I took the Blue Jays series off, because I couldn’t think of anything worth writing after “Why does Cash keep taking Chris Archer out after everything goes to hell? Does he know that this isn’t 1975 and you can pull your ace pitcher out before things blow up? SMDH.gif.”
But we’re getting back on the horse for the Royals series, because this should be worthwhile, right? I mean, Kansas City is awful! They’ve scored negative runs in half their games! This will be fun!
May 8: Royals 7, Rays 3
Sweet Jesus Sucre on toast. What was Kevin Cash supposed to do here? Grab a bat himself and show the boys how a real ballplayer strikes out with a man on third? And could the great Yields himself could have thrown a fatter pitch than Blake Snell threw to noted power hitter Drew Butera? Also, what was up with Platinum Glove winner Kevin Kiermaier just tra-la-la-ing over that Lo-Cain single and turning it into a Little League homer?
Let’s just pretend this one didn’t happened, and never speak of it again.
May 9: Royal 7, Rays 6 (12)
Verdict: Mind: Blown.
May 10: Rays 12, Royals 1
Wait. That can’t be right. Let’s take another look.
Huh. Well, look at that.
Still, I’m sure there are things to complain about. Let’s dig in and see.
Rickie Weeks Jr. against a RHP
Like the night before, this is an artifact of Souza being dinged. Somebody is gonna get the suboptimal start, so why not Rickie? I mean, yeah, I would have started DRob, but whatev. Rickie has been looking less lost against righties lately I guess. And Time Lord Cash obviously knew something was up.
Verdict: Yay regression!
Not letting Chris Archer finish it
For all the times you hung poor Chris out to dry in a tight game, Kevin, why would you not let him go back out in the ninth with a 12-0 lead? This is a tiny complaint in an otherwise really fun game, but I still don’t get it. He was only at 100 pitches.
So give him a shot at the CGSO. If he gives up a baserunner, or even if the counts start running too deep, then sure, pull him. But this was helicopter parenting.
Verdict: Why you gotta rain on our parade, dude?
May 11: Royals 6, Rays 0
Now, that’s more like it.
Diego Moreno? Really????
Chase Whitley did a fine job navigating the seventh in relief of the stellar Jake Odorizzi, but ran into some trouble in the eighth, surrendering a single and a walk to start the frame. So naturally, Cash calls on ... Diego Moreno?
Reminder: This is with the Rays down just one run, and a bullpen just about as fresh as it gets after Chris Archer’s masterpiece the night before. So for this high leverage spot, with the entire pen to choose from, Cash thinks it’s a good time to get the rookie back on the horse after his inauspicious debut in the extra inning debacle?
What were you thinking, Kevin?
You can’t even claim you were playing matchups, since the first guy he faced was lefty Eric Hosmer.
Why not Danny Farquhar there, your best “lefty”? (And really, why not let him start the inning, to get both lefties Mike Moustakas and Hosmer? Hmmm????)
If you want to play the smartest-manager-in-the-room card, why not Jose Alvarado? Sure, that could have blown up in your face too, but at least he makes sense with runners on, what with his ridiculously high groundball rate.
Why not Alex Colome? Why not use your best reliever for the highest leverage?
Or why not Erasmo Ramirez for some higher leverage work? That’s the safe choice. No one would be upset at you if ErACEmo got tagged for a few, because it would still feel like you were giving us a chance to win.
But Diego Moreno?
I’m sorry, Diego’s mom. I’m sure he’s a great kid, and I don’t mean this as an insult. I hope he has a long career for us and gets out many, many batters out in situations just like this. But he hasn’t earned it yet, and our manager didn’t do him any favors by throwing him into the fire.
And he definitely didn’t do the fans any favors.
Verdict: Go to your room and think about what you’ve done!
We need to talk about Kevin
Jim and Adam have a piece on this, so I’m not going to go too deeply into analyzing what’s going on with KK. But we’ve talked a lot about how the in-game decisions are actually a pretty small part of a manager’s job. Decisions about what to do when a players may have the yips? That’s pretty big. Especially when the yipper is the centerpiece of your defense.
Would it be better to let KK play through this? Give him a couple days off? Find a way to get him a phantom DL trip? Does Cash need to concoct a weird cover story? Perhaps this involves Russian meddling in the US election? Or Hillary Clinton’s emails?
I DON’T KNOW. And neither do you.
We aren’t in the locker room, and we don’t know these players. This is a call Cash has to make, because he does know these guys. It’s what he makes crazy-compared-to-you-and-me-but-peanuts-compared-to-the-rest-of-baseball money for.
So, day off? Yelling? Calling KK out in the media? Cover story while KK plays through it? Nothing at all? Penguins in the locker room? It’s in your court, Mr. Cash.
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Verdict: Please let it be penguins.