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Royals Rumblings - News for October 28, 2015

Is Game One over yet?

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for October 28, 2015

Chris Young was ready to go last night.

And he'll be ready Saturday night too.

Eric Hosmer and Ben Zobrist both broke Royals franchise post-season records held by George Brett.

First baseman Eric Hosmer’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly substantially aided a two-run rally, but it also gave him 24 career RBIs in the playoffs. That’s one more than the 23 RBIs that Brett racked up in 43 postseason games between 1976 and 1985....

Second baseman Ben Zobrist dashed home on Hosmer’s record-breaking sacrifice fly, which came off Mets starter and former Midland amateur baseball teammate Matt Harvey. With the Royals trailing 3-1, Zobrist led off the sixth by rolling a double into the right-field corner. He also led off the eighth inning with a double. Zobrist now has eight extra-base hits this postseason, one more than Brett socked in nine games during the 1980 playoffs.

Sadly, there are reports Edinson Volquez's father died shortly before Game One.

The Esky ambush worked again!

Game Two starter Jacob deGrom has been struggling with his command recently.

"I didn’t feel fatigued out there," said deGrom, who is five years removed from ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery.

"I just felt I was having trouble locating, which happened to me early on this year. I don't know if it was fatigue. I feel good now, so I don’t think the rest hurt me." DeGrom has thrown 211 innings in 2015, including the postseason, which is a career high by more than 60 innings. It also means that six days of rest between the NLCS and World Series were welcome.

"The last time we pushed him back a little bit, he came out throwing great," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We’re hoping that extra rest is going to make a difference (Wednesday) night. This guy is as good as there is in the league."

Sam Mellinger has an interesting look behind the deals last winter and this July that made the Royals a pennant-winner.

The Royals wanted power in the middle of the lineup. They hit fewer home runs than any team in baseball last year, and when Billy Butler regressed as far as he did — his 2014 slugging percentage was two points higher than shortstop Alicides Escobar’s — it left the Royals vulnerable. They made a miscalculation on Butler’s market value. They declined an $11.5 million option on him for 2015, originally thinking they might resign him at a lower annual number. The A’s surprised the Royals and much of baseball by signing Butler to a three-year, $30 million deal, so Moore began to think of an old target.

The Royals had liked Kendrys Morales for years. Moore has long had an affinity for switch hitters. Chipper Jones once told him that switch hitting required exceptional athleticism, indefatigable work ethic, or both. As a more practical matter, it eliminates certain pitches from certain pitchers and gives the manager more options in making out a lineup. They talked about signing Morales before each of the last two seasons, actually, on the theory that he might be a cheaper alternative if they could flip Butler for prospects. A deal never materialized.

In his Twitter Tuesday, Sam Mellinger says not to expect Kendrys Morales in the field in New York.

Guys, you do NOT want Kendrys Morales playing the outfield, I don’t care what the Royals coaches said when he took some BP balls at Wrigley in September. Also, you don’t want Hosmer moving to right field to make room for Morales at first. Hosmer is a terrific athlete, but anyone who has seen him play the outfield knows he has a LONG way to go before you’d be comfortable with him there, especially in a World Series game. The American League team always has an extra hitter in the NL park. This is just how the rules are set up. The Royals are far better served using Morales as a badass pinch hitter in the right spot, rather than weakening their defense in at least two spots trying to scratch out an extra run.

Jerry Crasnick at ESPN writes that Salvador Perez is the backbone of the Royals.

What hurts more -- a foul tip off the mask or the sting of a bat on a follow-through? Does Perez ever feel snakebitten by the beating he absorbs? Has he ever sought advice from Sandy Alomar Jr. and other rangy catchers about the special challenges they encounter behind the plate? Yes, as it turns out.

"Alomar told me, 'Sal, there's nothing we can do about that. You're going to get hit no matter what,''' Perez said. "We're tough. We are big guys. I think it's more easy to get hit than the little guys."

Martin Johnson at Slate writes the Royals are actually a Moneyball team.

But the idea that this team is some sort of 1960s throwback that is just getting by on grit, luck, and managerial tobacco drool is a false narrative. Yes, the Royals were tied for second in the American League in batting average (trailing first place Detroit by just .270 to .269), and second in stolen bases. Their bullpen boasted the best ERA in the American League and the fourth-best WAR. According to advanced statistics, the Royals have had the best defense in baseball for three consecutive seasons by a significant margin. So it sounds like the Royals are just really good in areas where teams long ago decided it’s less important to be so good. Which is exactly what Beane did with his millennial era Oakland A’s.

Kevin Ruprecht writing for Beyond the Boxscore, suggests Yordano Ventura needs to throw a little bit less fire.

Ventura's sinker has the second-best outcomes in the group. Side note - his curve is straight-up filth, and he throws it more than the sinker and changeup. As far as batted ball outcomes, Brooks Baseball has a 63.7 percent GB rate allowed on the sinker in addition to almost the lowest line drive rate and lowest fly ball rate among his pitches. It's also the hardest pitch to take deep among his four main pitches, and he can throw the pitch for strikes (lowest ball rate according to Brooks Baseball of all his pitches).

The lessons here are these: Ventura needs to remember to throw his sinker, probably take a little off it in terms of velocity, and finish off hitters with the curve. Filthy garbage to go along with his flamethrower four-seam fastball. Dumpster fire. Do it.

Matt Jackson, also writing at Beyond the Boxscore, says you can expect a lot of swinging strikes from both teams in this series.

Ben Zobrist's parents want him to stay in Kansas City.

Lee Judge writes how the Royals are changing how the game is played.

John Dewan looks at stolen base times for the Royals and Mets.

Amazin Avenue writes that Mets infield defense could be their weakness in this series.

Jon Morosi writes that Paulo Orlando will have all of Brazil cheering for him in the World Series.

Here's how to get on Crown Vision at Kauffman Stadium.

Royals farmhand Brooks Pounder was named Arizona Fall League pitcher of the week.

MLB sends a "cease-and-desist" letter to the makers of the "Straight Outta Kauffman" t-shirts.

Edwin Encarnacion was dealing with a sports hernia during the ALCS against the Royals.

Watch the final out being recorded for the last 50 World Series - actually you can stop the video just before the last one.

Teams keep hiring inexperienced managers and its not working.

Is it time for robot managers? We have robot relievers now.

Greg Hardy is turning into a pretty big distraction for the Cowboys, but they're cool with it.

Jim Harbaugh is even intense about trick-or-treating.

If humans were to go to Mars, where is the best place to land?

Why won't Lego sell its bricks to artist and Chinese political dissident Ai Weiwei?

A "Monopoly" origins movie is in the works.

Jon Stewart (one of the few good Mets fans) and his wife are converting a New Jersey farm into an animal sanctuary.

Your song of the day is Lionel Ritchie with "All Night Long."