Games » Chicago White SoxAug21
This time, Bryan Bullington was human. One thing I will say for the Royals of 2010: they’re not a winning team, but they’re not ridiculous. They continue to battle no matter the situation. They don’t get blown out much and even when they lose, you see a pretty good ballgame.
Last season, as I recall, I actually saw a Royals outfielder throw a ball backwards (to be honest, it was very entertaining). This year, every throw has gone foreword. See? They’re making progress.
OK, I’m done kidding around and damning with faint praise, but you could do a lot worse than the 2010 Royals…and we have.
Alex Gordon made a diving catch in the fourth that saved a run and played a carom of the wall perfectly to hold a runner to a single (the key is catching it high on the glove side and being able to turn with the catch in one motion). I can see what they mean about him getting more comfortable in the outfield.
Mitch Maier made a sliding catch and took out a divot the size of a mid-sized Toyota in right field. The grounds crew must be thrilled.
Chris Getz got points, not for a physical play, but a mental one. In the 10th inning with Gordon Beckham on first representing the winning run, Ramon Castro laid down a bunt along the first baseline. Despite the fact that it was going foul, Billy Butler tried to field it, missed, and knocked it fair (mental mistake for him). Chris Getz never gave up on the play and was where he was supposed to be: covering first. Billy’s mistake knocked the ball directly to Chris, who picked it up and got an out.
Coaches (and some cartoonists) love players who complete their assignments and end up where they’re supposed to be. They’re less thrilled with players who insist they need to play defense and then make fundamental mistakes…not that I’m talking about any first baseman in particular.
The known Yuniverse…
(Yeah, I’m going to beat ‘Yuniverse’ to death.) Betancourt was once again an offensive hero (temporarily), driving in the run that sent the game to extra innings. He followed Mitch Maier’s triple to right (and that’s where almost all triples are hit…because of the long throw) with a single up the middle.
Baseball after midnight…
One of the charms of a small crowd (and lots of people left during the second game) is the ability to hear every drunk with a need for attention. I never quite got the thrill of making an ass out of myself and ruining everyone else’s evening. It also seems cowardly to yell something from the safety of the stands that you’d never say to a professional athlete’s face. Not that I’m advocating confronting large people, with great reflexes in the prime of physical conditioning. It’s not a good idea.
I’ve been drunk, but never THAT drunk.
Rules for sending the runner…
When a runner comes into third, the base coach is backing up toward home plate. That buys him time to make a decision and allows the runner to continue at full speed. The coach is reading the play in the outfield: is the fielder picking up the ball coming straight home (good throw) or moving laterally (weak throw)? How many outs are there? 0 outs, take 0 chances: you’ll have three opportunities to drive the run in. 1 out be a bit more aggressive: with a runner on first or bases loaded, you’re in a double play situation and might not get the run in. With 2 outs, be aggressive as a Rottweiler in a bad mood, you may not get another chance.
Oh, and did I mention you need to know who’s on deck and coming to the plate next? That makes a big difference. And if you’re in the later innings, you need to factor in the possibility of a pinch hitter that may change the equation.
You might also want to consider salary: teams don’t like their big money guys getting hurt in collisions.
So the next time you get ready to boo a decision by Eddie Rodriguez, remember, he’s got a lot on his mind. (This bit was inspired by him sending Wilson Betemit home on Juan Pierre…arm strength is one more factor.)