Judging the Royals

The Royals have to pitch and defend better than this

Jeremy Guthrie was falling behind hitters from the start and eventually surrendered six earned runs; all in the third inning. The two unearned runs came the inning before when Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer made two errors on one play.

Bottom line: the Royals need to pitch and defend better than this.

Their offense is going to have a hard time keeping up in a slugfest; the Royals need to keep the score low to give their hitters a chance. Monday afternoon they didn’t do that and got beat by the Detroit Tigers, 9-5.

Game notes

*Besides Hosmer’s errors, the Royals had a chance to turn two double plays and didn’t get it done. Omar Infante was involved both times: on the first one he wasn’t quick enough to throw out the runner at first, on the second one his throw pulled Alcides Escobar off the bag and Esky had to go back and make sure he tagged the base.

*It’s 420 feet to centerfield in Detroit; a pitcher can use that. Keep the ball in the big part of the yard and let your centerfielder run the ball down.

*In the second inning the TV guys said the Royals infield was playing Victor Martinez to pull until he got to two strikes. At that point they shifted and expected him to go the other way; but Jeremy Guthrie threw a changeup and Martinez took the ball up the middle.

*The TV guys also thought Lorenzo Cain made a great read and got a fantastic jump on Nori Aoki’s third inning, two-RBI single. At home it appeared Cain got away with a mistake: it looked like the ball was going to get caught until Tigers centerfielder Don Kelly hit the brakes and pulled up short. By that time Cain was long gone and that’s why he was right behind Mike Moustakas as they both scored.

*With Casey Coleman on the mound Salvador Perez caught a pitch and tried to pull it back into the strike zone. When you see a catcher do this you know even he doesn’t think the pitch is a strike. Veteran umpires aren’t often fooled by this and it might even hurt the chances of getting the call—if the pitch was a strike, why jerk it back into the zone?

*Lorenzo Cain hit an inside the park home run when Don Kelly and right fielder Torii Hunter collided. Hunter had the ball in his glove, the collision jarred the ball loose and it rolled away while Lorenzo circled the bases.

The centerfielder has the call on that play, but big league crowds can get very loud. So the outfielder making the call has to do so quickly—before the crowd reacts.

Don’t forget that suspended game with Cleveland

The current standings show Kansas City Royals one game up on the Detroit Tigers, but don’t forget that suspended game with the Cleveland Indians.

The Royals will come to bat down by two runs in the bottom of the tenth. Should Kansas City lose that game, the lead over Detroit goes down to half a game, which means that if the Tigers win on Tuesday they’ll gain a half-game in the standings.