Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Gregarious on Gregg
By Ian Hunter
21 out of 25 times, Gregg has deployed the Optic Blast and picked up the Cyclops Save. His job is to protect a lead of three runs or less, and occasionally opponents get the best of him. Surprisingly, he's only blown four saves this year although sometimes it seems like ten or more.
Not to sound like a Kevin Gregg apologist, but it's easy to peg this loss on him simply because he was the last guy out there.
Unlike Saturday evening's game against the Orioles, Kevin Gregg did an okay job of finding the strike zone. The only real big mistake he made was walking Jose Guillen on four straight pitches to put the go-ahead run on base with two outs.
Other than that, the Royals nickel and dimed him for a couple of ground ball singles ... and frankly, that could've happened to any other reliever in the bullpen, not just Kevin Gregg. Things like that are bound to happen when you're playing against the squad with the highest team batting average in the majors.
As an aside, check this out: 73 % of all the Royals hits have been for singles. The Blue Jays on the other hand have 55 % of their total bases as singles. What does this mean exactly? I'm not totally sure, but it probably equates to the Royals nickle and diming plenty of other teams as well.
Cito was correct when he said the team didn't play good fundamentals. The play that stands out in my mind was in the top of the fourth when Adam Lind got nailed at third base trying to advance on a sac fly.
Since he was tagged out before Wells reached the plate, Lind's third out negated what would've been a run by Vernon. Had Adam Lind just stood there at second base, Wells probably scores on the sac fly and there are still two out.
Instead, Lind got a little too aggressive trying to draw the throw away from home plate and it cost him dearly. It's just baseball fundamentals that you don't make the third out of an inning at third base, and that's especially true on a sac fly play.
In a strange way, I don't feel all too badly about handing that game to the Kansas City Royals because it's not like they have much to celebrate these days. It was only their second walk-off win of the season.
Let them pile up at home plate and use it as a lesson for the future. Don't tag up and go second to third base unless you're absolutely sure you'll get there.