Wednesday, June 29, 2011

There's always the Royals

As some articles have crept out in the last week or so about how dominant the AL is over the NL again in interleague play, NL teams can take some solace -- that particular dominance in no way extends to the Royals, who are now 4-10 against the National League.

Way to carry the torch, fellas.

Ned Yost tried to play with matchups in yesterday's game against the San Diego Padres like he did for Monday's game, stacking some of his right-handed hitters at the top of the lineup against lefty Clayton Richard (he stacked left-handed batters against the right-handed pitching Matt Latos on Monday).

It didn't work. Perhaps having guys that don't really get on base at a high percentage at the top of the lineup doesn't work? Nah, that's crazy talk.

In theory, this kind of ballpark (Petco Park) should play similarly to Kaufmann Stadium, thus playing to the Royals' doubles-hitting, aggressive-baserunning ways, but the Royals' offense has sputtered. Not totally surprising, given that Petco is a hard place to score, but there's a couple of things going on here:
  • The Royals are 2-17 with RISP in the first two games of this series.
  • The Royals are 4-of-5 on stolen bases in this series, and they should be 2-of-5.
The Padres seem to be highly aware of the Royals baserunning tendencies. Chris Getz stole two bases in last night's game (and whatever else I've said and will say bad about Getz, I will say that he is an impressive fellow running the bases), but both Matt Treanor and Jeff Francoeur were picked off.

Frenchy, however, beat the pick-off relay throw from 1B to 2B, which resulted in a stolen base.

He did the same thing Monday, too. So, 4-of-5 in steal attempts for the Royals in the series total, but again, it should be 2-of-5.

Given this, any attempts to steal in the final game of this series need to be a bit more measured, or the Royals are going to lose baserunners. Although, if they're going to continue to bat .118 with runners in scoring position, it may not matter much.

Sidenote: I did my duty yesterday in casting my allowed 25 All-Star ballots. It's usually a bit of a blur, for me, what with my particular set of rules in picking players.

1) Yes, I look to my favorite teams first.
2) If there are no worthy candidates at a position from my favorite team, I try and take a stab at the next worthiest, as long as they are...
3) Not New York Yankees
4) Not Boston Red Sox
5) Not on the cusp of their 153rd consecutive All-Star appearance

So, I almost couldn't tell you who I voted for if you just asked me casually. I definitely voted for Alex Gordon, although no other Royals. Of course, Dick Kaegel on the Royals official site seems to think that it's Jeff Francoeur that needs All-Star voting help more than Alex...otherwise, why title your article that way?

I know an easy way to get Frenchy into the All-Star game -- buy the man a seat. Otherwise, I'm thinking that type of article needs to go away. It's that type of idiotic thought process that leads to Derek Jeter leading the AL voting at SS despite being possibly the worst starting SS in the American League...oh, and being hurt.

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