At Inside the Crown, David Lesky dissected the disastrous homestand from several angles:
As a whole, Royals starters went 33 innings and had a 7.64 ERA on the homestand. You obviously can’t do this, but take away Lynch’s start and that drops by more than two runs. My issue is that their bullpen let them down so badly. They came on needing to get one or two outs with runners on base in five of the seven games and ended up letting six out of eight inherited runners to score. That’s brutal. In the previous 26 games, they’d entered with 16 inherited runners and just four of them scored.
Again, this is something you can’t do, but if the bullpen had pitched the way it had all year leading up to this stretch and allowed just two of the inherited runners to score, does that change the complexion of the week enough? They’d still lose all three over the weekend, but it’s easy again to see them winning any or all of the first three games against the Indians if the bullpen stepped up in just relieving the starters.
Colby Wilson is ALL-CAPS optimistic about Andrew Benintendi at Into the Fountains:
Benintendi started out the season not hitting the ball hard and striking out a lot and given his renown for, if nothing else, putting the ball in play, that was cause for consternation. This has, from all appearances, begun to stabilize. His O-Swing percentage (29.6) remains a little higher than you’d love but it’s also a far cry from the 32.9 percent of his 2019 season. And unlike his last two seasons—which were below standard in 2019 and disastrous a year ago in whatever limited action he saw—Benintendi’s swinging strike rate is better than league average at an even 10 percent. He’s making contact rate in the zone comparable to his first Boston years, his line drive rate is up, his flyball rate is down and free from the specter of the Green Monster in left, is spraying the ball all over the field (career-high 33.8 percent opposite field ball in play rate). His strikeout rate has also cratered (18.8 percent!); these are all good things.
To summarize: he’s not chasing, he’s using the whole field, he’s working counts and putting the ball in play. This is not the sexiest endorsement you’ll ever get for a player but he’s been, basically, Rocco Baldelli if he never got hurt and then stayed hurt all the time. THAT’S A REALLY GOOD BALLPLAYER!
There is a slight Royals tie-in within this quiz at The Athletic about 11 MLB players who wore jersey #11.
The Omaha Storm Chasers’ new radio broadcaster, Jake Eisenberg, was interviewed about managing his celiac disease while working in ballparks.
Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin tested positive for COVID-19.
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber somehow caught a ball hit at 111.5 MPH right at his head. I would have simply died.
The Padres placed Fernando Tatís, Jr., Jurickson Profar, and Jorge Mateo on the IL due to health and safety protocols.
Jeff Passan reported for ESPN that the Oakland A’s are exploring relocating as their stadium situation remains “in limbo.”
At FanGraphs, Jay Jaffe digs into the runner-on-second rule in extra inning games (of which there have been more recently).
Also at FG, Sara Sanchez takes a look at the sharp increase in HBP.
Thirdly at FanGraphs, get a load of Yasmani Grandal’s bizarre slash line.
Iowa Cubs owner kept all full-time employees on full pay and benefits during pandemic. “We lost $4 million, but they needed the money more than I did.”
Veteran RHP Jordan Zimmermann announced his retirement.
Lots of schools have installed ionizers as a COVID protection method, but a class-action lawsuit claims the so-called air purifying devices don’t work as advertised, and are putting toxic gases into the air instead.
Gasoline demand is spiking in some places due to the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline.
How to share a podcast from a specific timestamp within the episode.
The official trailer is out for The Green Knight movie.
Today’s fun discussion question from Reddit: What fictional character should have been hit with a huge lawsuit at the end of the story?
SOTD: Foo Fighters - Long Road to Ruin