28 May 2005

You could almost see that one coming

Several titles could fit for the post about tonight's game with the Angels -- "the Rally Monkey lives," "When it rains, it pours," "Unreal." "BERROA."

First, D.J. Carrasco pitches a great game and leaves with a 2-1 lead after 6 innings. The Royals actually get some insurance TWICE, but first with 2 runs in the 7th to hike the lead to 4-1. Burgos comes in and gives up 2 ER in the 8th (although Sisco gave up the hit that allowed the second run to score) to cut the lead to 1 and then the Royals get 4 in the 9th on a clutch homer by John Buck and a providential fielding error by Garret Anderson that allows 3 runs to score. So we enter the bottom of the 9th with Mike Wood on the hill holding an 8-3 lead. From the outside things would appear to be fairly cut and dry. Get three outs and hit the showers. No. Wood walks Rivera, then Berroa botches a potential double play ball but still no harm done....yet. Two dink singles by Dallas McPherson and Orlando Cabrera later, the Angels have a run in and the bases loaded. Adam Kennedy hits Berroa another cupcake double play ball and, this time, he and Gotay don't hook up and the ball sails to the fence along the RF foul line. I think Berroa got the error but the replays showed the ball looked pretty catchable. Unreal. Three runs score and the tying run gets to third in the form of Kennedy. You'd think coming into the bottom of the 9th the Royals might have somebody warming up to cover just incase something like this happens. Also, NO. MacDougal doesn't start warming up until Wood is neck deep in trouble, although it's mostly due to Berroa. He doesn't come in until Figgins knocks in Kennedy to tie the game at 8 and the smile is wiped off Carrasco's face in the dugout. MacDougal comes in and immediately throws 3 balls nowhere near the strike zone to Finley before just putting him on base. Somehow MacDougal gets out of the jam and strands Figgins and Finley at third and second. Of course, the Royals come up in the 10th and go down in order, then MacDougal retakes the mound and, after making Bengie Molina look bad on a K looking, gives up a meatball to McPherson, who jacks it over the CF fence for the walk-off. Another frustrating loss -- I had to type this all out to have it sink in. The way MacDougal was pitching, you were waiting for him to groove one -- you just had to hope whoever he served it up to wouldn't be able to do anything with it. No such luck.

The positives? DeJesus had a good game -- 3 for 5. The offense scored runs and Buck came through in a tight spot in the 9th. The misplay of Sweeney's hit (his only of the game) by Anderson actually was a break we haven't seen the Royals get too many times in '05. Sisco also looked good in the inning he pitched -- he had Garret Anderson stepping back to the dugout and looking stupid at the plate. Berroa just has a knack of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory -- be it on the basepaths or in the field. Emil Brown also had a nice game at 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles.

In the end, I just hope this game is another nail in Schaefer's managing coffin. Let's bring up SS Alejandro Prieto from Omaha to put in late as a defensive replacement, or Mike Aviles from Wichita. They can have Marrero's or McEwing's spot. Put the manager in position to be able to win games. Even though I don't want Schaefer as permanent manager I can't put this one on him. When you've got a 5-run lead in the 9th the game should be in the bag. Put it away. This team has no killer instinct -- once something goes bad in an inning the wheels sometimes fall off. The pitchers either can't hit the strike zone at all in tight spots or give up just enough to keep the other team in the game. Let's get someone in here to get things under control and get the team pointed in the right direction.


Daniel said...

Nice blog, nice template. Looks good. (add more misc. compliments HERE)

I'm with you on Schaefer -- his recent odd pinch-hit substitutions leave me with a bad taste in my mouth (McEwing in for Teahen TWICE, and Graffanino for Diaz and Matt freaking Stairs of all people). He's going to manage himself out of a job, I think.

I'm still dreading the vote of confidence coming from outta nowhere (think inland Siberia).

Isn't it sad when you're just hoping for a .400 record? What in the world does that say about this franchise?

Ken said...

Thanks for the compliments...The Royals are saying all the right things pointing away from Schaefer to an experienced manager but I'm waiting for him to be picked out of the blue. The bad thing is we can look back and see so many games that could have been won if a couple decisions were made differently. That's the curse of it.