The Playoff Race: Ned Yost Goes With His Gut in Royals Loss


Sep 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder

Daniel Nava

(29) celebrates with teammate

Xander Bogaerts

(2) after hitting a grand slam against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Ned Yost is  a guy who famously “uses other means” to make decisions along with statistical analysis. Two times Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost went with his gut on Sunday—and both blew up in his face in Kansas City’s 8-4 loss to Boston.

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The first situation came with the Royals clinging to 4-3 lead in the 6th inning with the bases loaded. Yost allowed right-hander Aaron Crow to pitch to Daniel Nava, even though the switch-hitting Nava has hit .158 with a .393 OPS against left-handers this season. Yost failed to use one of his lefty options—such as hot rookie Brandon Finnegan—and instead went with Crow, who promptly gave up a grand slam.

The brutal shot put the game almost out of reach at 7-4, given the state of the Kansas City offense.

The second situation came in the 9th inning after Kansas City loaded the bases with 2 out. Instead of using one of his power bats such as Josh Willingham or Billy Butler—or better yet a power bat that hit from the left side like Carlos Peguero—Yost  went with a righty-righty matchup by allowing Lorenzo Cain to hit against righty Edward Mujica.

Cain has a grand total of 16 home runs in a little more than 1200 MLB at bats.

Cain struck out.

Along with Detroit’s 6-4 win over the Indians, the loss dropped Kansas City to 1.5 games behind the Tigers in the A.L. Central.

Great idea Nedster. Maybe you would have gotten into Cain’s dome if you didn’t let him hit.

And, maybe, you’d be better off making decisions with a magic 8 ball. A least they’d make more sense.


1DET8366.557W 36-621-1947-3836-287-313-718-12
2KCR8167.5471.5L 15-721-2241-4240-264-69-1116-14
3CLE7672.5136.5L 312-722-2035-4542-275-511-917-13
4CHW6881.45615.0L 16-826-2242-5226-295-59-1112-18
5MIN6386.42320.0W 15-718-2439-5924-272-85-159-21

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

The Tigers scored 5 runs over their last 3 innings to wipe out a 3-1 6th inning deficit to the Indians. Detroit closer Joe Nathan then enticed a key double play to kill a Cleveland 9th inning rally that had plated 1 run with 2 men on and no outs.

As much as I hate to say it, the Tigers 3 game sweep of the Indians—right after winning 2 of 3 in a showdown with Kansas City—looks like the cream rising to the top.

Hopefully, the Tigers will hit yet another cold streak this season—because the Royals look like they’re wilting under pressure.


4 OAK8366.557W 212-821-2543-4140-254-67-1310-20
5 KCR8167.547L 15-721-2241-4240-264-69-1116-14
6 SEA8068.5401.0L 23-716-2643-3037-385-510-1017-13
7 TOR7771.5204.0L 15-814-1835-3942-326-412-815-15
8 CLE7672.5135.0L 312-722-2035-4542-275-511-917-13
9 NYY7672.5135.0L 17-724-2236-4240-304-69-1115-15

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

The Oakland A’s won their 2nd straight game, notching a solid 4-0 win over the Mariners behind shutout pitching from Jon Lester (15-10). The A’s rode 6 strong innings from Lester along with 3 home runs to bring home the win.

The A’s now hold the A.L.’s top wild card by a 1.5 game advantage over Kansas City.

The Mariners loss, however, leaves the Royals in sole possession of the 2nd wild card. The Mariners remain 1 game behind Kansas City in the wild card standings after falling to the A’s.

The Toronto Blue Jays , New York Yankees, and Cleveland Indians, all lost on Sunday, failing to take advantage of the struggling wild card leaders.