Games » Chicago White SoxApr5
Call in sick, play hooky, say a dog ate your homework, just do yourself a favor and get out to the ballpark this afternoon. The Royals are on a magical roll and nobody knows how long it will last. They won another come from behind, extra-inning, nail-biting game last night, 7-6 in 12 innings.
It’s one of those streaks that have old-time, tough as nails, chewing-tobacco-on-the-chin grizzled vets shaking their heads. (OK, I’m going to stop being lyrical now, I’ve run out of clichés… but the Royals are playing really good, fun to watch baseball and we should all enjoy it while we can.)
In the 12th inning Alcides Escobar made one of the best plays I’ve ever seen from a shortstop. With two down and a runner on first he went deep to his backhand side and managed to field the ball. Everyone thought he would have to go to second and even then it wasn’t a sure thing. Instead, he spun and fired an impossible throw to first while falling away from the infield. It looked like a fade away jumper shot out of a bazooka and it got Alex Rios at first base EASILY.
Melky Cabrera drove in his third run with his third hit of the night to win the game in the bottom of the 12th. Cabrera started out rough, misjudging a ball off Juan Pierre’s bat (he ran a route that was too shallow) and turning a single into a triple. In the 2nd inning he did a nice job running the bases: he hit a single with Escobar on 3rd and Matt Treanor on second, rounded first and then took off right in front of the cutoff man. This was a good, veteran play whether he was safe at second or not. He got the ball cut and made sure his catcher, Treanor, would be safe at home…and he managed to slide into second safely and give the Royals another at-bat with a runner in scoring position.
Ned Yost said Luke Hochevar was ‘fat in the zone’ (heck, I’m fat wherever I am), meaning he was throwing strikes, but getting too much of the strike zone. The good part is he didn’t freak after the four-run first, made an adjustment and limited the damage until the 6th when he gave up a couple more (one was unearned). Limiting damage is an incredibly important concept. Pitchers won’t always have their best stuff, but when they’re scuffling, can they stick to the game plan and throw strikes? For the most part, Hoch did and kept the Royals in the game.
Speaking of scuffling, Mike Aviles made another error, this one because of Juan Pierre’s speed. Mike got a high chopper, tried to make a quick transfer knowing he needed one and lost his grip on the ball. He’s made one flat-out, misplayed error (balls between the legs tend to qualify), but everything else so far has been some kind of snake-bit weird hop chance.
Once again, Ned Yost used closer Joakim Soria in a tie game in the 9th. The reasoning is interesting: if Soria can come in and shut the other team down he gives the Royals two chances to win the ball game. The bottom of the 9th and, no matter what the other team does, the bottom of the 10th. So far the strategy has resulted in two wins.
The crowd booed when The White Sox intentionally walked Billy Butler in the 10th inning. Could we please dispense with this? It’s moronic. There were two outs, Gordon had just hit a double, he represented the winning run, first was open, Billy’s the Royals best hitter and the on-deck batter, Kila Ka’aihue had already struck out two times (and would go on to strike out a third). You should boo if they DON’T walk Butler in that situation; it would be horrible baseball.
Don’t make me think, it can only hurt the team
After the game I asked Chris Getz, who got two more hits, if he’s generally a low-ball hitter. He didn’t want to analyze it too much. When you’re going good, you don’t know why, but you do know it’s fragile. Start to think about it and it may go away. (There’s a right amount of stupid in this game.) I started laughing and said, “So I’m putting you in a slump right now?”
Let’s say he thought it was possible. So if Chris goes in the tank, you’ll know who to blame.
Go ahead, make his day…
I got Kanekoa Texeira to come out early and shoot some video (which we should post soon). I got him to tell the story of how we met. (I was walking down the dugout steps behind him, a kid with a ball called him over and asked if he could jog on up to the clubhouse and get Zack Greinke’s autograph… which struck me as hilarious.) OK, the video’s done and Tex says it’s still happening: he hangs with Kila Ka’aihue a lot and when people see them they ask Kanekoa to take a picture of them with the baseball player. So if you see Kila and Tex out in public, ask Kila to take a shot of you and Kanekoa. He needs the ego boost.
Reader Mike Nickells asked about catching Matt Treanor with the right-handed pitchers and Brayan Pena with the lefties. Mike wondered if there was a defensive benefit to the decision or if the right handers needed the more veteran catcher.
Here’s the reason we were given: while they think Brayan has made improvements defensively, they wanted him with the more established pitchers. They felt Bruce Chen and Jeff Francis knew what they wanted to throw and could help Pena with his game calling.
And now learn Spanish with Brayan Pena
Every time I see Brayan Pena… wait… every time I see Brayan Pena and remember to ask, he’s going to teach me a word in Spanish that relates to baseball. Today’s word was ‘ganar’ which means ‘win.’ My goal is to be able to string enough words together to be able to heckle Latin ballplayers. (Improving foreign relation one word at a time.)
Heck of ganar last night, huh?