Moose Leads Royals Charge Over Yankees

Tonight’s game will be known for much more than the final score when all the dust settles. A freak pre-game injury to Mariano Rivera that may end his career will be the big story. Nonetheless, the game goes on and the Royals managed to hang on to a 4-3 lead to win their first home game of 2012.

Moose and Broxton celebrate the win. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Moustakas was the key at the plate and in the field, as he drove in three of the Royals runs on a home run and a bases loaded single. Then he made the game’s final play to preserve the win. Alex Rodriguez fought back from an 0-2 count to get it full, then hit a slow dribbler in front of third. As Derek Jeter ran home, Moustakas charged the ball, barehanded it and threw it to Eric Hosmer at first to beat Rodriguez.

The play before was even bigger, as Jonathan Broxton started the top of the ninth by giving up a single to Derek Jeter, then surrendered a walk to Curtis Granderson. A typical Royals meltdown seemed imminent, but Chris Getz snagged a hard grounder up the middle and flipped it to Alcides Escobar. On the turn, Escobar’s throw bounced and went to the side of Eric Hosmer, but he scooped it to finish the double play. Then Rodriguez ended the game.

The win helped Danny Duffy to his second win of the year after the lefty threw 90 pitches in 5.1 innings after missing his last turn in the rotation with elbow stiffness. Duffy came back out to face Rodriguez in the top of the fifth, struck him out on three straight pitches, then gave up a single to Robinson Cano and was relieved. In another situation, he may have stayed in, but with a rising pitch count the Royals played it safe.

When he was on the mound, though, Duffy looked strong, hitting his spots in most innings and getting batters to miss his fastball. He worked in the mid-90s a lot of the night, mixing in a changeup a bit more when his curveball was getting away from him. Hopefully that’s just an issue of having a feel for the pitch rather than lingering elbow tightness. He resembled the same pitcher we saw in his first two starts where he shut down Oakland then dueled with Justin Verlander. The top five of the Yankees order went 4-13 against Duffy, but he got five of his six strikeouts against them.

Eric Hosmer drove in the Royals fourth run on a single up the middle. He hadded a hard line drive single two innings later. He’s been hitting the ball hard for a while now, but tonight he wasn’t hitting it right at a fielder. Jarrod Dyson added two singles and worked in a pair of long at bats at the top of the lineup.

The Royals send Bruce Chen out tomorrow with hopes that he rebounds from his poor start in Minnesota. The Yankees counter with C.C. Sabathia.

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Topics: AL Central, Alex Gordon, Baseball, Chris Getz, Danny Duffy, Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals, KC, KC Royals, Mike Moustakas, MLB, Royals

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  • mmeade17

    The way the Royals played tonight, and have played in their last 7 games, is how winning baseball teams play. They aren’t running into stupid outs (save Francoeur’s ridiculous decision to steal third). They aren’t making too many bonehead mistakes, and things are starting to fall their way a little bit. Dyson is hitting the way he needs to to be successful. Getz is playing very un-Getz like. Moose is apparently making an All-Star bid. I love to see the defense playing sharp and hitters having good ABs. If they can get pitching from a few guys, they can start the type of winning fans thought they would see early on. Go Royals!

  • ArrowFan

    Anyone know where to find a good highlight video of the 9th inning, all I can find is the video of Mario injuring himself.

  • michael.allen.engel

     @ArrowFan Moose was the #1 Web Gem, at least. http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7889239&categoryid=2378529 
     
    Beyond that, if you’re looking for the ENTIRE 9th inning, it may not be available anywhere but MLB.tv’s archives. 
     
    Also, here’s the double play in the ninth: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21134171&topic_id=29461918&c_id=kc&tcid=vpp_copy_21134171&v=3

  • ArrowFan

     @michael.allen.engel Thanks I just love saying “THE YANKEES LOOSE THE YANKEES LOOSE”

  • ArrowFan

    The defense in the 9th was just awesome that goes to show how talented our team is.  Lets just keep the winning coming we are only 8 games back of 500 now.

  • jim fetterolf

     @mmeade17 I would mention that Frenchy wouldn’t even have been on 2nd if not for aggressive base running that ended with a very close play. The steal attempt was good, Frenchy just slipped a little. In a play where a 10th of a second is the difference, that means something. Just a question: If Frenchy had been successful would you have considered it a ridiculous attempt based on his steal percentage and the game situation? Or is the kibitzer always right:)?

  • michael.allen.engel

    @jim fetterolf @mmeade17 without having base/out run expectancy in front of me I’d guess that the steal in that situation was a low value play. Stealing is tough in the first place. Stealing third is even tougher.

    The only thing Frenchy had in his favor was a right handed batter at the plate. I wasn’t thrilled with the double attempt to begin with because it seemed too shallow and risky. After seeing it again, Granderson had a bad track to it, so fine, I’m less concerned about that. But to answer your question, yeah, with the Royals track record on basestealing this year, Dyson and maybe Getz are the only guys who should have a shot at stealing third. I would have liked the result if he were safe but not the process behind it.

    And he was out by feet. A slippage wasn’t the problem there.

  • mmeade17

     @jim fetterolf That’s an interesting question. I’m starting to wonder now if the results don’t dictate the decision–not in the Frenchy steal situation just in general. This is baseball so if it doesn’t work, to some degree at least, it was a bad idea. If it does, it was a good idea. That said, Frenchy trying to steal third was either a mistake of execution or a tactical mistake or both. I think it was both (I think regardless of the result the idea was bad in this specific situation). The fact that he hustled a double was great, but that doesn’t change the mistake of trying to steal third in that moment. Here’s the question of probability they must consider: Which of these two scenarios is more likely: 1) Frenchy successfully steals third on Russell Martin AND Quintaro gets him in with a sacrifice of some kind (surely in that scenario infield’s playing in so no ground ball to the middle infield). 2) Either Quintaro or Getz gets a hit. In my mind, it’s more likely that Quintaro or Getz would get a hit than it is that Frenchy successfully takes third and then, presumably down in the count, Quintaro gets him in. Hell, even if Frenchy were already on third with one out, I give Quintaro a 50/50 chance of getting Frenchy in. Throw in a successful steal of third base in that situation, and it seems like a better idea to stay put. 

  • jim fetterolf

     @mmeade17 Valid points. A poster on Pine Tar Press, I forget his name, pointed out that Frenchy took a couple of shuffle steps before he launched and Quinteros swung and missed the pitch, suggesting a hit and run was on.  I haven’t seen the replay, so defer on that point to those who have. On the odds of Quinteros or Getz getting a hit, combined they have a .564 average, so a touch better than a coin flip and Getz is historically and this year a good 2-out RISP hitter.
     
    I’m not suggesting that Frenchy running was demanded and I have offered since last fall that it looks to me as if Frenchy may have lost a step, about all I’m trying to do is defend against the idea that it was a totally stupid idea.
     
    May I invite you to drop by Judging the Royals and joining our little community? While we disagree sometimes, you are a solid, thoughtful poster who seems interested in baseball at a deeper level than just for fantasy purposes. Sign-in is with facebook.

  • mmeade17

     @jim fetterolf Absolutely. I’ll check it out.

  • LennyNightwolf

    @ArrowFan

  • PlayballGoRoyals

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