Saturday, August 22, 2009

Queue the circus music

Game Date: August 21, 2009 
Minnesota @ Kansas City
Twins 5, Royals 4 (10 inn.) / Box Score
WP: Nathan (2-1), LP: Soria (3-1)
KC Home Runs: Butler (15), DeJesus (10), Pena (4) 
Royals Record: 47-74 / Record in August 7-12

Another frustrating loss for the Royals—and so much to talk about:

First, I know it didn’t effect the outcome of the game, but watching Yuniesky Betancourt go into a home run trot in the bottom of the ninth inning only to watch the ball hit the wall and see him barely make it into second base is one of the more irritating things I’ve seen from the Royals this season. I’ve said this in the past about various guys—guys like Emil Brown who did the same thing while playing for us—but I simply don’t understand not running after a player has made contact with the ball. And I don’t understand why it is tolerated. But it is, and the action itself as well as the toleration of it, says a lot about this organization.

The second thing I don’t understand is why we need 96 pitchers on the roster. Okay, actually it’s only 13—while also carrying three catchers. I understand that our bullpen is horrendous and that Dayton Moore is just looking to give Trey Hillman another option or two, but you cannot put yourself in a position in which you don’t have a guy on the bench who can pinch run in a tight ball game—as was the case last night when Billy Butler singled in the tenth inning with one out with the Royals down by a run. John Buck was the only guy available and obviously that didn’t help. So Butler stays in and Willie Bloomquist singles but Butler doesn’t take third. You can’t really blame Butler. He’s slow, he knows it, and I rather see him stay at second then get thrown out at third. If we would have had a guy with decent speed on base, he would have taken third and came home on the subsequent fly ball to center. That scenario is on Moore for leaving Hillman short on the bench.

Next, we’ve got to talk about the defense. How about the play by Josh Anderson in right field in the sixth inning? First, he fails to stop the ball from rolling to the wall and then, when he picks it up—with his glove for some reason—the ball squirts out of his hand when he goes to throw the ball in and it shoots backward. How many lowlight reels is that one going to end up on at the end of the season? And we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up Bloomquist’s failure to take the correct angle on the ball in right field in the top of the tenth inning—allowing the ball to get past him, hit the right field wall and roll away, which in turn allowed what turned out to be the winning run to score.

I know this team is nearly 30 games under .500, but I still can’t stand to see baseball played this way. Of course, this team is nearly 30 games under .500 because they are playing baseball this way.


Rich said...

I deplore the roster construction right now, but, with this team, playing for one run (i.e., taking Butler out) when the team needs two runs to win also doesn't make sense. Butler is far and away the best hitter on the team, and playing for one run means tying the game up and trying to win later, but now trying to win without the best bat in the lineup. Leaving Butler in is irrelevant at that point--Bloomquist also has to score in the 10th to justify taking your best bat out of the game, and that requires more offense which permits Butler to score even with his .

Rich said...

Sorry, I got interrupted and accidentally posted without typing "slower speed." at the end.

Lee Warren said...

As you might imagine, I disagree. :)

I don't seen the sense in keeping Butler in the lineup because if you don't score at least one run in that situation the game is over and Butler doesn't even get to hit again. I think you have to play it conventionally, if you are the Royals, and get the game tied first and then try to win it without your best hitter.

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