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Game 52 Open Thread - Royals (23-28) at Rays (26-28)

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The pitching matchup is Bannister v. Niemann, creating probably the wimpiest sounding battle in baseball history. "Bannister against Niemann" sounds more like two candidates for the Classics chair at Oxford.

Anyway.

I find Treyball's continued use of Maier in the leadoff spot amusing, especially when paired with the banishment of DDJ in the 7th slot. It's funny that all these guys say they don't look at stats, except, of course, things like matchup stats (oh fun, player X is 3-5 against this pitcher, this means something!) and a player's batting average during the current season. DeJesus has a .355 OBP in nearly 3000 MLB plate appearances, while Mitch (who I like) was mildly hot for two weeks, which apparently means more.

I should say I don't mean to suggest that lineup order is really having much effect on anything. It isn't. Still, it's a nice window into the manager's thought processes and with Hillman, those thoughts are almost always a little weird. He's consistently bizarre with the lineup card -- odd bits with not breaking up lefties, a tendency to punish players with a low lineup slot, but also keep guys buried because they're comfortable, etc -- and I dare say that it's more evidence that he's something of a rube.