Paint The Black

Baseball and Beyond

Royals Manage A Win

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Two  blow outs, a nail biter, and the KC pen  is the buzz for the first  3 games of this 2014 World Series.

The Royals marched into  San Francisco  and swiped game three 3-2, behind just enough innings from Jeremy Guthrie 5 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, and the first pitcher in World Series  since Greg Maddox in 1996 to pitch five innings of a World Series game with no walks and no strikeouts, and once again the lights out Royals bull pen. The KC win insures the Series will  go  back to Missouri, or Not…..

There was one twist in the usually predictable  Ned Yost bull pen plot, he handed the ball  to rookie lefty Brandon Finnegan in the 7th inning with one on and one out after Kelvin the Assassin Herrera had delivered 1.1 innings and 27 pitches in relief of Guthrie

8 pitches later the kid who  also  appeared in the College World Series 4 months ago was floating back to his dugout, his  bridge job  from Herrera to Davis a successful endeavor after he without much trepidation induced an F/7 and a punch out with the go  ahead run on base

There was some concern earlier this month that Finnegan’s run of success was winding down. After finishing his minor league season in Double-A, he made his major league debut on Sept. 6 and pitched seven games for the Royals, allowing one run in seven innings.

He threw 2 1-3 effective innings in the AL wild-card win over Oakland, and pitched twice in the AL Division Series against the Angels and got a win. But he struggled in the AL Championship Series against Baltimore, giving up three hits and a walk while getting only one out in two outings.

I haven’t been giving Yost much credit in this Series, he was blown out in game 1, then in game 2 with the game knotted at  2-2 and Ventura in trouble he went straight to his Three headed Monster, Herrera, Davis and Holland for 3.2 innings, with Herrera once again doing the heavy lifting going 1.2 innings and shutting down a 6th inning two on one out rally in the process

What’s to manage, Right?

Well at least Grateful Ned had enough sense to not pussy foot around, he’s gonna lose with his best  relievers on the bump, Bochy  the anointed one on the other hand not so much, instead of calling on Petit  who  has been brilliant in the Post, he called on his underbelly Machi and Strickland, and the game got out of hand as KC hung 5 unanswered runs on the Giants  to  win it 7-2

Throwing Finnegan into  that  fray last night, especially coming off a bad outing, could have back fired on Ned, and the media who  has been waiting to pounce on the Hayseed Skipper from KC would have had a field day, but Finnegan got it done,  and Ned continues to come out on top of not only Bochy but Scioscia and Showalter so  far this October.

We can  argue all  day on how many games a manager wins or loses for a team in a regular season, the playoffs are a bit more magnified for the team’s Skipper

Mikey 21 our WFAN radio bafoon in the afternoon insists “manaja’s need playa’s, yeah Joe Maddon was good but only when he had da playa’s”

Mikey,  Maddon had less of a 40 man roster payroll  then the NY infield of ARod, Jeter, Cano, Teixeira, and Posada, and still gave teams fits every season.

“Yah  but dat’s bewcaws  dey developed da playas in da system”

How good has BJ Upton, Carl Crawford, Akinori Iwamura, Carlos Pena, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Gross, a 35 yr old Cliff Floyd, Rocco Baldelli, Jonny Gomes, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson, James Shields, Andy Sonnanstine, and Scott Kazmir been since they left Tamp Bay?

I don’t like Maddon  either but he did a nice job with a low payroll, and he got prospects to  adapt to  the Bigs immediately… Yes you need the players to come through, but when your the guy pushing the buttons in the Post Season the players make you look  like a genius or a dunce, the argument will  go on forever on who  to  blame, the chicken or the egg

Last night the biggest clutch hit of the game came on a reverse split in the top of the 6th inning, so who  gets the credit?

The Giants were down 1-0 with one out, Escobar singled off Hudson then it was Bochy Time

Gordon brought up the left-handed portion of the Kansas City lineup as three of the next four hitters were left-handed, a possible time to use LOOGY Javier Lopez. Bruce Bochy doesn’t like to use Lopez against right-handers, so his decision would have been: Hudson versus Gordon (and Lorenzo Cain) or Lopez versus Gordon, Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. I know the third time through the order thing, but this looks like a 50/50 decision at best to me. You have a groundball pitcher in Hudson against Gordon but Lopez has allowed a .431 OBP against righties, so you don’t want him facing Cain. No right-handers were warming up in the bullpen and it’s a little early to start going left-right-left from the bullpen.

Hudson stayed in and Gordon doubled over the head of Gregor Blanco to break an 0-for-17 stretch and give the Royals a 2-0 lead. For all the talking about managers: Let’s give credit to the players. Gordon beat Hudson and that’s the bigger event here, not whether Bochy left Hudson in too long to go to a bullpen that requires a lot of matching up for maximum effectiveness.

Lopez then came on to face Hosmer, who fouled off six pitches before lining a base hit to center on a 3-2 fastball to score Gordon. Again: The players win and lose the games. Terrific, clutch at-bat by Hosmer.

So Hosmer gets the buckle, that  3rd run proved to be the game winner, and it was a by the book move. Bochy in a round about way  got his match-up, but Hosmer beat  the split, previous Gordon had already  done damage vs Hudson, Cain seemed to be the fly in the ointment keeping Bochy from going to Lopez or Affeldt. I guess you have to hand it to Ned for moving his normally 6 hole hitter to  the 2 hole, or do  you ridicule Bochy for not going to Lopez sooner?

On the KC second guess side, did Yost leave Guthrie in too long in an effort to get his starter through the 6th inning ? Hind sight says yes, but with a 3-0 lead, Guthrie dealing, why not let him keep  pitching?  The argument was yeah he was tossing a shut out but he wasn’t missing any bats. True but he wasn’t  getting many Giant batters to  square up  either,  hindsight again leaving Guthrie in almost proved to be the wrong move, but almost doesn’t count, like mikey 21 sating yesterday if you take 2 months out of Grandeson’s seson, he was pretty good.. I’m gonna take the worst 2 months out of every players season and see how good they  were, Mikey, Mikey, Mikey, please you killing us…

Guthrie couldn’t get that shutout inning, which made the sixth and seventh innings very interesting. The statheads who wanted Guthrie removed after five were nodding their heads after Brandon Crawford singled and Mike Morse roped a double past Moustakas into the left-field corner to make it 3-1 and get AT&T rocking with some noise. Only then did Ned Yost go to his vaunted bullpen, but Herrera walked Gregor Blanco on four pitches — throwing fastballs in the mid-90s instead of his 100-mph gas.

He cranked it back up to 99 against Joe Panik, who chopped a high bouncer back to the mound, the runners moving up. Herrera now faced the heart of the Giants lineup, in what could end up being two of the most crucial at-bats of the World Series. Buster Posey, still looking for his first extra-base hit of the postseason, grounded out to second on a 96-mph fastball to make it 3-2. Pablo Sandoval, batting from his stronger left side, stepped in:

1. 101 mph fastball for a strike.
2. 99-mph fastball fouled off.
3. 100-mph fastball grounded to first base.

Royals 3, Giants 2.

Handing Finnegan the ball in the 7th was a gut check move, the kid made Ned look  like a genius.  All world catcher Buster Posey and Mr October Pablo Sandoval had a chance to make Bochy look smart, Posey got the run in but the trade off was a ground ball  out, and Sandoval  with the tying run on 3rd grounded out to 1st base to  end the threat and with Davis and Holland waiting in the wings that  was all  she wrote for game 3…

If Mr Posey wants to be the new Mr October, he’s gonna have to  be better then  2 for 13 with 1 ground ball out RBI in the first  3 games

So far, Sans Bumgarner who may have to pitch 3 games, game 7 on 2 days rest in this series if the Giants are gonna pull this thing out, middle of the road starting pitching has beat OK hitting.

(On a side note Re: the Yanks, Unfortunately you can’t keep  throwing the same 3 or 4 pitchers in an effort to get the last 12 outs, especially in the regular season, so  wanting to  build a stout bull pen through free agency sounds good on paper, but of course contributions will have to  come from more then just a 3 headed monster over a 162 game season)

but the playoffs are a different beast

It should be interesting to  see what  the Royals do  tonight if Vargas can’t get into  the 7th inning, and even with only 9 outs to  get my guess Herrera is unavailable for 3 outs tonight. If the Giants want to  win this thing they need to  jump out to  an early lead, so  far Yost has pushed the right buttons in protecting the Royals leads once the 6th inning arrives

13 of the 27 innings have come from Yost’s bull pen, not 1 of his starters has gone more then 5.1 innings in the 3 games, Shields his top  dog only lasted 3 innings. Ned had gone strictly with a formula in the first  2 games, last night he improvised his first gut move calling on Finnegan, with his play in game vs Oakland, Yost needed 12 wins to  cop  a ring, so  far he’s 10-1, he’s got 4 more chances to move the needle, 2 of those chances will be at home to  get it done, that’s how big that W was for the Royals last night

Jon Morosi        ✔ @jonmorosi
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I have disagreed with multiple Yost decisions tonight . . . And yet, his team is 6 outs from taking a 2-1 lead in the World Series.

the Whole 9

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Written by Sal

October 25, 2014 at 8:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. lotta great defense in this game, the Panda barehand was special…. The giants need a hero besides Bumgarner, like Posey Panda or Pence, that was a pretty quiet 9th inning only down by 1 run at home

    If KC isn’t gonna let those guys beat them then Belt, Blanco, Panik and Crawford gotta make World Series history, by having another no name player step up, the World Series are littered with such no name heroes

    Go Giants, can any pitcher beside Bumgarner then length? And can the Giants take advantage of so-so starting pitching? they better because the pen is just too tough, and Davis and Hoilland aren’t extending innings or going into high pitch counts…

    sal

    October 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

  2. looks like everybody wants to be a Cub.. Maddon and now Hinske turned down the Yanks, so did Chili… so much for guys wanting the touted pinstripes, looks like guys are running away from this mess not gravitating toward it

    although the guy who wanted the job, got turned down

    http://nypost.com/2014/10/24/eric-hinske-turns-down-yankees-after-hitting-coach-overture/

    sal

    October 25, 2014 at 10:19 am


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