BP Kansas City’s David Lesky digs into how the Royals have done on the basepaths this season:
It certainly helps to have speed to be a good base runner as the top of baseball is littered with guys like Dee Gordon, Byron Buxton and Billy Hamilton. By the way, Merrifield ranks 13th in baseball in this metric, but there are probably some surprises on the list above. Gordon isn’t fast. Neither is Moustakas. Bonifacio is faster than you probably think, but he’s still not fast either. Cuthbert definitely isn’t fast. So some of it is not taking chances because not making an out on the bases is pretty important if you know you’re not going to make it.
The only thing missing from this team is that they don’t take the extra base nearly as much as you’d expect, doing that only 38 percent of the time. They’ve only gone first to third on a single 50 times, which is tied for fifth lowest in baseball. I will say they’ve scored from first on a double 35 times, which is third most in baseball, so maybe it’s not as worrisome as I thought. But maybe it’s just having a good third base coach and runners who know their limitations. That’s part of good base running. And, for what it’s worth, the Royals have only been thrown out at third four times all year and at home just five times. Both are the fewest in baseball. They don’t give away outs.
Clark Fosler assays the ugly Wild Card picture:
Then, of course, we come to your Kansas City Royals, their negative run differential and problematic bullpen. Quite frankly, I am not sure the Royals might not have the best starting pitching of this admittedly run of the mill group of contenders. Their trade for Trevor Cahill and two relievers has resulted in Cahill going on the disabled list and the relievers pitching at a level that might make you wish they would join him. On the night when Kansas City welcomed back Salvador Perez, they watched Kelvin Herrera walk off the mound in pain. All that, just a couple days after putting Joakim Soria on the disabled list.
As we are all painfully aware, the Royals dropped nine of 11 after being six games over .500 at the trading deadline. In this race, it took that level of bad to relinquish the second wild card spot and it still was not enough to erase Kansas City from contention. Really, I am not sure you can give the second wild card spot away this year!
Relive Hosmer’s first career walk-off dong in all its photo-orgiastic glory.
Ned Yost said they're going to see how Kelvin Herrera feels this afternoon. But he might be available. https://t.co/brq43ggo9V— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) August 23, 2017
Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer looks at the offensive black hole that is Alex Gordon circa 2017.
Kings of Kauffman’s Tyler Dierking posits that Salvador Pérez is the most irreplaceable Royal.
Chris Landers (surely Abigail’s son) explores the origins of seven odd MLB rules.
Russell Carleton wonders if positions mean anything anymore.
Kate Feldman laments the Mets latest injury bungling, Steven Matz.
Jeff Sullivan looks at how the Twins have clicked.
Travis Sawchik asks whether umpires and pitch-tracking systems can coexist.
Paste’s Michael Tedder sits down with Adam Granduciel in advance of this week’s new record from The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding.
Monday’s eclipse was the likely culprit in the implosion of a salmon pen. Fisherman have been called to come to the rescue.
What does the Village Voice’s ceasing print publication mean for the alt-weekly landscape?
Three bodies missing for decades were found on Mont Blanc Glacier.
The song of the day is “I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby” by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band: