Saturday, August 29, 2009

Too many mistakes to overcome

Game Date: August 28, 2009
Kansas City @ Seattle
Mariners 6, Royals 3 / Box Score
WP: Hernandez (13-5), LP: Bannister (7-11)
KC Home Runs: Maier (2)
Royals Record: 49-79 / Record in August 9-19

I’d say it’s amazing regarding the number of ways in which the Royals give away runs, and ultimately games, but that wouldn’t be true. It’s pretty much a routine by now. There were numerous instances last night:

In the second inning, with Mike Sweeney on third base with one out, Banny snagged a comebacker—he looked Sweeney back to third, but when Banny threw to first base Sweeney darted for home. You know the result—a headfirst dive by Sweeney that beat Miguel Olivo’s sweeping tag. Olivo was, as is often the case, positioned several feet in front of home plate, giving a lot of the plate to Sweeney and Sweeney took advantage of it.

Our catchers continue to be out of position on plays at home and I can really only think of three reasons for it: (1) They have been taught incorrectly. (2) Lazy habits. (3) They are afraid of taking a big hit. Options one and two are possibilities in this organization—especially since it has happened so many times by multiple catchers. But eventually option number three is going to go running through the minds of your opponents and if that’s the case, you might as well pack it in.

By the way, it was nice to see Sweeney playing hard and contributing again. His interview with Joel Goldberg after the game was pure class—pure Mike Sweeney.

In the third inning, Mitch Maier came to the plate with David DeJesus at second base and no outs. Maier struck out. Billy Butler followed with a ground ball to second that probably would have scored DeJesus if Maier had advanced him to third. Didn’t happen and we lost a run as a result.

You’d like to say that Maier made up for it later with a two-run home run in the fifth, but to me the two plays are mutually exclusive.

In the bottom half of the third, Miguel Olivo let a pitch squirt between his legs, allowing a runner to reach third, who came around to score with two outs when Mark Teahen committed an error, giving Seattle a 3-1 lead. The pitch was first ruled a passed ball and then changed to a wild pitch. It was a horrible correction and should have been called a passed ball, but whatever the case, it set the stage for yet another error, which gave Seattle another run.

Then we had the dropped throw by Billy Butler at first from Alberto Callaspo. And Kyle Farnsworth walking Mike Sweeney with the bases loaded. It’s a game that would have upset a little league manager. Trey Hillman was short with the media after the game—which I sort of understand because he’s frustrated, but at the same time, it’d be nice to see him exhibit his frustration with the proper people.

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