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Game 16 Open Thread - Royals (9-6) at Angels (9-7)

I think another Royal just got caught stealing again, but I haven't set my phone to text message me automatically on these things yet...

2008 Royals 14 8 64%

Most experts draw the break-even point somewhere between 65-75%, which is to say, if you're getting caught 64% of the time, you're doing slightly more harm than good. Of course, like the bunt, you can break it down more specifically, depending on the number of baserunners, outs, quality and comportment of the man at the plate, etc. Still, you're going to have a hard time finding a justification for 64%. It's not terrible, but it ain't great either, and at the aggregate level it suggests the Royals would have been just a well-served by avoiding the whole exercise. All that running has brought the Royals no closer to anything, it's just randomly occupied lines on the boxscore. I think we're about, say... three weeks away from the first story celebrating the team's high SB total (or have I missed it?) but keep in mind how damaging a caught steal is.

Relatedly, maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine, but its striking how a "successful" bunt or "moving the runner over" is a guaranteed 45 seconds of praise on every single baseball broadcast. Without fail. (And if it happens in St. Louis, then those genius-level fans will cheer beserkly, because they are the best fans in baseball, right? They know the game!) If a hitter fails to get the runner over, you can also expect a solid one-minute excoriation, which will also be revived post-game, if said team loses. I've lived all over the country and listen to a lot of sports radio, and it is the same everywhere. There are two things white guys won't tolerate: missed free throws and failed bunts or non-bunt attempts.

However, do you ever hear someone in any booth, or any recap-story, say something bad about a caught stealing or a failed hit and run or how that bunt gave up an out to a pitcher who just walked Hacky McHastic on 5 pitches?

OK. Rant over.

Our beloved Brett Tomko (2.08 ERA) takes the ball for the third time this season as a starter, hoping to again make us all forget about JDLR, Kyle Davies and maybe even Luke Hochevar for awhile. The man I called the human pause button on Hochevar's arb-clock has performed well above anyone's expectations, and has helped make the team pitching lines especially shiny.

He'll face off against Jon Garland (5.50 ERA), who despite a rough start, seems thoroughly satisfied with himself.

Garland_medium Garland_medium Garland_medium

Well, being 28 and single with over $20,000,000 million in the bank and living in Southern California is probably a horrifically depressing situation, but kudos for Jon for being able to keep a brave face.