Games » Chicago White SoxJul10
In this game, Brian Bannister had a fastball, a curve and a changeup hit for home runs. Maybe it’s time to learn a fourth pitch. (I’m kidding, he has one, but his location was spotty with everything he threw.)
Bannister’s main problem was being up in the zone. When a pitcher’s up, there are several cures: shorten the stride to allow the arm to get out in front, finish the pitch by letting the air out and having the chest hit the front knee or, my personal favorite: AIM LOWER.
When Brian had such a good outing in Washington against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals, his curve was bouncing. The only bouncing Bannister’s curve did in this game was off the back wall of the bullpen.
Billy Butler and Alberto Callaspo made leaping stabs of line drives to rob Chicago hitters of extra bases (so, yes, it could’ve been worse) and Kendall blocked a particularly nasty pitch to keep a runner out of scoring position — for awhile.
The problem with baseball is you’re always in some kind of streak, good or bad, so it’s easy to be misled about where you’ll wind up. The Royals have been in a good streak, so does that mean they have a shot at the playoffs?
On the other hand, the White Sox just pooped in the Royals’ hats for two straight games. Does that mean the Royals really aren’t a playoff-level team?
Well, let’s do some math. (Warning: hope springs eternal for those who don’t own a calculator.) The Royals are 39-48. They have 75 games left. Assuming they need 85 wins to have a chance (and that still might not be enough) they need to win 46 of those 75 games. That means the Royals need a .613 winning percentage the rest of the way.
Impossible? No, but only one team in the majors (those Damn Yankees) is winning at that clip. So, not impossible — but highly unlikely.
This doesn’t mean you should start concentrating on who’ll be starting at left corner for the Chiefs. Life is about the journey, not the destination (suitable for tattooing.) Even if the Royals aren’t going to make the playoffs (and they might, stranger things have happened, like Christie Brinkley married Billy Joel) you can still see marvelous baseball on any given night.
Being a fan means being a fan through thick and thin. Anything else is front running.
What’s up with Jose Guillen?
Jose Guillen had been getting more playing time in the outfield, even after interleague play ended. The prevailing theory behind that move was the Royals’ desire to showcase him for other teams. (See? He’s not just a designated hitter, he can be a defensive liability, too!)
Ned Yost’s insistence that Jose was a fine outfielder and didn’t need to be replaced in late innings for defensive purposes seemed to fly in the face of reality. There are people being led by dogs that are aware Guillen has limited range. Yost also passed up chances to pinch run for Guillen late in games. It seemed (this is all personal opinion by the way, and if you decide to believe Ned Yost over a guy who draws funny pictures for a living, who could blame you?) that the Royals were intent on acting as if Guillen was an all-around player that would be a fine addition to any playoff team.
So when Jose pulled up lame in Seattle, I figured the showcasing had backfired: the Royals had put too much strain on Guillen’s fragile legs (didn’t they try to kill him in the off-season?) and the result was a pulled quadriceps. When Jose did that funny hop in the air while running to first, I thought, “four to six weeks.”
Every guy I’ve ever seen do that particular move (the hop is an effort to take pressure off the injured leg) has been out that long at least. I figured the Royals wouldn’t admit there was a problem. (Hasn’t Rick Ankiel been out longer than Nelson Mandela was in jail?) and Guillen would just be “day to day” for the next 72 years.
Then he was in the lineup for this game, and I figured I was dead wrong — until I saw him run. If that guy’s not hurt, I’ve never seen it. In fact, I’ll stake my medical degree on it. The Royals claimed a leg wrapping had come lose and that accounted for Jose limping around the bases. OK, I guess.
We’ll see what happens today.