Well, what is one to say or write about last night’s extra inning loss? More specifically, what is one to write that has not already been written, tweeted or said?
Eleven innings, back to back pick-offs of pinch runners, 13 walks, a run scoring wild pitch, 5 stolen bases allowed, a 9th inning game tying homer by rookie Eric Hosmer, the debut of rookie Danny Duffy and another Joakim Soria bad outing. Whew! I cannot decide whether we should spend this column dissecting last night’s loss or try to forget it.
Obviously, in a game in which the manager empties his bench and his bullpen, there are many instances where we could second guess Ned Yost. My only comments on Yost last night are that I would have stuck with Louis Coleman for a second inning of work and probably Aaron Crow for a second inning as well. You’ll have to take my word that I was thinking that Crow should work the 9th inning as well before Soria surrendered a run, although going to Soria in the 9th is hardly managerial malpractice. An extra inning out of both Coleman and Crow keeps Yost from having to go to Jeremy Jeffress in the 11th.
My other complaint is that the Royals need some sort of ‘for godssake don’t make an out on the bases!’ sign. I know the organization is all about aggressive baserunning, but after Jarrod Dyson is picked off in the 9th, don’t you have to tell Mike Aviles to take a two step lead and hope Wilson Betemit drives the ball into the gap? Yes, Aviles should damn well know that he can’t get picked off, but there’s nothing wrong with throwing up a ‘STOP’ sign to reinforce the issue.
Anyway, the Royals had their chances and, frankly, the Rangers had more chances. It was a discouraging loss and one that certainly feels like ‘old times’ for us Kansas City fans. That’s a few more words about last night than I thought, let’s go inside the numbers for a bit:
- 30 – The number of pitches Danny Duffy threw AFTER getting two strikes on a hitter.
- 1 - Total number of passed balls charged to Matt Treanor in 2011: relevant because it happened last night.
- 5 – Outings in which Joakim Soria has allowed a run.
- 5 – Outings at this time in 2010 in which Joakim Soria allowed a run.
- 5 – Outings after May 19, 2010 in which Joakim Soria allowed a run.
- 5 – Total combined hits before last night from Mike Aviles and Chris Getz in the last two weeks.
- .630 - Billy Butler’s OPS in May.
- .515 - Alex Gordon’s OPS in May.
- 3.26 - Luke Hochevar’s May earned run average.
- 7 - May strikeouts by Hochevar.
- 7 - May walks by Hochevar.
- 3 - Minimum number of games the Royals need to win through this current homestand to have even a hope of getting back to and staying at or over .500 by the end of May.
I will give kudos to Ned Yost for shaking up the lineup last night – even if it didn’t really pan out. My original plan for a column was about having to do that very thing and, I have to be honest here, Ned shook it up much more boldly than I would have. It will be interesting to see if Yost sticks with last night’s batting order or if it was a one time thing.
Okay, question of the day: When do you call up Mike Moustakas?