Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Michael Mariot (48) Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Ned Yost hangs Mike Mariot out to dry: Royals lose 7-3


 

Why?

That’s what I’d like to know. Why in the heck did Royals manager Ned Yost let Mike Mariot to walk in a run after Mariot had allowed the Blue Jays to load the bases with no outs in the 8th inning while trailing 4-3?

Maybe Nedster did not really want to win the game all that much. Did he fail to see that Mariot was struggling after giving up a lead-off walk and single to open the 8th inning? Had Ned made up his mind that Mariot was going to give him two innings after pitching a clean 7th to save his bullpen after using 5 relievers the night before?

Wednesday night, Yost pulled Danny Duffy in the 6th inning after he allowed the first two runners to get on base. Could the difference be that the Royals were trailing rather than leading so that Nedster didn’t think it was worth keeping the game close? Whatever Ned Yost’s reasons, the 7-3 loss to open May put the team’s season record at 14-13.

Is it even worth trying to make sense of Ned Yost’s decision-making?

Probably not.

On the Mound

Jeremy Guthrie was actually pretty effective except for giving up two gopher balls. Three of the four earned runs charged to Guthrie came on home runs. Both times, Guthrie was up in the count 1 ball and 2 strikes before serving up a meatball.

The 2nd home run was particularly aggravating. Guthrie was clearly on his last hitter at 98 pitches in the 6th inning and had struck out the first two batters of the inning. He got two quick strikes on Colby Rasmus, before throwing a ball outside—which set up an inside pitch. Rasmus was clearly waiting for it and bashed the pitch 400 feet into the right field seats.

Yeah. Not such a great idea.

Mike Mariot relieved Guthrie in the 7th and worked a clean inning. Yost sent him back out in the 8th, and Mariot couldn’t get a single batter out. He went, walk, single, infield single, and then walked in a run on four straight pitches.

By the time Mariot got to the 4th hitter, he appeared completely unhinged. He couldn’t have found the plate had you given him a seeing-eye dog equipped with a GPS.

Yost’s attempt to “save” his pen backfired when he had to bring in Louis Coleman. Despite not giving up an earned run in two innings, Coleman failed his job when he gave up a double with the bases loaded to Anthony Gose. Two runs scored, which gave us the final 7-3 tally.

At the Plate

Facing the left-handed Mark Buehrle, Yost loaded his lineup with right-handed substitutes at 3B in Danny Valencia and at RF in Justin Maxwell. Both subs flopped. Between the two of them, Valencia and Maxwell logged zero hits with 1 walk in 7 AB. Maxwell had a particularly bad AB in the bottom of the 6th when he struck out with Alex Gordon and 3rd with one out.

Overall, this right handed heavy lineup only produced 3 runs on seven hits and two walks after scoring 9, 10, and 4 runs the last three games.

Billy Butler had a good game going 2-4 with a single, double, and 2 RBIs. His single in the 3rd scored Infante from third but Hosmer got thrown out at home for the 2nd straight night trying to score from 2nd base. Coach Dale Sveum helped kill a rally by sending Hosmer home with no outs in the inning. Butler’s two-out double in the bottom of the fifth scored Omar Infante from first and briefly tied up the game at 3-3.

Omar Infante also had another good game going 2-3 with two singles, a walk, and two runs scored. He’s done an admirable job at the top of the Royals lineup and has 19 RBIs, more than any second baseman in  the league. It’s pretty nice to have Infante after the offensive black hole the club has had at the position in the days of Chris Getz.

This and That

The Royals continued to show that the 4-run barrier is key to their fortunes this season. They are now 14-0 while scoring 4, and 0-13 when scoring 3 runs or less.

When 3rd base coach Dale Sveum helped run the Royals out of the rally in the 3rd, he likely cost the team a run because C Salvador Perez followed Butler’s single with a fly ball that would have scored Hosmer from third.

Had the game been tied in the 8th inning, Yost would probably not have tried to get two innings from Mike Mariot. Instead, he would have gone to either Aaron Crow or 8th inning setup man Wade Davis. Losing that run proved critical to Yost’s game management.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

 Billy Butler gets our nod for his 2-4 performance with 2 RBI’s. Butler’s 5th inning double was only his 4th of the season. Let’s hope Butler can get going in May after his .223/.286/.255 debacle in April. The Royals desperately need some production from their “cleanup” hitter. Not only does Butler only have 4 doubles on the season, he has yet to hit a home run.

The Blue Jays

Former Royals Chris Getz continued to torment his former team going 2-5 with a run scored. His two consecutive steals after his first inning single put the Blue Jays up a run in the top of the 1st inning. In the series, Getz went 4-11, with 1 double and two stolen bases for a line of .364/.417/.455. For three days against the Royals, Getz imitated a useful top of the order hitter.

Ben Francisco went 2-3 with a single, home run, two runs scored, and two RBI’s. His home run in the 4th inning put the Blue Jays ahead 3-2 on a particularly good AB where he fell behind 1-2 then battled back taking a ball and fouling off 3 pitches before blasting a 2-run home run into the right field seats. The drive traveled a majestic 433 feet off Guthrie.

Colby Rasmus’ also hit a home run in the 6th which put Toronto ahead 4-3, and cost Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie a quality start.

Outfield sub Anthony Gose’s two-run double with the bases juiced off Louis Coleman broke open the game by driving in two runs. Gose was only playing due to regular outfielder Melky Cabrera‘s injury after getting hit in the thigh by Danny Duffy in the 6th inning on Wednesday.

St. Charles Missouri born Mark Buehrle had a solid start for the Jays giving up 2 earned runs in his 6.2 IP. Buehrle ran his record to 5-1 with an outstanding 2.70 ERA this season.

Up Next

The Central Division leading Detroit Tigers come to Kansas City on Friday, up 2 games in the standings on the Royals. KC can take over the division lead with a sweep. The Royals send ace James Shields (3-2, 2.03 ERA) to the mound for the series opener against Rick Porcello (3-1, 3.96 ERA) for the Tigers. The game starts at 7:10 PM CST at Kauffman Stadium.

Box

Blue Jays Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Jose Reyes SS 5 0 0 0 0 0 .180 .526
Chris Getz 2B 5 1 2 0 0 1 .364 .871
Jose Bautista RF 4 0 1 0 1 0 .292 1.048
Edwin Encarnacion 1B 3 1 1 1 2 0 .252 .755
Dioner Navarro C 3 1 0 0 1 0 .301 .713
   Josh Thole C 1 0 0 0 0 0 .458 .980
Juan Francisco DH 5 2 2 2 0 2 .275 .920
Brett Lawrie 3B 4 1 2 0 1 1 .204 .647
Colby Rasmus CF 4 1 1 2 1 2 .196 .662
Anthony Gose LF 4 0 2 2 0 0 .333 1.056
Team Totals 38 7 11 7 6 6 .289 .860
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/2/2014.
2B: A Gose (1, off L Coleman).
HR: J Francisco (3, off J Guthrie; 4th inn, 1 on, 1 out to Deep RF); C Rasmus (5, off J Guthrie; 6th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep RF).
TB: J Francisco 5; C Rasmus 4; A Gose 3; B Lawrie 2; C Getz 2; E Encarnacion; J Bautista.
RBI: C Rasmus 2 (9); J Francisco 2 (6); A Gose 2 (2); E Encarnacion (16).
2-out RBI: C Rasmus.
Team LOB: 10.
With RISP: 2 for 10.
Fielding
E: J Bautista (2).
Outfield Assists: A Gose (E Hosmer at home plate).
Baserunning
SB: J Bautista (1, 2nd base off J Guthrie/S Perez); C Getz 2 (2, 3rd base off J Guthrie/S Perez, 2nd base off J Guthrie/S Perez).
Pickoffs: A Gose (1st base by J Guthrie).
Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Omar Infante 2B 3 2 2 0 1 0 .289 .764
Eric Hosmer 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 .299 .743
Billy Butler DH 4 0 2 2 0 1 .235 .567
Salvador Perez C 4 0 0 0 0 1 .235 .693
Alex Gordon LF 4 0 1 0 0 0 .269 .716
Danny Valencia 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 .222 .611
Justin Maxwell RF 3 1 0 0 1 2 .167 .468
Alcides Escobar SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 .286 .750
Jarrod Dyson CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 .316 .649
Team Totals 33 3 7 2 2 5 .212 .560
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/2/2014.
2B: E Hosmer (10, off M Buehrle); B Butler (4, off M Buehrle); A Gordon (11, off M Buehrle).
TB: B Butler 3; A Gordon 2; E Hosmer 2; O Infante 2; A Escobar.
RBI: B Butler 2 (10).
2-out RBI: B Butler.
Team LOB: 5.
With RISP: 1 for 6.
Fielding
E: J Guthrie (1).
Blue Jays Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Mark Buehrle, W (5-1) 6.2 7 3 2 2 4 0 2.25 94 65
Aaron Loup, S (1) 2.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.38 22 16
Team Totals 9 7 3 2 2 5 0 2.00 116 81
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/2/2014.
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jeremy Guthrie, L (2-2) 6 8 4 4 2 4 2 4.50 109 72
Michael Mariot 1 2 3 3 2 0 0 5.19 24 12
Louis Coleman 2 1 0 0 2 2 0 5.40 34 22
Team Totals 9 11 7 7 6 6 2 7.00 167 106
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/2/2014.

M Mariot faced 4 batters in the 8th inning.
Balks: None.
WP: J Guthrie (1).
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: J Guthrie (1; A Gose, 1st base).

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Tags: Billy Butler Jeremy Guthrie Kansas City Royals Mike Mariot Ned Yost