Friday, April 1, 2011

Knee Jerk Reactions Plus Tonight's Wishes

Since everyone else is jumping off the cliff after a 4-2 loss on Opening Day to the Angels I thought I would provide my knee jerk reactions as well. These aren't me exaggerating to be funny these are thoughts I had throughout the game.

  • Gordon didn't show a different approach or swing at the plate. I didn't have any slow-mo footage on Gordon to analyze, but it seemed as though it was the same routine of getting deep into counts and then not having enough contact ability to get the ball in play with two strikes.

  • Luke Hochevar pitched well. I thought he did a fantastic job all day of getting ahead in the count and keeping the ball down. He had an 11-1 groundout to flyout ratio (phenomenal) and 5 strike outs to no walks. The killer for Hochevar was a home run he gave up to Mathis. I can't remember if it was Mathis or Hunter that hit a home run immediately after what the ump called a ball on what looked like a backwards K. If Hochevar pitches like that all season his era will be the best of his career, but he will also lose alot of games against opposing teams' aces.

  • Crow looked awesome. I have heard that Crow was very restricted a season ago on when he could use his plus slider. But yesterday he of course wasn't which led to 3 Ks in 1.1 innings of work. Crow could be lights out in the pen this year.

  • Tim Collins makes me a bit nervous. It was my first time watching Collins and it even though I have seen Collins on film, I couldn't help but wonder how easy he could totally lose the ability to find the plate. When he missed the zone some early on, it concerned me even more. Hopefully it was just debut jitters and he will show a bit more command early on in future games.

  • Melky Cabrerra hit the ball well. He didn't necessarily hit it hard everytime but he had some good at bats spread the ball well. Cabrerra is under team control for another season, and with Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson and to a lesser extent Derrick Robinson looming, most Royals fans would probably actually prefer him to perform poorly so that they can see what the future holds.

  • Mike Aviles looked extremely unimpressive at third. He botched a hard hit ball that he could have backhanded, he misjudged a foul pop up, and he decided to throw across the diamond when he could have simply stepped on third to end the inning. None of these plays wound up hurting the Royals, but they were fortunate in this regard. Even on the play that he still recorded the out on, it would have been a much safer route to trot to third and get the force. It is the little things, gentlemen.

  • Ka'aihue's at bats are quality. He gets good cuts and he has great discipline, but we already knew that. Ka'aihue could have easily had a double of the centerfielder's head yesterday, if that centerfielder wouldn't have been the defensive wiz Peter Bourjos.

  • They say a pitcher's success can often be predicted by k:bb ratio and groundball percentage. Yesterday the Royals posted 9:1 and recorded 14 of their other 17 outs via the groundout. The Angels meanwhile went 10:6 and 6 of the 11 outs were recorded via the groundouts.

  • The Royals got walks and singles in the innings they couldn't get big hits and they got big hits in the innings that didn't get walks and singles. In just one game this leads to a loss, but over the course of a season luck should even out and more runs should be scored.

  • I agreed with all of Ned Yost's decisions in yesterday's game. The only one I questioned was when he elected to pinch run with Maier instead of Dyson after Butler drew a walk. However, after some thought I like this because then he was allowed to use Dyson to pinch run to be the go ahead run and since he didn't use Dyson to pinch run for his DH he was able to use Dyson in center to improve the defense in the late innings. But this raises another thought: if Dyson is your best pinch runner and Butler is the most likely guy to be pinch ran for isn't this going to be a bit of an issue. For this reason alone would it be worth starting Butler at first over Ka'aihue? Just a thought.

Now for what I'm looking for tonight:

  • I want to see how the bats respond after putting up just two runs yesterday. I want to see if Kansas City can get a timely extra base hit. I want to see if they can keeping using the walk as a tool. I want to see if they can do any damage against a top notch starter.

  • I want to see how Gordon responds after his Opening Day performance. Opening Day results are magnified way beyond what they actually represent and I want to see if the extra Gordon complaints are going to carry over today or if he will shelve his performance as just another day.

  • I want to see what Francis can do. I have a lot of optimism about Francis for the 2011 season and I want to see if he can be a consistent option for the Royals. Quality starts can go along with the young bullpen.

  • Speaking of the bullpen I want to see more results. They could be great. They could be one of the top pens in the Majors. But we need more than 3.1 innings before we can annoint them as the best bullpen in Royals history.

  • I want to see Escobar and Getz make some plays in the middle infield that other infielders couldn't have made. They weren't tested much yesterday, so I'm still looking for this.

  • I want to see Aviles rebound. Aviles has to be a better fielder at third. Simple.

  • I want to see a Royals W. Let's get that record back to .500. Go Royals!

1 comment:

  1. Good. Someone else noticed Aviles' mental error.