Games » Texas RangersMay7
We told you so…
As I predicted, because of his poor technique on pop flies, Yuniesky Betancourt dropped one. This makes me a genius. It also makes Frank White a genius, because he predicted the same thing. So did Ryan Lefebvre. I believe there might’ve been a head hunter in New Guinea who said it was just a matter of time. I passed a wino on the street the other day who said, “If that Royals shortstop doesn’t stop catching pop-ups at shoulder level without watching the ball into his glove, he’s gonna drop one…and do you have any spare change?”
In fact the only person who didn’t seem to know that the Royals shortstop was bound to drop a pop-up was the Royals shortstop who dropped a pop-up. Betancourt stared in disbelief and expressed disgust with the disappointing turn of events. Who knew doing things the wrong way could turn out so poorly?
The Royals are short on talent. This means they have to do things right.
I once watched Bo Jackson completely misread a line drive in center field. He charged in, only to discover the ball was continuing to carry over his head. He stopped, gathered himself and jumped straight up about 16 feet (this may be a poor estimation, it might’ve been 18 feet) to snag the ball. The crowd went nuts, but it was a lousy play, saved by athleticism. So the lesson here is: if you can’t jump like Bo Jackson, you better do things right.
In the last couple games I’ve seen Aviles try to catch a throw off to his side instead of blocking it with his body. I’ve seen Callaspo try the same thing, while moving backwards on a ground ball. Neither play was successful.
When I started playing baseball seriously, I got great instruction from professional players. I learned there was a right way to do everything…and I mean EVERYTHING. Throwing the ball, holding the ball, even how you pick it up off the ground, have been examined and thought about, until the most logical approach was decided upon.
Unusual approach takes unusual talent, and that means the Royals can’t afford unusual approach.
The tying run…
Baseball players are always aware of where the tying and winning runs are (at least they should be). When you’re on defense, if you’ve got a one-run lead, the tying run is at the plate. If you’ve got a two-run lead, the tying run is on deck.
By dropping a two-out pop-up with a runner in scoring position in the second inning, Betancourt gave the Rangers an insurance run.
This meant that after the third inning, the Royals only got the tying run to the plate two more times in the fifth. The Rangers pitcher, C.J Wilson, could be here-it-is-hit-it aggressive about throwing strikes, knowing the hitter at the plate could knock the ball to hell and gone and he’d still have the lead. By contrast, Royals hitters, knowing they didn’t represent the tying run, had to take a less aggressive approach (if they were thinking about it…and they should’ve been), just hoping to get on, so the tying run WOULD come to the plate. Wilson was rarely behind in the count for the rest of the night.
Poor technique led to a dropped infield fly, which led to more aggressive pitching by the opposition, which led to weak at-bats which led to defeat.
For the want of a nail, the kingdom was lost…or at least another Zack Greinke start.