What a fun night at the ole ballpark. Sure, there's something to be said regarding a rough start from Luke Hochevar -- pitching is the currency of baseball -- and an offense that was completely shut down by the illustrious Zach/k Miner, but that's not what we'll most remember from this night.
- Jimmy Gobble got trapped in pitching hell, and for whatever reason Hillman decided to leave him out there to take his medicine. An outing like tonight's has building for awhile: Gobble's been terrible for months and Hillman has increasingly been using him like a vindictive husband, for some reason placing him in situations that he's likely to fail in, and exclusively using him in losses.
- After walking in a run in the 7th, Gobble entered the 8th inning and may be still pitching there in some particularly dreadful alternative universe. Here's what went down: single, single, double, wild pitch (run scores), single, single, homer. Gobble then rallied to retire Raburn and I-Rod, before things went downhill again: walk, single, walk, walk. Finally, Hillman pulled him. Still, Leo Nunez didn't do Gobble any favors, allowing a Guillen-ified double and then a single, all charged to the Turkeyman.
- Coupled with this weekend's Gordon-PHing controversy, it's possible we've entered into some especially bitchy stage of Hillman's managing career.
- Tony Pena Jr. pitched a scoreless inning, striking out the decaying remains of Ivan Rodriguez. (Not a fun game for I-rod, who was also retired by Gobble.) His pitching VORP is now higher than his hitting VORP, and he's probably the 9th or 10th highest rated pitcher on the staff now.
Somehow, Pena's 1-2-3 inning partially redeemed the horribleness of the game, which along with the sarcastic late inning rally by the lineup erased some of the real ugliness on display at the K. Baseball ethics are almost always debateable, and in many cases are legitimately illogical, but a part of me feels bad for Gobble, who likely made his last Major League appearance for a while. A part of that part of me also believes that Hillman did the wrong thing in leaving him out there as long as he did. Then again, hey did eventually pull Gobble, although possibly five or six batters too late.
Pitching is the currency of baseball, and now beloved gloveman TPJ can be counted as part of our coffers.
When things begin to overwhelm him, Moore thinks about the Plaza. It grounds him. It inspires him. It reminds him why he came to Kansas City.
"The Plaza?" you ask. "Why?"
"Haven't you figured it out?" he asks back. He shrugs. "On my first day in town, my wife and I were driving through the Plaza. There were people walking everywhere. Kids. Adults. It was great.
"And I turned to Marianne, and I said, `This is where we're going to have the parade.' "