Yost kills Royals with awful ninth inning – SweetSpot Blog – ESPN

Hat Tip, again, to Nebraska for this link.

It looks like some Royals fans are not happy with Ned Yost.

Congratulations, Ned Yost, you just managed the worst inning of the season.

The situation: The Kansas City Royals trailed the Cleveland Indians 4-3 entering the top of the ninth. The Indians summoned closer Chris Perez from the bullpen, a guy who has been awful of late. In his previous 13 appearances Perez had faced 60 batters and allowed 18 hits — including four home runs — and four walks. In September, he’d pitched four innings and allowed eight hits.

Salvador Perez led off with a base hit to left field. Mike Moustakas walked on four pitches. Pinch-runners for both were on base. Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson and Alcides Escobar — the bottom of the order — were due up. You have a struggling pitcher who just walked a batter on four pitches. What do you do?

Here’s what you don’t do: Give Perez an out.

David Lough pinch-hit for Cain and sacrificed. Didn’t take a pitch. Didn’t make Perez throw at least one strike. He bunted the first pitch.

Look, it’s not just the sabermetric crowd who is anti-bunt. Managers have become anti-bunt, not sacrificing nearly as often as they used to. It’s a one-run strategy with minimal payoff in a world where more hitters than ever can drive the ball for extra bases or out of the park. A bunt may slightly increase your chance to score one run but it also decreases your chance for multiple runs. It’s a strategy from an era when singles were more common, but in this age of increasing strikeouts and declining batting averages, singles are less likely than ever to occur.

In this specific instance, though, why give an out to a pitcher who has been a train wreck of late? Why make him get only two outs in an inning instead of three?

You can read the entire post here.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural



Things weren’t looking good for the Tigers.  This was a pitcher’s dual but going into the 9th inning the Indians had managed to scratch out 2 runs against Anibal Sanchez and led the first game of this crucial, 4 game, series 2-1.

The Tigers had some base runners in the first two innings but couldn’t push across any runs.  From then on, they were dominated by Indians starter Corey Kluber.  Kluber pitched 7 and 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing 6 hits, striking out 6 and walking one.  He was ahead of Tigers hitters all night.

The Tigers ran themselves out an inning in the 8th when Austin Jackson got thrown out at second.  After Torii Hunter singled, Ramon Santiago was held at third by Tom Brookens.  Apparently, Jackson didn’t see Santiago getting held up and rounded second.  Right fielder, Drew Stubbs threw behind Jackson and instead of the bases loaded with 1 out, the Tigers had runners and first and third with two out.  Miggy grounded to second to end the inning.

The Indians brought in closer Chris Perez to pitch the 9th and the Tigers pounded him.  He gave up all four Tiger runs and didn’t record an out.  The big hit was a three-run homer off of the bat of Alex “A Squared Money” Avila.  Alex has had a tough year at the plate but he’s had some big hits.  None bigger, at this point, than this homer.

Anibal Sanchez pitched well today. He went 7 and 2/3, gave up 2 earned on 4 hits, struck out 11 and walked two.  Although he didn’t get the win, it is fantastic that this performance wasn’t wasted.

The Indians Jason Kipnis was flashin leather tonight.  He robbed Dirks and Iggy of base hits.

Coincidentally, it was a year ago to the day, August 5th, 2012, that Indians closer, Chris Perez, had a meltdown in a Sunday, afternoon, game at Comerica Park.  Last year, Miggy hit a big home run off of him.  Tonight, it was A Squared Money!  Perhaps he should take the 5th of August off in the future.

IMHO, Miggy looks like he’s still not 100%.  It might be a good idea to put him on the 15 day DL and get him nice and healthy for the final stretch?  I’m not sayin’.  I’m just sayin’,

JV is on the hill tomorrow.  Tomorrow would be a nice time for him to return to his form of the last two years.

“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural