Gil Meche will try to halt an eight-start losing streak when he opens a three-game series against his season-long nemesis, the Yankees, on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
While Meche has pitched well recently, the Royals have not been able to provide any run support. Meche is 0-6 with a 4.47 ERA in his last eight starts. They haven't won when he has started since July 20.
Overall, Meche's 7-12 record masks a very impressive season. The Royals' All-Star ranks among the league leaders in innings pitched (182 1/3) and quality starts (18), but has received 3.85 runs of support per nine innings, second-lowest in the American League behind the Indians' Jake Westbrook.
Entering Wednesday, Meche is the only American Leaguer who ranks in the top 24 in innings pitched and has fewer than nine wins.
This will mark Meche's third start this season against the Yankees. In his first two outings, Meche allowed 11 runs in 11 1/3 innings and has taken two defeats. Those two starts alone have ballooned Meche's season ERA from 3.53 to 3.85.
His last start against New York, on Aug. 5 in Yankee Stadium, Meche worked a season-low four innings and allowed six runs.
KC: RHP Gil Meche (7-12, 3.85 ERA)
Meche was effective in his last start, tossing seven innings of three-run ball. However, he suffered the loss when Scott Baker came within three outs of a perfect game and eventually tossed a one-hitter. The Royals have lost Meche's last eight starts, but it isn't because of ineffectiveness. Rather, run support is the major factor. In those starts, Meche is 0-6 with a respectable 4.47 ERA. Meche has faced the Yankees twice this season -- and that's the only team that has hit him well. New York has hit Meche for 11 runs in 11 1/3 innings this season.
NYY: RHP Ian Kennedy (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
Kennedy was brilliant in his Major League debut, allowing one earned run and conserving his pitches enough to last seven innings, despite a strenuous start to the game. He struck out six and walked two while auditioning for a permanent spot in the rotation -- at the very least, manager Joe Torre said that Kennedy would almost definitely make at least one more start.
Player to watch
Alex Rodriguez is batting .385 (10-for-26) with four homers and nine RBIs against Meche in his career.