The Royals kept us up late last night, falling 3-2 in a strange game against the Angels. The Royals -- who scored only 10 runs in the series -- wasted a golden opportunity to steal a series split, instead giving a bad Angels team another night to feel good about themselves.
For the second straight night, Buddisimo went all Deadball Era on us, ordering sac bunts in the 8th and the 9th after the Royals amazingly got leadoff men on. We went over the general run expectancies yesterday:
Currently, with a runner on first and no outs, a team on average scores .93492 runs that inning. This is the old saw we hear every damn game, "if you get the leadoff man on, he usually scores". Well, in this case, its true. Here's the run expectancy of the result of the bunt, man on second, one out: .73055.
Once again, Bell took the bat out of Grudz's hand in the 8th after DeJesus reached first. Just a reminder, but Grudz is hitting .302/.340/.409 this season, the nicest overall line on the club. Worse still, in the context of the inning, it was an awfully friendly gesture: Donnelly had led off the inning by hitting DeJesus, and after the bunt by Grudz, he walked Minky. Clearly, this is a guy who'll gladly take any extra outs we want to give him.
But whats the point of complaining about it after all? The Royals ended up scoring anyway -- again, just like last night, the subsequent walk would have moved David over anyway -- thanks to a wild pitch and a bizarre strikeout-error sequence I still don't understand. Still, the Royals didn't need one run in the strictest sense, they needed two. And they never got that third run.
In the 9th, Buddisimo had the gall to order All-Star choice Mark Teahen to bunt, after a surprising Brown walk. Predictably, Berroa and Bako looked pathetic, both striking out with little effort from K-rod. So once again, Bell's thought process was, "I've got my two worst hitters coming up after Teahen, so I'll kill an out here and see if they can get a single off one of the best short usage pitchers in the game."
Shockingly, it didn't work.
The good news however, is that the Royal pitching staff stepped up for the second straight day (at least), with Wood, Gobble and Dessens working overtime and holding the Angels to only 3 runs on 9 hits and two walks. Wood and Gobble both have ERA's comfortably in the 4.00s now, a somewhat remarkable occurence considering their average stuff and the horrible Royal defense. Now, if we could only get such performance out of Mays (past tense), Run, Elarton etc. we might have a good team.
Lastly, as was pointed out last night in the Game Thread, the Royals got screwed for the second straight time with a though, non-day-game on a getaway day. Nothing like a game that ends past midnight central time, with a game in Houston tonight at 7PM.
The good news is, I'm sure Bell's awe-shucks anti-intellectualism and established status as an insider part of the good ole boy network makes him beloved in Houston. Garner et al fall right in line with Bell's love of everything old school, including a Detroit bunt-tastic pedigree. So maybe they'll tamper with Bell and over him a bench coach job or something?
We can dream right?