Games » Chicago White SoxMay15
Wild speculation alert!
As I hope I’ve made clear, I barely understand what’s going on in my head, much less someone else’s, but emotions don’t help you in baseball. If I could field an entire team on Xanax, I would. Other than that they’d be falling asleep on the bench, they’d be perfect.
In the seventh, Alexei Ramirez hits a soft grounder to Yuniesky Betancourt. There are balls in play that look like hits and there are balls in play that look like outs. This looked like an out. Yuniesky fields the ball on his glove side, but back behind his left thigh. I don’t know enough about playing short to know if he could’ve done anything differently, but it set off a chain of events.
He doesn’t have the ball in the pocket; it rolls up towards the palm. He reaches in the glove and the ball’s not exactly where he expects, so when he grabs it with his throwing hand, he doesn’t have it in his finger tips. Now it’s back in the palm of that hand, also.
He’s got no time to readjust (the ball’s hit softly remember), so he’s got to throw it with the grip he’s got, the ball sails, Ramirez is safe and the inning spins out of control.
I have no way of knowing Luke Hochevar’s reaction to that play. It was scored a hit, but disappointment at not getting an out on a ball that looked like an out would be normal. If he lost focus, it might explain the walk, hit, hit and hit that followed.
Or, I might be full of it.
• The mystery of Yuniesky…
He opens the game with an outstanding play, goes on to throw a couple in the dirt that Butler scoops for him, makes as spectacular a play as you’ll see this year at short and then somehow lets what look like a routine play get away from him…no wonder people are divided on him.
• Just in case you’re keeping track…
Another walk and hit by pitch scored in this game. The Royals lose by one. (Like I’ve said, the gods of baseball have a nasty sense of humor.) You’ve got to control what you can control and the Royals aren’t controlling this.
• Aviles gets picked…
I don’t know the Royals’ policy, but in Ron Polk’s Baseball Playbook (pound for pound the most complete playbook I’ve ever seen…and available on-line) the first base coach does not have responsibility for watching the pitcher and yelling ‘back’ on a pickoff. It’s the runner’s job to focus on the pitcher and base coach watches the first baseman if he’s playing back.
There are keys for the runner with a right-hander on the mound. He can watch the pitcher’s heels. If the front one comes up, he’s going home, if the back one comes up, he’s coming over. He can also watch the brim of his cap: down he’s watching the runner out of the corner of his eye, up: he’s focused on home (try it; you’ll see what I mean).
Naturally, pitchers do everything they can to confuse the situation. That’s what’s up with all the dipping and lifting of the head. The Royals might have other keys for Peavy, but those are some of the classics.
P.S. Nobody knows that the hell is up with lefties, that’s why they can stop a running game dead. Coaches will look for tells, but the good left-handed pitchers are extremely tough to read.
• Called strike three…
Guillen strikes out looking for the first time this season and there’s probably a reason why. In the first inning Peavy goes up and in. Pitchers do this to open up the down and away area. Hitters aren’t going to be so eager to lean out and cover that spot after having one sail under their chin.
Peavy’s pitch hits Guillen on the hand. There’s no muscle covering those bones so it hurts like hell. (I’ve had my wrist and my hand broken by pitches, so I speak with some authority.)
In the ninth, Guillen strikes out looking on a down and away pitch. Like I said, always dangerous to speculate on someone’s frame of mind, but if he didn’t cover that pitch because he got hit earlier, it would be pretty normal.