Ned's Defensive Adventure Fails; Royals Fall to Pirates 4-2

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 8: Rod Barajas #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates slides around the tag of catcher Humberto Quintero #33 of the Kansas City Royals in the second inning on a single by Clint Barmes (not pictured) during the game on June 8, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Ned's Wild Interleague Ride gave us a bizarre defensive alignment that brought us Billy Butler at first base, Eric Hosmer in rightfield, and Jeff Francoeur in centerfield. If there is anything we have learned from the Ned Yost, it is that his favorites will play every day no matter how little this makes sense. It only took us just one game to see how elegantly stupid this idea was, as Hosmer botched a single that got past him for an error. But the worst defensive alignment was having Yuniesky at second as his range deficiency came into full view on an RBI "single" by Neil Walker that got past Yummiest. But hey, I'm sure Johnny Giavotella would have like thrown the ball into the Alleghany River or something.

The Royals in the third showed that the Yost era means working on fundamentals. Hochevar pulled the dreaded fake-pickoff-third-throw-to-first (cue Ryan Lefebvre rant), but this time it actually worked! Jose Tabata broke for second and was a dead man walking. But I guess in Arizona the Royals never worked on what happens next, because the team had their heads in their posteriors as the not-exactly-fleet-of-foot Pedro Alvarez broke for home and made it easily without a throw.

Luke put up six Hooch-ish innings, giving up four runs against a team that up until two weeks ago, looked like they might set marks in offensive futility. But this near-quality start will probably give us hope for another week or two that things are finally turning around for him.

The team was pretty listless tonight, especially offensively. I never really though Ned's job was in jeopardy this season, but if the team is going to be this apathetic, Dayton might see fit to jolt the clubhouse, either through firing Ned, or by turning over a post-game spread and shouting obscenities like "goll darn it" and "fiddlesticks!"

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