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


Tigers Lose Two In A Row. Verlander Terrible!

Well, my predictions from yesterday are already starting to fall apart.

I was expecting Verlander to be lights out in the second half but his first start after the break was nothing short of horrible.

The Tigers lost to the Royals, again, 6-5.

Verlander pitched 5 and 2/3 allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, he struck out 3 and walked 4, including Eric Hosmer in the bottom of the 4th with the bases loaded to force in a run.

With the Tigers down 5-3 going into the 5th, the offense scored two runs to tie the game on an Alex, A Squared Money, Avilla single but Verlander gave the lead up for good in the bottom of the 5th when he allowed a two out home run to Mike Moustakas.

I’m not sure what to say about JV.  His velocity seems ok but his command is terrible.  His curve-ball and slider weren’t coming close to the strike zone.  I guess the only thing to say is what I saw, he looked TERRIBLE.  If not for his track record, you’d think he was a back of the rotation guy auditioning for the bullpen.  If he doesn’t get straightened out, the Tigers are in trouble and my fifth prediction from yesterday is not going to happen.

On the bright side, Alex Avila had three hits and two RBIs.  Prince had two hits.  Victor had three hits.  Alburquerque and Smyly were good out of the bullpen allowing no runs, one hit and striking out three combined.  Also, the Twins beat the Indians again today so the Tigers still have their slim lead.

This is not what I was expecting coming out of the break.

Hopefully, Fister can salvage a game tomorrow.

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