ALCS Game 4 – Royals Look to Sweep Orioles
John BensonNo comments
Two weeks after winning the AL Wild Card game in walk-off fashion, the Kansas City Royals find themselves one victory away from sweeping the Baltimore Orioles and going to the World Series. Pitching this afternoon for the Royals is Jason Vargas (0-0, 3.00 ERA in the post-season).
In his only other post-season start, the lefty gave up two runs and three hits in six innings of work against the Los Angeles Angels on Oct. 2.
Despite the layoff, Vargas said, “I feel fine. Definitely rested. Had some bullpen sessions and everything feels fine. I’ve never had this much rest. So I couldn’t give you a good guideline on what I’ll be looking for. But I’ll be ready to go and be ready to try to execute my game plan and execute pitches.”
In his career, Vargas is a concerning 3-10 with a 5.10 ERA when pitching on at least six days’ rest.
The Orioles will counter with Miguel Gonzalez, who hasn’t started a game since Sept. 28.
Gonzalez said, “It’s been two weeks, but I’ve been preparing myself to stay focused and I’ve had a couple of bullpens and a live BP. So I’m excited. I’m excited to go out there and give my team a chance to win a ballgame.”
Like Vargas, Gonzalez has struggled on extra rest this season. The right-handed pitcher boasts a 4.53 ERA in nine such starts (almost two runs higher than his ERA when pitching on five days’ rest).
There’s a feeling that the Royals are a team of destiny. While it’s unlikely that the Royals are going to sweep the entire MLB playoffs, it’s hard not to like Vargas at -121 in what is an elimination game for Kansas City.