I know I already gave a report on Buchholz, but I have another report on him. And this time I was actually watching his bullpen warmup from 10 ft away, and not on TV.
I will start with some Royal pitchers. Steve Stemle an old ROY eligable player came in the 6th inning and did not look bad, but not good at all either. His fastball was around 90 with below avg location. He also threw a pretty good off-speed pitch(not sure if it was a change or curve). It was better than his fastball and recorded his K with it. He managed to throw a fastball right over with two outs against Munson that Munson put about 20 rows into the rightfield stands. He was probably pitching for contact, not meaning for it to go 400 ft.
Andrew Sisco came in the seventh and looked like he would get into trouble then promptly saved by a DP. His fastball was good at 94-95 with decent control. He featured a curve with it that was lower on the grading scale. It was not enough to keep guys off-balance and gave up 2 hits on the fastball. They were both good swings pulled down the line and line dirve back up the middle. He really only threw 2 pitches, but he looked much better than Affeldt.
Burgos, a guy with only 60 IP so barely not a rookie. He looked very good and sharp. He was at 96-98 blowing the fastball by people. He also used a good split or slider, I thought it was a split. He struck two out with the split and caused the batters to look pretty bad. If he throws strikes early in the count he can be real good.
Nieve looked absolutely BAD. His velocity(90-91) was way off and his control was just as OFF. If it had been a real game he would have only faced one batter. After his second batter faced Hickey came out and told him there was no more pitchers and he would finish the game. That has to feel bad when you have no stuff that day. He only threw 4 strikes his first 20 pitches and two of those were hits. He gave up 4 runs before he got an out and was saved by defense. He had to come back out in the ninth, looked a little better, but was saved by a great double play to end the game.
Buchholz really PROVED a point in the game. I don't know if the gun was right on, but the first 3 innings he was at 94-95 and hit 96 3 times. The only person that came close was Burgos and Buchholz was throwing 4-5 mph faster than Affeldt. He threw only fastball-change the first 2, then started throwing a bunch of sliders with a few curves when he needed a pitch. He really looked great the fist 6 innings. He struck out 2 with change, 2 with fastball, one with curve and I didn't get what the other was maybe a change.
Every pitch was better this game than last outing. They really pushed him, letting him throw 103 pitches through 7. He tired after 5 and in the sixth and seventh was throwing 90-92, but dialed it up at pivotal points back to 94. He only gave up one hit that was pulled by a batter(Sanders) and all of the others were late-swing slaps either through 1st/2nd or bounced in front of the right fielder. It was truely a dominant outing that I was very glad to watch.
Also, Blalock's Frank stand is in the same place next to the Crawford boxes, and it was as good as last year. So get one if the go to MMP.