Games » Minnesota TwinsApr16
I thought this game was over after three innings…if only I’d been right. If you believe in pitch counts (and I do, but we can save that argument for another day) after Greinke finished the third with a count of 68 pitches, it was clear he was unlikely to throw beyond the 5th. That leaves 4 innings for the bullpen, and right now the Royals don’t have 4 innings of good pitching in the bullpen.
Royals starters need to average about 15 pitches an inning. That gets them through 7 innings at 105 pitches and gets the game to Parrish (or whoever the setup guy winds up being and Soria).
So the starters need to go at least 7 innings; otherwise the game goes to middle relief and, right now, out the window.
Defense, good and bad…
Outstanding defense in the outfield will help pitchers throw strikes. If pitchers trust the D to go get the ball, they aren’t so fearful of contact. Podsednick had three above-average plays, DeJesus one and Ankiel’s speed turned a possible double into a single.
Kendall made a circus play off the backstop, making a barehanded catch of a wild pitch ricochet on the fly and throwing out a runner attempting to advance.
On the other hand, Callaspo appeared…and let me emphasize “appeared”…to pull up on a ball hit to his glove side, content to let Betancourt attempt a difficult backhanded play. The ball went through for a single. This is the second time I’ve seen this and seems to indicate a player who really doesn’t want to have to handle the ball if he can help it. (Been there, done that.)
I can’t get into the guy’s head and could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve seen.
Holding his hands low and somewhat behind him means pitchers will likely go after Ankiel hard up and in, thinking he can’t get there in time from that stance. If Ankiel has to start earlier to cover that hole it opens another one, off-speed, low and away.
I said this earlier and Ankiel went out and got six straight hits…but pitchers missed those spots and when they did, he raked. Last night Baker hit those spots and Ankiel took an 0-fer.
The success of bunting…
First inning, Podsednick smokes a grounder past the third baseman (Harris?…C’mon, I’ve learned all the Royals names, do I have to get all the opposition too?) The reason that happened is Harris? was in on the grass. He was in on the grass because Podsednick has been bunting, and that’s exactly why, if you have any speed and you’re left-handed (bring any Royals right fielders to mind?) you lay down a bunt once in awhile.
If you have 600 at-bats, you’re going to make 400 outs in a great year. Why not make a couple that make the 200 hits you’re looking for more likely?
A former major league infielder once told me even if a hitter only attempts bunting for a hit once or twice, it’s in the scouting report and might change the defensive positioning.
Tough row to hoe…
That phrase brings several jokes to mind, all of which I’m not going to let out of my head. Anyway, Bloomquist is having a tough time. Baseball is such a game of consistency and it’s hard to develop that when you’re not playing regularly.
Last night he got an error, but it was caused by Callaspo’s low throw on a double play ball. Bloomquist was trying to dig it out and turn the double play and dropped it in the process. Frank White (I think he’s a really good analyst…anything he says about playing second base should be engraved on stone tablets) said Willie should’ve given up on the double play and just made sure of the one out.
Boy, give a guy eight Gold Gloves and he thinks he’s a genius.