,
you got to think to win."

I say get base hits, but whatever. The Royals have outhit many an opponent during this stretch, and, no surprise, they've left many more base runners aboard, too. They need sluggers, or at least one. Now. It is a marathon, and that streak is now 12. Let's not toy with last year's toll. We'll start looking like a cemetary that a Royal gets buried on.


Unknown said...

Lakers vs Celtics?

C'mon. I'm not supposed to believe the fix is on. The NBA playoffs are ridiculous. They're almost as bad as MLB.

-- TLR