Leftridge: Welp, Here Goes Game 5

101515As if you didn’t know, the Kansas City Royals played a game of some measurable excitement Monday afternoon, besting the Houston Astros and staving off elimination. I’m told it was very, very thrilling. (I was listening and watching the little videogame-like “gamecast,” but as a normal, working human—under retirement age and too old for a watch party in the quad—I was unable to SEE it as it happened. Alas.)

So now, obviously, the series returns to the Paris of the Plains for a winner-take-all (or, “winner-advance,” I suppose) game five. Much maligned hired-gun “ace” Johnny Cueto takes the hill on Wednesday evening, and if that’s not enough to make your quivering testicles crawl up inside of your body, you’re probably not a Royals’ fan. (Or you’re a female. In which case, maybe your ovaries are doing something weird?)

101415Cueto wasn’t bad in game two, but he wasn’t exactly great, either. He went six innings—that’s good—but he gave up four earned runs—that’s bad. He gave up seven hits and walked three. Again, bad. Over the Edge extra Colby Rasmus was his primary nemesis, doubling and homering while driving in a pair of runs. The discouraging thing is, he’ll probably be playing on Wednesday, too. (You know, barring some sort of dirt bike accident.)

So it kind of feels like the Royals will have to win in spite of Cueto.

And since I’m “insane” and “ridiculous” for suggesting that you reverse engineer your pitching staff—you know, Wade Davis pitches innings one and two, Kelvin Herrera pitches innings three and four, etc—other measures must be taken to ensure victory. Here are my ideas.

Have Someone Warming Up in the Pen at the Start of the Game

Look, this might be damaging to Cueto’s psyche, but you know what? Fuck Cueto. He’s gone after this season and for the most part, he’s been a train wreck. (He also admitted yesterday that some of his struggles may have come in part from LOOMING FREE AGENCY. That’s horse shit.) So I honestly don’t care if he’s offended by this. You have two long relievers—Chris Young and Kris Medlen—warming up to START the game, and you deploy them at the FIRST sign of trouble.

Cueto let’s two men on base? I don’t care if they’re the first two batters of the game—you yank him. Cueto gives up a solo shot? Ned needs to be Sandman at the Apollo. (And yes, I am advocating he approach the mound with a comically large hook.) His “short leash” needs to be two inches long, and Yost needs to be the most ruthless dog trainer in the world.

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 30: Newly acquired Ben Zobrist #18 of the Kansas City Royals grounds out in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 30, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ben Zobrist

This Lineup Needs to be Fixed

This lineup is garbage. And I’m tired of hearing about “magic” and every other piece of primitive nonsense that flies in the face of reason. I understand that baseball is a game full of superstition and routine, but to sit there and say, “WELP, DURRRRR, WE WIN CAUSE ESCOBAR LEADIN’ OFF AND SWING AT FIRST PITCH OF GAME, HYUCK HYCK,” you’re one step ahead of punching someone in the face after they take your picture because you’re worried they’ve stolen your soul. It’s ridiculous. It’s insane that Ben Zobrist (or even the struggling Alex Gordon) isn’t leading off, and hitting Kendrys Morales fifth is borderline stupid. Aside from Tuesday’s ridiculousness, this offense has been pretty piss-poor for the better part of six weeks. By not addressing these issues, Yost is hobbling the team. The “magic” of winning with a terrible offense won’t last forever; baseball is statistical realism, not unicorn kisses.

Anyway, now I bet the lineup gets shuffled and KC gets no-hit. And Cueto probably gets pulled in the second after yielding a run, and then Young or Medlen gives up like, eight. Sorry I cursed the team.

But in any case, it was a super fun season. See you in April, everybody!

Go Royals!

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20 Responses to Leftridge: Welp, Here Goes Game 5

  1. Shawnster says:

    Dead on target with the lineup change. It’s so frustrating to have your best RBI man hitting fifth. How many runs could we have had if he was hitting fourth where he belongs? Until Monday, how many times did HOZ come up with runners on only to flail at strike three that was 2 inches off the plate and four feet outside? Could we have swept? Who knows. Esky leading off is hot garbage, Rios being on the roster is hot garbage, stealing third with two outs instead of one is hot garbage. Still-we win tonight. Too much emotion. Stro’s looked done after Monday. I’m not ready for the ride to end.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      “Stro’s looked done after Monday.”

      And what I would have given for game five to be on Tuesday. I think if there’s no off day, it’s like, a ZERO percent chance of Houston winning. But you’ve got that pesky “travel from one city to another” thing, I suppose.

    • maurice says:

      I don’t understand why people keep coming down on Rios.

  2. Nick says:

    LOOMING FREE AGENCY.

    Meh, that’s just another STD: chase some meds with flaming rum, you flighty voodoo head case ,and fuckin’ throw some cheese over the plate tonight!

    • Nick says:

      …and he did, the contrary lil’ shit.

      The Royals are gonna give me a heart attack at this rate.

      • Brandon Leftridge says:

        I suggested yanking him once he allowed two base runners. Technically, he never had two runners in at once. Joke’s on me, I suppose.

  3. the dude says:

    Like I said before Cueto lays a BIG egg today. Sorry Royals fans, they will have to win despite Cueto’s attempt to lay an egg on the pitcher’s mound today.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      Like, a LITERAL egg?

      But for real, why would it be bad if Cueto laid an egg? I know that’s the expression, but if there’s one person in sports you want laying an egg–you know, a big O–wouldn’t it be a pitcher?

      • the dude says:

        Well, either he lays an egg on the mound or he does like that scene in Airplane where the eggs start coming out of his mouth and he cracks it and a bird flies away. We know he isn’t going to pitch well so at the very least he should entertain the crowd with his egg tricks.

  4. chuck says:

    The truth is, I would rather have Kato Kaelin pitching tonight. You know what, fu*k it, let Judge Ito call the game.

    Now we’re in!

  5. miket. says:

    yep yep yep, lefty, all makes sense. yank cueto early and often if he starts that shimmy shimmy koko bop shimmy shimmy bop crap and gives up balls, baserunners and runs, like halloween candy. but, hey, look at me do my shimmy, jimmy!

    yost won’t change the line-up, you know that. stubborn to a fault, or maybe frozen with indecision and fear because of a “if mess with it, it could get worse” belief. zombie shit. just do it.

    i won’t predict a winner, but i will predict 10 innings.

    let’s go roy-als!

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      Glad you were wrong about the 10 innings. I could do these under 3-hour games the rest of the way.

    • maurice says:

      I didn’t see one shimmy shimmy koko bop all night, thank God. I think he learned his lesson when he pulled it on Rasmus and Rasmus teed off on him.

      Now the ? is, can he sustain it?

  6. Furioso says:

    Wow, Cueto and the Royals offense really shined in game 5!

  7. Jack Springer says:

    Anything is possible. Maybe it’s time to delete your article.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      You are right. That is how things work.

      Hearne: please remove this article for some reason. Thx.

  8. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    LOL at the Astros. They pissed that series right down their legs. They had the Royals on the ropes and let them off the hook with God awful baseball plays. I turned on the game long enough last night to see them allow Lorenzo Cain to score from first on a bloop single. The outfield flat fell on his ass trying to field the ball. I was howling laughing. Not to mention the game before where Correa puked on his cleats while trying to field an easy double play ball that would’ve ended the Royals threat.

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