The Royals dropped into a tie for first last night with a dreadful ninth inning gaffe courtesy of Jarrod Dyson. Craig detailed it perfectly last night/early this morning and you don’t need me to pile on.
Instead, let’s go back to the fifth inning against Max Scherzer. The Royals, enjoying a rare night where Omar Infante actually got on base, had runners on first and second with one out. Alex Gordon strode – yes, he strides now, because he’s earned it – to the plate.
Gordon takes two fastballs, one for a strike and one for a ball and then jumps on a curveball over the plate and misses a three run homer by about two feet. Gordon thought it was out, so did Scherzer. It was majestic and, sadly, it was foul. It was after that, however, that Alex did a very un-Royal like thing: he walked.
Against a pitcher like Scherzer, after missing a home run like that, taking three pitches and jogging to first is a hell of a plate appearance. It looked like this:
Okay, bases loaded, on out and your four and five hitters coming up. That’s exactly how a real baseball man anticipates his lineup working. Surely Billy Butler and Josh Willingham, two professional hitters, will drive in some runs, right? Oh, that’s right, Ned Yost manages the Royals, so it is Salvador Perez (a very good player who has no business batting fourth) and Eric Hosmer who bat.
Perez hits a ball out of the dirt relatively hard, but really? His plate ‘appearance’ looks like this:
Then up comes Hosmer, who has been in the lineup each and every day since returning from the disabled list. Every…stinking…day. He strikes out on a pitch that never once was headed towards the strike zone. It looked like this:
The above details just one inning in just one game, but it is sadly representative of way too many Royals’ innings this year. All this, and Omar Infante still bats second, because changing that would just be ‘kind of dumb’.