Judging the Royals

Lee Judge breaks down the Royals, game by game.

Royals Live

Yordano Ventura’s first win

Tuesday night Yordano Ventura pitched seven innings while giving up four hits and only one earned run—but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. If I counted right, Ventura threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 28 batters he faced. (And if I counted wrong he still threw a whole bunch of first pitch strikes.)

Throwing first-pitch strikes and staying ahead in the count means a pitcher can use all his pitches; not just the ones he can throw for strikes. Hitters want to get into fastball counts and limit the pitcher to one pitch; a fastball. Hitting is difficult when you’re behind in the count and trying to cover everything a guy throws; hitting gets easier when you’re ahead in the count and can sit on a fastball.

Just look at the one earned run Ventura gave up:

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By LEE JUDGE. 2 minutes ago

How to not hit; advice from an expert

When Clint Hurdle was the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies I asked him what he thought of Hal McRae as a hitting coach. Clint said hitters listen to some hitting coaches because they know how to hit; hitters listen to other hitting coaches because they know everything that doesn’t work.

When it comes to hitting, I may not know everything that doesn’t work, but I know all the stuff I tried didn’t work.

First, let’s start by admitting hitting a baseball is really hard at any level and insanely hard in the big leagues. I got to face Jerry Dipoto when he was a reliever for the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Colorado Rockies. The first thing that impressed me was the velocity—90 miles an hour plus. The ball actually made a buzzing sound as it went past.

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By LEE JUDGE. yesterday

Plenty of blame to go around in Royals 4-3 loss

Wade Davis is probably going to wear this one, but there’s plenty of blame to go around. Let’s go back to the bottom of the eighth inning and you’ll see what I mean:

The Royals had just taken a 3-2 lead and Ned Yost brought in Aaron Crow. After the game Ned was asked why Crow threw the eighth instead of Wade Davis and Yost gave four reasons: 1.) Crow had already warmed up 2.) Ned wants to find another guy capable of throwing the eighth inning when Davis isn’t available and Crow is one of the candidates 3.) Yost liked the matchups and 4.) If Crow struggled, Ned could always bring in Davis.

Crow struggled.

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By LEE JUDGE. 2 days ago

Why not walk Joe Mauer?

This one got away in the second inning and explaining why takes some doing. Jason Kubel and Josmil Pinto singled to start things off. Kurt Suzuki then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Royals starting pitcher James Shields came off the mound to field the ball. Shields appeared to have a play at third, but dropped the ball. The bases were loaded with nobody out.

Shields then walked in a run.

Aaron Hicks took his free pass while Jason Kubel scored. Bases still loaded; nobody out. Pedro Florimon struck out and then Brian Dozier hit what looked like a possible double play ball to Mike Moustakas. It looked like Moose got in a rush (I wonder how many errors are made on possible double play balls—it’s a play where everyone starts to hurry) and the ball got through Mike and wound up in left field. When the dust settled two runs were in and Hicks was on third, Dozier was on second, there was one out and Joe Mauer was at the plate.

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By LEE JUDGE. 3 days ago

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About the Blog

Judging the Royals is an inside look at baseball and the Kansas City Royals. Lee Judge watches every game, talks to the players and brings their point of view back to the fans.