Games » Detroit TigersApr7
Game notes: Royals-Tigers 4/7
Call the bomb squad
Holy blown save, Batman, is the bullpen going to blow up every time they make an appearance? I’ve only done two of these games and I already get why managers, coaches and reporters love pitchers who throw strikes and get the job done. It doesn’t take too long before you don’t care who wins, you’re just praying (hoping, if you’re agnostic) that someone will come in and get some outs.
Kyle Farnsworth got positive points and a win, but STB (see the first game’s notes to get this reference) big time.
Soria struck out three, but couldn’t control his big curve. He threw it a couple times, apparently had no feel for it and dumped it for the night. Lots of pitchers avoid going inside to a power hitter late in the game (when one swing can beat you), so no curveball and lots of pitches away resulted in Cabrera getting a string of similar-looking pitches. He timed one and ripped it off the foul pole. (Maybe that’s what the Royals need…skinnier foul poles).
A lot of big league pitchers were power pitchers at some point in their lives. If they got in trouble they just dialed it up and struck people out. Most big league pitchers have to make a mental adjustment when they realize they can’t just blow it by people anymore. They’ve got to use movement and location, as well as velocity, and accept that big league hitters are going to put the ball in play. The smart pitcher tries to control how they do it. Hochevar took a big step toward that goal in this game. 89 pitches in 8 innings, 1 walk and only 2 strikeouts (actually a good thing because it shows Hochevar he doesn’t need to blow people away to be successful).
Kendall made a mistake when he got thrown out trying to advance to third in the 7th. Betancourt was on his way home and Kendall was already in scoring position at second base. With two outs, runners generally shut it down at second, since it would take a hit to score you from third anyway. If you want to give Jason the benefit of the doubt (I don’t) you might figure he was drawing the throw away from the plate to make sure the run scored, but it looked like Betancourt was going to be safe pretty easily, so bad decision.
No errors, but…
Callaspo threw one ball in the dirt that Butler scooped and another one that Billy had to stretch so far for, he may never have children. The Royals third baseman also backed off on a ball that was his in order to let Betancourt make the play. (Third basemen are supposed to take anything they can get to when moving across to their left…better to have the play made by someone moving towards first than someone moving away). The only defensive position that Callaspo has handled so far is somewhere on the bench near the water cooler.
Not hungry, thank you
DeJesus ended the inning by striking out looking with the bases loaded in the 5th. That’s bad enough, but the pitch that really bugged me was the 2-0 fastball down Main Street that he watched go by. There are times to be selective and times to be aggressive and that was an opportunity to be Incredible Hulk aggressive. When you get them down, step on their throat…at least that’s what my spiritual advisor says. (He’s a bit competitive.)
Tie game, no place to put you, fastball count…turn on the damn fan! The table was set, time to eat and he let the main course pass him by.