I’ve gone over and over it with my readers here on Kings of Kauffman. I don’t like Ned Yost‘s tactics in many instances. Yet, I believe his ability to manage the clubhouse and create a winning atmosphere overwhelms any tactical mistakes he might make.
It doesn’t mean they don’t drive me crazy.
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Ned Yost again had me, and man other Kansas City Royals fans, howling at the moon when he sent Duffy back out to pitch in seventh inning. Sure, Duffy had dominated the Orioles through six innings, but with Baltimore hitters getting their third look at Duffy and the KC Royals riding a four game losing streak, the better play would have been to rely on the best bullpen in baseball to nail down the win.
Yost didn’t do that, and instead chose to go with Duffy.
I wouldn’t have made that choice, but it didn’t make me crazy. Duffy HAD been dominant, and if he’s every going to become a guy that can pitch deep into games you need to let him pitch past the sixth inning. However, I would have had Joakim Soria warming just in case Duffy gave up a base-runner.
When Duffy gave up the home run, I would have pulled him. At this point, you can’t afford to let this game go and create more bad vibes in the clubhouse. I’m not going to let Duffy have a chance to lose this game after pitching so well.
THAT drove me crazy.
Of course, we all know what happened. After notching the first out of the inning on a grounder to Whit Merrifield at third base (who had taken over for Cuthbert), Matt Weiters launched a bomb over the center-field wall. A shaken Royals team couldn’t stop the Orioles from adding yet another run when reliever Luke Hochevar allowed a single, double and a walk after coming on for Duffy.
The two bombs energized the Orioles.
Time after time we see old school managers try to juice some extra innings out of their starter when locked in a close game and hitting the critical sixth inning (when most teams are seeing the starter for the third time). Time after time we see that choice blow up in their face because hitters SIMPLY GET BETTER after seeing a guy the third time.