Judging the Royals

If they make it to the playoffs, the Royals may need home-field advantage

Royals left fielder Jarrod Dyson tipped his hat to the cheers of the crowd after catching a fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays' Grady Sizemore and doubling up John Jaso at first in the first inning Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals left fielder Jarrod Dyson tipped his hat to the cheers of the crowd after catching a fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays' Grady Sizemore and doubling up John Jaso at first in the first inning Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Guess what: I still have stuff from game one of Friday’s double header. Chris Young gave up two runs on two home runs and there’s a good chance neither one of those balls would have left Kauffman Stadium.

If a guy is a fly-ball pitcher—and Friday Young got one groundout and eight outs in the air—he needs all the room he can get to operate. Young pitches up in the zone and the difference between an easy fly ball and a screaming line drive is just a few inches. It’s the kind of thing you can get away with in Kansas City, but as Royals fans saw when their team played in smaller parks—New York and Houston come to mind—they got swept.

So if the Royals make the playoffs, be happy; but if they don’t have home-field advantage and have to play in a park with a short porch, that might be enough to keep them from advancing.

Does Geovany Soto have the thing?

I noticed White Sox catcher Geovany Soto doing something strange: he was going to his knees and doing a weird flip of the ball every time he had to throw it back to the mound. It could be Soto has the thing; otherwise known as the throwing yips.

So if a catcher is having trouble throwing the ball you might want to run on him and the Royals did; they were 1 for 2 in steal attempts. Soto threw out Omar Infante on what looked like a possible hit and run where the batter missed the ball.

The weird thing about the thing is it only applies to certain throws; a catcher may have no trouble throwing to the bases, but has a hard time throwing the ball back to the mound. On the other hand, maybe Soto just likes throwing from his knees, but I doubt it—those throws look awkward as hell. Watch and you’ll see what I mean.

Game two: the Royals do not hit John Danks

In game two of Friday’s double header Edinson Volquez pitched good—six and a third innings and two earned runs—but John Danks pitched gooder—six innings, no earned runs. Collectively the Royals hit .192 off Danks and on Friday they didn’t do much to change that average.

Salvador Perez did not block that wild pitch

The second run against Volquez came in the sixth inning when Melky Cabrera scored from third base on a wild pitch. It was Edinson’s fault for burying the pitch in the dirt, but Salvador Perez tried to glove it and never got his body in front of the ball.

If they were trying to pitch around Avisail Garcia—he’d already tripled and singled—a breaking ball isn’t the best idea in the world. Garcia hits over .400 against Volquez and Tyler Flowers, the guy on deck, hits .200. If they weren’t trying to work around Garcia they should have been and if you’re working around a guy why throw a breaking pitch?

Just put him on.

Today’s game

It’s at 1:10 and I should be watching and making inane comments on Twitter. Join me @leejudge and if the comments get completely incomprehensible by the end of the game you know I decided to have a beer or two while watching.

It’s the weekend and it’s hot—don’t judge me.

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