Well that was certainly interesting.
A lineup that not only features Jason Kendall hitting second… But Chris Getz, Yuniesky Betancourt and Wilson Betemit in the lower third. Somehow, they scrape together nine runs. Nine runs!
Then somehow, Bruce Chen kept the Royals in the game with a masterful six innings. Somewhere Zack Greinke is asking his teammates why they can’t score eight runs while he’s on the mound.
Before the game, I thought that lineup was awful. Literally the worst combination you could possibly arrive at given the players. No Billy Butler? No Mike Aviles? While I’m certain if you handed in that lineup card 100 times, they would struggle to score more than five runs in 95 of those games, Ned Yost struck gold last night.
That’s why they play the game.
A couple of quick thoughts from the second craziest game of the year.
— Although my self-proclaimed Gauntlet of Suck (Getz, Betancourt, Podsednik and Kendall – number 8, 9, 1 & 2… get it?) was a combined 3-18 with two walks, they each scored a run, which was useful.
— Jose Guillen is still on his current tear… three hits, one of which was a triple. Just be prepared for the upcoming Guillen Winter, which should start in about a week.
— This is not a team that will hit many back to back home runs. The combination of Mitch Maier and Betemit isn’t even close to the most unlikely duo. I’d go with Getz and Wee Willie. Or Pods and Kendall.
— What can you say about Betemit offensive performance last night. Two home runs, the last of which was the difference in the game. Plus, he drew a walk. Overall, he saw a team high 30 pitches last night – no small feat against the Twins pitching staff.
— According to Brooks Baseball, Chen relied on his change-up and slider last night while mixing equal parts of a two seam and four seam fastball. He was also dropping his arm angle from time to time, which made things extremely difficult for the Twins hitters. His final line won’t look impressive, but if Yost had pulled him after six, it would have looked completely different. It didn’t help that Robinson Tejeda gave up hits to his first two hitters he faced, which allowed both his inherited runners to score.
— That ninth inning was a thrill ride, wasn’t it? Mauer and Morneau are just awesome. That’s all. Swinging at the first pitch – because they know that’s how you attack Soria – and they both rap run scoring base hits. Thankfully Cuddyer isn’t in the same class as his first pitch swing ended as a long fly ball out.