Last night, I was on the couch, bag of chips and a can of pop on hand, watching the Royals battle the A's. I saw Oakland score the four runs in the bottom of the sixth, breaking open what had been a pitchers duel between Brian Bannister and Chad Gaudin. I don't remember much after that; I fell asleep.
This morning, I woke up and checked the box score and saw that it's probably a good thing I didn't see the end of this game, as Kansas City's Japanese duo of Yasuhiko Yabuta and Hideo Nomo got lit up for eight runs in the eighth inning, and the Royals lost by a score of 13-2. There goes Kansas City's impressive bullpen ERA, I guess.
You really have to respect a veteran like Nomo, who's had incredible success in this game, both in Japan, and here in the United States. But I think it's time that the Royals end this experiment. Nomo has pitched in three games for KC this season, allowing 10 hits, nine runs, three home runs, and four walks, while striking out three in 4.1 innings pitched. His ERA is 18.69. His WHIP is 3.23. Teams are batting .455 against him.
It would have made for an amazing comeback story if Nomo had been able to put up decent numbers like he had in Spring Training. But these are no longer exhibition games where pitchers are facing lots of minor league prospects mixed in with the veterans, and I think we've witnessed the end of Nomo's distinguished career. And maybe it's a good thing I slept through it.
Hideo Nomo Photo Credit: Orlin Wagner/AP