When Bryan Bullington won his first victory as a major league pitcher Sunday against the Yankees, it was an event long, long overdue. The former overall 2002 first round pick of the Pirates had pitched okay in the minors, but injuries and a lack of opportunity to start in the majors had finally put Bryan on the mound starting for my all of a sudden starting pitching starved Royals. The 8 innings of shoutout ball preserved by Joakim Soria could have been lightning in a bottle, a once in a lifetime performance by a journeyman given one last chance in the majors by the team of last chances, the Royals. At 29, it was nice to see BB finals realize his potential, if even for one memorable start in front of a home crowd that seemed to be half Yankees fans. Also, the last time KC had beaten the Yanks 1-0, 1972. It was a performance long overdue by a Royals pitcher.
On closer inspection, this start may not have been a total fluke or anomaly however. 29 year old pitchers are in the prime of their careers most of the time. He hasn't been overused by any means (reference one Gil Meche) and had a very good start the time before, plus decent stats in AAA with the Omaha Royals. Maybe all he ever needed was an organization to hand him the ball every fifth day and have some confidence he'd do the job. Now two excellent starts may be putting delusions of grandeur in the minds of KC fans, desparately searching for positives in yet another season that somehow unraveled all too quickly and unmercifully. All Bryan deserves is an opportunity to show his stuff the rest of the season. With Kyle Davies being a big tease as a starter, Luke Hochevar and Gil Meche battling the injury bug, Brian Bannister overthinking every pitch instead of relying on instinct and movement, and Zack Greinke just having one of those years, we need a success story in the rotation. We also need someone to just outright pitch well consistently.
Maybe Bryan can become all of that. All us KC fans know is he'll get a chance to earn a rotation spot in 2011 if he pitches well the rest of the season. Good luck Bryan. May that lightning in a bottle from Sunday last you a few seasons.