Games » Minnesota TwinsJul26
The Royals lost 19-1, but the game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. The Twins did the same thing to Zack Greinke that the Royals did to Stephen Strasburg awhile back: They jumped on fastballs early.
I’ve expressed the opinion on more than one occasion that Zack has good enough stuff to fall behind and power his way out. Shows how much I know. Greinke was throwing 97 and still getting whacked.
If you went back and watched the first inning in slow-motion (and I did), you could see Jason Kendall’s mitt moving away from where they wanted the pitch to whatever spot Zack was hitting. He wasn’t walking people, but he was wild in the zone.
You’ve probably heard it before, but pitching is like real estate: location, location, location…and if they keep pitching like this, the Royals’ location will be last place.
Another fine mess…
The Royals seem to be a mess right now. The starting pitching is getting lit up, the bullpen has become unreliable and the loss of David DeJesus and Alberto Callaspo has the everyday lineup in disarray.
The Royals have a lot of new pieces to the puzzle, and it may take awhile to figure out how they all fit together. Meanwhile, the team’s 42-57, has 63 games left and needs to win 43 of them to get to 85 wins (which may or may not be enough). That’s a .682 winning percentage the rest of the way. Take a look at the standings and figure out how many teams are winning at that clip. (The answer is zero.)
You can make plans for the playoffs, but coming out to Kauffman Stadium shouldn’t be on the list.
Congratulations to Jason Kendall…
Kendall just caught the 2,000th game of his career, and about half of them came this season.
The unintentional walk…
In the first inning with two down, runners on second and third and first base open, Greinke walked Jason Kuble. This wasn’t loss of control, Zack just decided to avoid a veteran hitter with two runs in scoring position and go after a rookie.
The rookie ruined that plan by hitting a grand slam, but this is a tactic to watch for in ballgames. Anytime the offense opens up first with a steal or a bunt, the pitcher has the option of working around the guy at the plate.
Some pitchers (dumb ones) don’t like to do it. They think they can get anybody out. Love the attitude, but the odds of getting different hitters out are different. Go after the weaker opponent.
This tactic can change if the batter represents the tying or winning run, but there are times when a walk isn’t a bad thing.
Jose Guillen misplayed another ball in the fourth inning. Danny Valencia hit a sinking line drive to right. The outfielder has to choose between laying back (which looks bad, but is sometimes the right choice) or going for it (which looks good, but is sometimes the wrong choice.)
If the defender decides to go for it, he needs to give an all-out effort to keep the ball in front of him even if he doesn’t make the catch. That can mean diving or sliding or actually bending over all the way, which Guillen neglected to do. The ball went under his glove for a leadoff double that later scored.