Tonight’s game could be the last of the 2015 season as the Kansas City Royals look to close out the Mets in New York.

  • 8:07 p.m.Kansas City Royals (Volquez) at New York Mets (Harvey)

Kansas City leads the series 3-1.

26 Responses

  1. Kyle

    Love that Cueto won a ring. Wish he could’ve made one more dominant start, could’ve taken the MVP.

    • jdx19

      Agreed. I really wanted NY to win so we could see Johnny pitch a clincher. Oh, well!

      Good for him.

  2. ohiojimw

    The MLB off season clock is officially ticking. Most 2016 contract option calls will be coming down within the next few days along with most likely also some early nontender calls to fill out the free agent market along with the guys known all along to be FA eligible. Good fuel for the early hot stove league.

  3. Scot Lykins

    Glad they won. Watched them quite bit this year. But that Mets staff is going to keep them around for a spell.

  4. Peter Pond

    Baseball Gods have been fair this season. The real baseball, the one based on doing the little things like pitching, defense, running, bunting and putting the ball in play while having fun doing it, has defeated not only the mighty $$$$ in Toronto, the Super-advanced Houston Astros or the National Media favored NY Mets.

    Some tips for the ones that despise ‘old-school’ baseball: Ned Yost not only ordered bunts and stolen bases (very anti-moneyball) but committed the cardinal sin of all: He had an established closer and established roles for all his bullpen men.

    Finally, a sour/sweet moment watching at Johnny Beisbol getting the WS trophy. One that reminds me of my main criticism of Jocketty. He should of done what Dayton Moore did: Go all-in in 2010-2014 when that winning window was open. That’s the only hope for small market teams. It might take some 20 more years for KC, but nobody can take away this great accomplishment. Good for them and for real baseball fans.

    • jdx19

      Totally agree on your last paragraph there. In a town like KC/Cincy/etc, you have to maximize the chances of winning during your windows. Walt did nothing to improve the best teams we’ve had in Cincy the last few years to help for the stretch run. Kudos to KC for doing what needed to be done.

      Regarding the rest of your post, I couldn’t disagree more on the premise. While KC does prioritize defense and bullpen pitching more than just about any other team, most clubs do care quite a bit about “pitching” and “putting the ball in play.” Turns out, not all hitters are good at putting the ball in play because baseball is hard. KC has a lot of guys that can get bat-to-ball. Again, kudos to them for sticking to it, but it’s hardly a revolutionary idea.

      And regarding Yost “ordering” bunts, I have a feeling he ordered fewer than you think. The one that I have in my mind is an attempt by Escobar where both he and Yost said after the game it was Esky’s decision, not ordered by Yost. And to be fair, pretty much ALL MLB managers order a ton of bunts. Again, nothing really revolutionary here.

      About “set bullpen roles,” again, not really true. He used pitchers out of the ‘pen like Danny Duffy that were starters, he used Herrera and Davis for multiple innings through the post-season. Also, when you have multiple plus-plus arms in the bullpen, set roles aren’t necessarily a bad thing. When you have exactly ONE decent arm (Chapman) set roles are stupid because your terrible pitchers blow the game before you get a chance to use the good one.

      If you watched the games, you know why KC won. Because the New York Mets committed defensive errors at high leverage situations in the game. There’s really not much mystery why they won. They played sharper than the other team. That is not an indictment of “moneyball” or a feather-in-the-cap of “old school.”

      Really, all you can say is Ned Yost seemed to manage his team correctly based on their individual skills. I still don’t think Yost is a very good manager.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Walks played a key role in the series for the Royals.

        1. The 9th inning rally in Game Five started with a walk, eventually scoring
        2. The 8th inning rally in Game Four started with two walks, scoring tying and go ahead run
        3. The 5th inning tying run in Game Two got on base with a walk

        Royals have a bunch of good hitters (#3 batting average in MLB). No one has ever said that hitting is a low-value skill in baseball.

      • jdx19

        Agreed. I didn’t even mention anything about hitting being a low-value skill in baseball. So, I’m not sure what brought that up.

        Absolutely, walks played a huge role. I also feel defensive miscues from the opposite team played a huge role on the way to a KC championship.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Wasn’t really replying to you directly. More to the claim that the Royals had some secret old-school sauce that made them a better team. They hit the best. They hit well all year. They have good hitters. Defense plays a big role for them, too.

      • jdx19

        Also, regarding the walks… although I did specifically say “defensive errors,” I boiled it down to KC playing more sharply… which I think encompasses working good ABs to get leadoff walks. And the contrary is true for NYM… walking leadoff batters when you have the lead is pretty poor execution.

        Curious, how do you feel about the decision to let Harvey go out in the 9th? Seemed like a poor choice to me, but it’s hard to say if that opinion is being tempered by the fact that I saw what happened.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It was a manager going by his emotion instead of the numbers. Collins has said as much. If I’m on that team, I want a manager who knows the odds and insists on playing that way. Collins had already demonstrated his faith in Harvey by leaving him in the seventh and eighth. They have a great closer. Tough choice, though. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of second-guessing it.

      • Peter Pond

        I don’t agree with you on WJ doing nothing, the Latos trade perhaps the biggest example he did some important moves (as the Rolen trade), but he simply didn’t go ‘all in’. He wanted to win it all and sustained it but that’s very difficult for a restricted budget team. The Votto/BP/Homer extensions were done with that in mind even if from a business/long term perspective it wasn’t a good idea.

        When I talk about the winning formula for KC is ‘old school’ of course is not revolutionary. On the contrary, they are using the old formula of running well, putting pressure on fielders hence the NY mistakes or Toronto’s for that matter. Not taking pitches just right the middle just for the sake of ‘walking’ when having runners on. There’s plenty of articles stating how they changed their hitting approach at the plate by being more aggressive and looking just to put the ball in play instead of living for the long ball or the ‘productive walk’.

        Same with the bullpen. The much maligned ‘established closer’ or roles exist because pitchers as human beings have mental and physical skill sets and not everybody has the guts to pitch when it counts even with a 98 MPH FB. I trust more a Mariano Rivera than a Chapman if you ask me. Pitching in 2 innings if needed? Sure, why not, but that’s neither ‘revolutionary’ nor ‘modern baseball’, it used to be that way since baseball was invented.

      • jdx19

        I meant WJ did nothing at the deadline to make the teams better. He didn’t go all in, as many people at this site have agreed to.

        Not sure I’ve ever had someone disagree when I said I agreed with something that was their own words!

        Also, I was hoping someone would write an article about this, and they did… check this out. The Royals are not an old-school team… here’s why:

      • jdx19

        I guess we have different opinion of what “old school” means. Yes, at one point using a closer was the new thing and ‘firemen’ were old school. Now, being a ‘fireman’ would be considered forward thinking.

        I guess all commentaries have to framed by context, as usual.

    • vared

      You’re right about KC doing the little things. Tied it up in the 9th because they were able to put the ball in play to the right side and advance the tying run to 3rd. Loved seeing that.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Another little thing, don’t forget the lead-off walk. 🙂

      • vegastypo

        The other thing that KC did in the ninth inning, or should I say DIDN’T do — was have the runner at third, Hosmer, go “on contact.” … I’ve come to equate that with managing “by the book,” in that, whether it’s the right or wrong thing to do, it’s a pre-made decision, so, gee, what else can a manager or player be expected to do?

        Instead of immediately streaking for the plate, Hosmer had the sense to make sure Wright wouldn’t have a play on him, then dared Duda to throw him out.

      • jdx19

        That’s the play I can’t decide if I love or hate.

        A good throw and he’s out. But, a bad throw and he’s safe. What were the odds that Duda makes a good throw? I don’t know. Part of me wants to say it was genius, part of me wants to say it was reckless and he got lucky that he wasn’t thrown out.

        But again, defensive mistakes on the other side of the ball propelling KC in key situations. Kudos to them for forcing the other team to perform.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It’s both lucky and opportunistic. Duda is known for being poor defensively at first. It was part of the KC scouting report to run on him if given the chance. The situation, with there going to be two outs, dictated the chance. A good throw and Hosmer is out by five feet at least. But Duda is an OF trying to play the IF.

      • jdx19

        After thinking about it a bit more, I certainly think the situation called for taking the risk. I’ll call it a good play, then!

  5. jdx19

    Somewhat unrelated topic: KC used Finnegan as a BP arm last year… did they see him predominantly as a BP arm, or a starter in the future?

    Given KC’s propensity for making their BP arms into out-machines, it worries me that we’re trying to make Finnegan a starter (if KC, indeed, saw him as a BP arm).

  6. Jeff Morris

    Hopefully the Reds were watching the Royals in the post season. They could learn alot from them. Reds need to pickup on how the Royals made pitchers throw strikes, and they did not mind taking a walk. Royals got players on and over, and many times scored. They don’t strike out much. I think it was Cain in the 9th inning, taking a 3-2 pitch from Harvey. Many of the Reds, would have swung and missed on that pitch. Royals play smart, Reds need to acquire that same way of playing smart baseball.

  7. Peter Pond

    Another good read for those who claim they reinvented baseball. It doesn’t take a Harry Potter formula or a video game expert to get to the basics which the Reds need to go back to. Like the Giants and every winning team praise even in this era of spread sheet geniuses. Those who want to make the movie ‘The rise of the walking Reds’ instead of ‘The rise of the winning Reds’. 🙂

  8. Greg Dafler

    Jeff Gangloff and I were the only ones to predict the KC Royals in 5. There were 17 strikeouts by former Reds pitchers. I guessed 20. Jeff didn’t venture a guess, but he did accurately predict that (1) Volquez would get a quality start in game #1 and the (2) Cueto would pitch a complete game in game #2. However, he only gave up 1 run, not the two runs that were predicted. 🙂

  9. Scot Lykins

    I hate to interrupt this “walk” lovefest going on here but the Royals were the least walked team in baseball. Just keeping it real.