Royals Rumblings - News for October 20, 2015
Sam Mellinger writes that Johnny Cueto's historically bad game has changed the ALCS.
But, still, there Cueto was, at least once or twice, smiling and nodding to the crowd between pitches. They kept heckling him for as long as he was out there, and when Royals manager Ned Yost had finally seen enough, Cueto walked off the mound and tried to put a on strong face. He wound his arm a few times, as if practicing the movement or diagnosing a mechanical flaw far too late. More smiling. More nodding.
It was a bad look for a 29-year-old veteran, appearing to not know or not care that he had just pitched so terribly that he will be remembered in baseball history for years and years. Remember the Cueto game?
Cueto now has both the second best (78) and the worst (10) playoff game scores in team history. Previous worst was 21, Leibrandt '85 ALCS G1— Aaron Stilley (@Royal_Heritage) October 20, 2015
Cueto says he wasn't trying to make light of the situation when he departed.
Johnny Cueto, through Pedro Grifol, said he wasn't laughing or smirking. "It's just part of my DNA." #Royals pic.twitter.com/lobVG53AVE— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) October 20, 2015
Johnny talks about what went wrong.
Ned still has confidence in Johnny Cueto.
Luv you Ned.... pic.twitter.com/Nip2GmKgGK— JKuhn (@h8rproof82) October 20, 2015
Eno Sarris at Fangraphs writes about Cueto's changeup has flattened.
Johnny Cueto‘s changeup is currently flatter than it’s been in five years. Literally. To some extent, everything in his arsenal is flat right now, but it’s most radical when you look at the changeup. With that wiggle in his delivery and a possibly falling arm slot, it’s easy to find a culprit. But he’s wiggled forever, why has he lost his drop now?....
Looks like everything is a little flatter, everything but the cutter had less drop this September. The changeup also firmed up a bit and his fastball velocity tailed off, so Cueto had his worst velocity gap on the pith that month. And yet… it was the fastballs that saw the biggest drop in whiff rates in September. His four-seamer, cutter, and slider saw their combined whiff rate drop by more than 50% that month.
Lorenzo Cain sets the Royals franchise post-season hitting streak record at twelve games.
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna may not be able to use his slider effectively due to a nail issue.
Osuna was given an anesthetic ointment on Monday said he it will be difficult for him to throw the slider if he is called on to pitch in Game 3 on tonight against Kansas City. "It started against Texas the first day of the series. It started to bother me but I kept pitching on it, and at the end of the series it really hurt," Osuna said Monday. "The side of the nail got swollen and I started bleeding, and I have been having problems ever since." Osuna said he doesn't think he can throw his slider effectively.
Former teammates on the Mets, R.A. Dickey and Chris Young make up an odd playoff matchup, writes Rustin Dodd.
"He’s got a great mind," Dickey said of Young, his former teammate with the New York Mets.
"It’s fun to be around guys like that who are well-read and who you can have deeper conversations with." On Tuesday, Young will put his mind to use in his first postseason start in nine years. He will do so against a fellow veteran who shares a story of resiliency and persistence. He will take the ball against a dangerous offense that led the majors in runs scored, in a ballpark that favors the hitter.
"To have this opportunity," Young said, "I just can’t thank the organization enough for believing in me, whether it was in the beginning of the season or here now in the postseason."
Chris Young's resiliency was a factor in getting the start today.
As he announced the decision on Sunday, Yost noted those "really, really good" starts, pointed to the "deception in his delivery," how hard it is to see his slider and his competitive spirit. Yost also suggested one of the reasons the Royals had used him less late in the season was to have him fresh for "these type of scenarios," reflecting the organization’s cognizance of how a fatigued Young had faded in the second half of last season as he was recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome. While Yost didn’t specifically cite Young’s remarkable composure under such emotional circumstances as a reason, as a manager who depends more on instinct and gut feeling over demonstrable science than many of his peers no doubt was moved by seeing something special in what Young did.
Rany Jazayerli writes about how the Royals jumped out to their series lead.
I’ve waited my entire life to root for a sports team like these Royals. For the past year I’ve thought of the 2014 Royals as a unique, self-contained entity, whose success and narrative was something that could never be duplicated, let alone exceeded. Even as the 2015 Royals ran roughshod over the AL Central, I was skeptical that they could replicate last year’s postseason magic....
The Royals were long accused of not being smart enough to grasp the changing dynamics of baseball, brought about by the analytics revolution. That hasn’t been the case for some time now, but they’ve certainly built a roster that revolves around blissful ignorance. The 25 guys in the clubhouse aren’t smart enough — or maybe they’re too smart — to realize that they’re doing things that no baseball team is supposed to do. If they do it six more times, they’ll leave a mark that not just their fan base but the entire sport will never forget.
Kelvin Herrera has added a slider to his repertoire.
Nothing will kill the "Jonny Gomes is a team leader" story.
A Royals scout recounts the time he scouted Salvy Perez and a dog chased him during a dash.
Baseball America grades Royals prospect Josh Staumont as having the best fastball and fourth-best secondary pitch among the 2015 draft class.
Royals Assistant General Manager J.J. Piccolo has emerged as a favorite for the Phillies GM job, although some reports dispute that.
Red Sox fans don't want Johnny Cueto.
The ALCS pits Royals catcher Drew Butera against his father Sal, a former big leaguer and current Blue Jays scout.
Marlins Man donates $10,000 to the families of the two fallen firefighters in Kansas City last week.
How Jose Bautista became Jose Bautista.
Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris will undergo treatment for cancer.
The Yankees are expected to pursue soon-to-be free agent Zack Greinke.
Dusty Baker is calling teams asking to be their manager.
Should baseball get rid of the draft?
Sporting Kansas City's ownership group was interested in buying Everton in the EPL.
Why is Grantland's podcast getting censored?
And there's a movement to boycott the movie because it is "anti-white."
NASA has a new site where you can see daily images of Earth from space.
Justin Trudeau is the new Canadian Prime Minister after the Liberals win elections last night.
Turns out the lady who sued her nephew for a hug was not a monster after all.
Your song of the day is Sting with "Brand New Day."