Some of you might be familiar with Rany Jazayerli, a writer and sabermetrician who blogs about his favorite team, the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals started the 2012 season by taking two of three from the Angels -- in Anaheim. Then they split the first two games of a series with the Athletics in Oakland.
Since then, they have lost 11 in a row -- the last game of the A's series and an entire 10-game homestand. The Cubs have not had a losing streak that long since 1997. Today, Rany posted an epic rant that included this smackdown of Royals strategy:
I’ve been writing this throughout the day, and I’m putting the finishing touches on this column tonight, after the Royals lost their 11th game in a row, their franchise-record 10th home loss in a row. And perhaps more than any other game in this streak, they lost tonight because their manager decided that the missing ingredient was a strategy that sabermetrics proved was a terrible idea 30 years ago.
It’s not simply that Ned Yost ordered the Royals to bunt. It’s not simply that he ordered them to bunt twice. It’s that HE ORDERED THEM TO BUNT THE RUNNER FROM SECOND TO THIRD. TWICE. In the third inning, Alcides Escobar led off with a double, and then Chris Getz – who was apparently tonight’s winner of "Leadoff Man Lotto" that they play in the clubhouse before every game – bunted Escobar to third base.
With the heart of the order coming up, Yost decided that it was worth giving up an out to move a runner 90 feet. You can’t even argue that he was trying to stay out of the double play. Yost had enough faith in Getz to put him in the leadoff spot – and then had so little faith in him that he ordered Getz to deliberately make an out just to move Escobar from one scoring position to another.
The Royals did not score.
The Royals have talent, but do not appear to have a plan. The Cubs might not have that kind of talent, but they do appear to have a plan. I'd bet on the plan, myself.
DeJesus rf, Campana cf, Castro ss, LaHair 1b, Soriano lf, Stewart 3b, Barney 2b, Soto c, Samardzija p
Furcal ss, Schumaker 2b, Holliday lf, Beltran rf, Freese 3b, Molina c, Carpenter 1b, Robinson cf, Wainwright p
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Jeff Samardzija||2-1||4||3||0||0||0||0||17.1||22||13||11||1||6||16||5.71||1.62|
|2012 - Adam Wainwright||0-3||3||3||0||0||0||0||13.2||18||15||15||5||4||14||9.88||1.61|
Today's game is a pitching rematch of the game in St. Louis on April 13. The Cubs teed off on Adam Wainwright, scoring eight runs in three innings, including a pair of home runs, one by Ian Stewart, and a grand slam by Bryan LaHair.
LaHair's blast was the last Cubs home run -- nine homerless games since then.
Jeff Samardzija, handed a 9-0 lead, got a little sloppy and let the Cardinals almost sneak back into the game with a five-run fifth inning.
Tonight's weather conditions (coolish, wind either blowing in or not much wind at all) should be more conducive to a pitcher's game like Monday night's.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos.
Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.