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Royals relievers: Let them pitch

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Eventually, the Royals are going to have to do something that they don't like to do, which is utilize one of their also-ran relief pitchers in a close game that matters.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Louis Coleman came into a four-run game yesterday to pitch. This is notable for a few reasons: the most obvious of which is that he is not Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, or Greg Holland. Herrera, having pitched the previous inning, because the Royals were only up by two runs, got the last out of the seventh after Vargas worked himself into a bit of a jam. The Royals scored in the bottom of the inning, so Nedgar went to one of his little-used relief arms to try and carry the game through the eighth in an attempt to not use Davis or Holland, who had both pitched three consecutive days from the 30th to the 1st.


Louis Coleman entered the game, and gave up a lead-off walk. Alex Rios productively moved Andrus to second with an out, and then Coleman struck out "Guy I would trade many prospects to play third base for Kansas City" Adrian Beltre. Andrus moved to third on a wild pitch, and Rua singled to center to score a run.

At this point, what with it being a three-run game and all, Yost came out of the dugout and called on Wade Davis to secure the final out of the eighth inning. I would advise him to cut it out.

I get it. I get the impetus to want to secure wins. And I understand, as I'm sure he does in secret corners of One Royal Way, that Kansas City's offense isn't exactly good. So giving up several runs and possibly a lead in September in a divisional competition is not ideal. No one wants to see Coleman implode and give up four runs.

But it would also be nice to see him work his way out of some trouble when there isn't much of a threat. It is the Texas Rangers after all. And not even the scary, Yu Darvish/Prince Fielder/Shin-Soo Choo Rangers. The we've-used-sixty-different-players-this-season-God-have-mercy-on-us Rangers*.

With a three-run lead and two outs, and a runner on first, it's a pretty low run expectancy that you are dealing with. From 1993 to 2010, it was about 13.5% of the time. This year, you can expect to score 0.1947 runs with a runner on first and two outs, from that state to the end of the inning. The odds of scoring more than one run are remarkably low.

Bearing in mind that Adam Rosales, who is arguably the Rangers second-best hitter right now, was coming to the plate, I can see why you might be concerned. Considering he was pinch-hit for by Ron Washington, who brought in something called a Rougned Odor, speaks to how confident he is in Rosales' ability.

Davis gave up a single to Odor, but induced a ground ball to end the inning. That seems like a thing that Coleman is capable of doing. And the Royals are going to have to find out eventually, or risk ruining a pretty good thing.

*Fun fact: In 2003, on their way to semi-relevancy, the Kansas City Royals used twenty-nine pitchers and twenty-four position players (fifty-three in total), including such household names as Travis Dawkins, Rontrez Johnson, Rick DeHart, Scott Mullin, Jason Gilfillan, and future Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill.