Games » Los Angeles AngelsJul2
OK, that’s a win against Strasburg, two out of three against the Cardinals, two out of three against the White Sox and one off of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Kind of Near the Freeway But Not Exactly On The Beach Like They Keep Pretending In Those All-Star Game Ads. A nice run against good opponents.
Mike Aviles and Wilson Betemit got points for handling a failed play well: Wilson tried to bunt Mike over from second and the ball died too close to the catcher. Aviles tried to go back to second, slipped and was trapped off base. Despite rolling his ankle, Mike stayed in a rundown long enough for Wilson to motor all the way around to second. Good hustle on both their parts.
Billy Butler lost points for an assist on Alberto Callaspo’s error: the ball was off-line and Billy stayed on the bag, allowing the ball into the dugout. The ball is always more important than the bag.
Outstanding defensive points for DeJesus’ sliding catch, Callaspo snagging a shot down the line and Yunieseky Betancourt’s play to his left. Yuniesky went a long ways, caught the ball, turned a 360 and timed his throw at the perfect moment to get the runner…that’s WAY hard to do.
Of course, just to round out the Magical Mystery Tour that is Yuniesky Betancourt, a ball to his right that seemed like an out off the bat, didn’t get caught. It’s like magic: the ball is hit, you think ‘that’s an out’ and somehow he doesn’t get there. It’s not an error, but it’s not caught. Maybe my judgment is bad and I’m being unfair, but a lot of other people have the same reaction.
ANOTHER block with a runner on third to save a run in a one-run victory: that’s six games saved. (Earlier on Royals Rewind they showed Miguel Olivo waving at two wild pitches to allow the Twins to tie up a game and my son said, “So THAT’S why you’re such a Jason Kendall fan.”…Yup, I may not have lived through the Depression, but I survived watching Miguel Olivo play defense.)
Kendall also had a single, which makes a seven-game hitting streak. (Maybe he should play more.) As I’ve already said: players are constantly in streaks. A .300 hitter does not get three hits every ten trips to the plate. You shouldn’t overreact to a streak (anyone remember our story asking if John Buck could hit .400? I think it was followed up by a four-part series on the possibility of pigs flying). Players get in good and bad streaks all the time. The good players have shorter bad streaks and longer good ones. That’s what makes retirement such a difficult decision: have I lost it or is this just a bad streak?
I should know, I’m currently in a bad streak…a seven-year bad streak, but I know I’m about to come out of it. Maybe a new pair of batting gloves… Kendall also had another effect on the game: a coach on another team told me how a respected veteran catcher like Kendall gets calls. Davies didn’t get a call on a borderline pitch. Jason hesitated just a moment (with a bit of a slump) before throwing the ball back. The unspoken message to the umpire is: you missed that one and I’m not so much angry as disappointed. The next pitch was even more borderline: Kendall and Davies got the call.
Last Wednesday Kevin Seitzer gave me his latest Quality Plate Appearance and Situational Hitting stats. (Last night’s numbers aren’t included and I’m too sleepy to do the math.)
Quality Plate Appearances include hits, walks, hard hit outs, and 8+ pitch at-bats. The Royals Team Quality Plate Appearance average is .436. Anything below .350 is not good, anything above .425 is excellent. Wilson Betemit leads the team in Quality Plate Appearances at .571 so they’re trying to get him in the lineup.
Over half the team is above the .425 mark (don’t be surprised, it’s why they lead the league in hitting). Some of the players, you’d expect to see on the .425 list (DeJesus, Butler, etc.) and some you might not (Bryan Pena and Jason Kendall… Mitch Maier is one point shy).
Situational hitting includes: moving the runner from second to third with 0 outs, driving in a runner from third with less than 2 outs (subdivided in to infield in, infield back) sacrifice bunts (divided into 1st only, 2nd only, 1st and 2nd) and hit and runs.
The Royals want to succeed 60% of the time in these situations and have succeeded 64% of the time. Players who have succeeded over 70% of the time are: Pena (it’s a small sample), Getz, Maier, Podsednik and Kendall (it’s why he’s in the two-hole). Chicks may dig the long ball, but winning isn’t all about home runs.
If these numbers seem high, remember: way too many people are keeping track for Seitzer to fudge the numbers and you probably haven’t seen all the games. Kevin’s theory is that people forget the successes and remember the failures, which is great news…people are going to remember me for a long time.