The events that happened to unfold in the game last night interesting, despite a depressing resolution.
In a desperate attempt to avoid the fact that our starting pitcher only made it through 2.1 innings last night, I’m going to focus on the “fights” that occurred during the game. They weren’t really fights, more like giant shoving matches made awesome by the fact that Ned Yost got right in the middle of the second one.
If you watched the game or highlights, you know what happened. If not, here’s a brief recap. Choo gets hit by Sanchez. Choo mouths Sanchez. Benches Clear. Hannahan looks like an idiot. Next inning. Gomez hits Moustakas. Benches clear. Hannahan again looks like an idiot. Ned Yost tries to break up the fight single-handedly. Gomez ejected. Manny Acta ejected. Hannahan ejected solely on the basis of being an embarrassment to the idea of baseball fights.
All of this led to discussions between Rex Hudler and Ryan Lefebvre about whether a fight gives a team momentum as they play. In this game you could say it works both ways. After the first little scrap, the Indians scored five runs in that inning and scored four runs over the course of the next two. The second benches-clearing circumstance in the third inning jump-started the Royals who scored two.
The Royals, showcased their offensive capabilities by fighting back from an early 9-2 deficit to tie the game at 9-9 in the 8th before finally losing in the 10th.
It was an exciting game, initially because of the two shove-fests. I like seeing players defend their teammates and considering that early-on it seemed that the Royals were going to be shackled with another ill-fitting loss. As the Royals clawed their way back into the game, I continued to consider the idea of momentum in baseball.
Baseball is a weird sport in that the concept of “team” is showcased differently than in other sports. Basketball and football are games where there is an emphasis on players working as a unit. In baseball, this rule still applies, but to a lesser degree. Baseball is a game of individual battles. Pitcher vs. Hitter, Fielder vs. Ground Ball, Base-runner vs. Catcher, and etcetera etcetera.
Granted, these individual battles are connected by team plays, but I believe there is a lot more focus on the individual in baseball.
So if that’s the case, can baseball teams gain momentum and build on it collectively? I’d say the answer is yes. We have been blessed to watch a team of young guys come up through the system who have won in the lower levels and now desire and expect to win at the major league level. These same players have been coupled with a few big-smiling and joke-telling veterans to create a team that not only plays the game of baseball, but genuinely seems (at least from the outside, looking in) to like and support each other.
After watching today’s game, my stream of consciousness post now seems even less poignant than usual.
I’m so frustrated right now.
I don’ t think our pitching is as good as it looked against the Angels or as bad as it’s looked against Cleveland.
That being said, we’ve looked so awful it makes me sick to my stomach.
This post was supposed to be about how the Royals could use the camaraderie of battling together to gain momentum, but that clearly didn’t take. Maybe someone should charge whoever is pitching for the Tigers tomorrow and see if that gets our guys going.
Either way, you can’t build momentum until you get a win, and as a fan base, we need one.