ALCS – still shake my head when I write that – Game One Recap, Thoughts and LogFollow @RoyalsBlue_com
ALCS Game One
It was a rainy night in Baltimore. Two great teams were unable to prepare with their routines as the rain fell right up until game time.
Note one: this isn't a Los Angeles crowd. It's eastern, it's loud – it's active.
Hope it's also chilly as the ball does not travel as far in cold air. Given that Shields has been giving up a few extra home runs of late – something that tamps that down would be of great value for the Royals. Well, it's currently fifty-eight degrees.
It stayed chilly, but it's Camden. There were three home runs tonight. All were hit by men wearing the Royals uniform.
For once the much maligned stat of pitcher wins was right on target. Tonight's winning pitcher was Wade Davis who absolutely deserved it. In 2 innings he threw 18 pitches, 15 for strikes and struck out four. While the KC offense was stranding three runners in the top of the ninth he came out and shut down the Orioles.
Special mention should definitely also go to Kelvin Herrera who came in and shut down the Oriole frenzy in the sixth inning. Like Davis, he threw two innings on twenty pitches. He got two strikeouts, but also got the ground ball that ended the nightmarish sixth inning.
Between Herrera and Davis we got four innings of scoreless, hitless, baserunner-less relief. They held the game at 5-5 until Gordon and Moose could unknot the mess.
I'm hoping that Yost does not lose faith in Finnegan with tonight's mess. Finnegan's critical mistake was walking the leadoff man. It's something that sometimes happens, but no one hit him hard.
About Shields: I think that he lacked command again. He's been battling, but it's been pretty ugly. It's true that he is facing a lot of strong lineups, but his ERA in this postseason is over 7. Tonight, he posted a 2.2 WHIP. He had a run of bad starts in the middle of the season and then appeared to right the ship, but now the ship is struggling again.
The thing I like about Shields is that tonight represents a terrible start for him. He kept battling and fought his way through five innings.
The most encouraging thing tonight: it has to be Alex. He appears to be awakening from a long slumber and my fear that the four days off would throw him after he hit that lovely double on Sunday appears to be a non-issue now.
Finally, I think Buck made a bad move here: staying with O'Day against Gordon. How often is it true that a right handed submarine pitcher gets hit hard by a left handed power bat? Gordon saw that coming and it must have looked like a beach ball on a hitting tee.
It's a glorious night and the Royals lead 1-0.
Top of First versus Tillman
Escobar – After a few minutes of delay getting Pedro Martinez to shut off the lights out on Eutaw Street we are underway.
CSX – fly ball to Jones -he doesn't have to move at all.
Aoki – CX – ground ball to Pearce who takes it directly to the bag.
Cain – FFX – ground ball halfway to third base which is an infield hit wisely pocketed by Flaherty.
Hosmer – B1BCBFFS Strikeout. Hosmer took a swing at a pitch that wasn't a fastball and was early and over the top.
Bottom of First versus Shields score is 0-0
Markakis – FSBBBX Cain takes a few steps to his left and makes the catch.
DeAza – BFX – Gordon has an easy play, looks deep as heck in the 364 foot left field area.
Jones – BSX – grounded to Escobar. 6-3 on the play.
Top of Second versus Tillman 0-0
Tillman enters with fifteen pitches.
Butler – BX – grounder through the hole between third and short. SINGLE.
Gordon – S (Pearce is holding Butler) B (Tillman has thrown high and out of the zone with each of his first two pitches) F (shift placed on at 1-2, previously not on) F C (caught looking) Strikeout.
Perez – X (lineout to Hardy, had to leap high to get it – and the first stolen hit is Perez's)
Infante – FX ( flyout to Jones about 10 steps toward RF from his position in CF).
Bottom of Second versus Shields 0-0
Cruz – B (led baseball with 40 HR, doesn't that total sound low?) B F (swung at ball three low) BC (Cruz takes a step toward first) FX (ground ball up the middle) SINGLE
Pearce – BSFBX (flyball to Cain)
Hardy – CFX (pitch was up and is LINED to LF) SINGLE – Cruz to second base.
Oriole hitters are working Shields.
Flaherty – BSFS – strikeout. Needed strikeout.
Hundley – CSX – ground ball – Escobar makes great effort to keep in infield, but has no chance at first. SINGLE infield. Bases full.
Schoop – SCB (in dirt, Perez has to work to keep on it) B (shakes off several calls to throw a pitch way down that Schoop doesn't bite on) X popped up to Infante. End of inning, 3 left.
39 pitches to get through 2 innings.
Top of third versus Tillman 0-0
Moustakas – CF (shift starts at 0-2) BX (ground ball to Pearce unassisted he goes to the bag)
Escobar – BBX (drills one to LF, GONE, HR) 1-0
Tillman left that one up and Escobar got all of it.
Aoki – CBFX (falls just in front of DeAza, SINGLE)
Cain – BB (Hundley has nice block) 1 (numbers in these streams indicate throws to bases by the pitcher) B (Aoki broke, but ran back) B WALK, Aoki to second.
Hosmer – down to .467 on the postseason – BBBCS (tried to check, terrible pitch to swing at way down) S – strikeout second time. Behind on the inner half pitch
Butler – B – the righthanders seem to be better against Tillman than the left handers – CX (ground ball to short, LONG throw, bobbled by Pearce, everyone is safe on an infield single by Butler) Bases Loaded.
Nice stop by Pearce to keep ball in front of him and prevent a run from scoring.
Gordon – FB (since Gordon swung at another high first pitch, Tillman figures go up again) FF – all four of Tillman's pitches have been way up – B – this pitch was down, but closer to the zone than the others, the TBS announcers just gave Dayton credit for drafting Gordon – B X (down line in right field and a BASES CLEARING DOUBLE) 4-0. Gordon gets to third on fielding error on cutoff by Schoop who was racing to fire to try to get Butler at the plate.
Perez – F (Tommy Hunter loosens in Baltimore pen) FX (Can of corn caught by DeAza).
Amazing – 4-0. Gordon's double broke his bat, but there was no way anyone could catch it.
Bottom of third versus Shields 0-4
So, the Orioles committed the first error of the series on the bad relay by Schoop that allowed Gordon to take third base – where he was stranded. It was an enormous two out hit by Gordon following a big two out infield single by Butler.
Markakis – CX ground ball down rf line DOUBLE
DeAza – FX (ground ball to Infante 4-3 on the out, Markakis to third base)
Jones – X (line single to left field scoring Markakis) 4-1
Three curveballs by Shields in this inning and the O's are hitting them.
Cruz – FX (foul pop out to Perez)
Pearce – X (gapper that looks likke sure double caught on a dive by Gordon!)
Top of fourth versus Tillman 4-1
Shields who was losing control of his pitch count gave up a run but only threw eight pitches in the third inning. I wonder if he can get through six as Ned would prefer. He now has thrown forty-seven pitches. Of course, he also gave back one run of his lead.
Infante – BC (caught the knees) BBB – leadoff WALK.
Moustakas – B (Tillman seems to throw a lot of high fastballs to our LHB) B (those don't sound like Moose calls from the O fans) B (looked like a strike, but Hundley did no favor on framing) CS (another high fastball and Moose swung below it) FF (Infante running) FX (skied to Markakis, 9 unassisted).
Escobar – CBS (terrible swing there, way out front) FX (popped up, caught by Schoop)
Aoki – X (medium fly ball to Markakis)
Bottom of fourth versus Shields 4-1
Hardy – BCS (check attempt failed) B (in dirt) B (that time he did check the swing) X Gordon catches it on the track.
Flaherty – B X (Infante tries to leap on one that is well into RF and it bounds off the tip of his glove for a SINGLE, Aoki picks it up to prevent any advance past first)
Hundley – FCBBC (Hundley hates the call but PitchTrax says corner and well above the knee). Strikeout.
Schoop – BX (groundball to Escobar 6-4 fielder's choice).
Top of fifth versus Tillman 4-1
Cain – CFX (Adam Jones makes a fantastic slide to cut off the liner slicing into right center field, Cain rounds first and runs to second – it's a bang-bang play at second called safe for a double – Showalter is out, but does not challenge, the throw was excellent, but Cain was too quick) DOUBLE.
Hosmer – BX (Schoop makes a nice backhanded play on a hot smash up the middle and throws out Hosmer at first, Cain advances to third base).
Tillman is removed after 4 1/3 innings – responsible for all four runs, plus Cain at third base. Tillman gave up seven hits and two walks.
Tommy Hunter is the new pitcher.
Butler – B (infield in for play at the plate) FCX (deep right center field, it's caught by Jones, but no play at the plate, Sacrifice fly) 5-1
Gordon – CSBX (liner up the middle) SINGLE
Perez – 1 (shifted, with second baseman behind bag – and Gordon is PICKED OFF, OUT).
Bottom of fifth versus Shields 5-1
Markakis – CX (blooper into shallow left field) SINGLE
DeAza – 1BFX (hard ground ball between first and second) SINGLE, Markakis to second base.
Jones – BX (soft liner on one hop to Moustakas at third base who tags the bag and gets the force on Markakis, DeAza to second, Jones to first).
Cruz – BCSX (hard hit off the wall Gordon plays carom perfectly, but DeAza scores, Jones to third) DOUBLE, 5-2.
Finnegan is up in the bullpen.
Pearce – (infield back) B (Perez blocks ball in dirt keeping runners to bases) SBFFBB WALK.
Dave Eiland emerges from dugout. Conference.
Hardy – with bases loaded – CBCB (check swing) BC – STRIKEOUT.
Slider on inside corner to get Hardy.
Flaherty – X – line drive single to right field, two runs score, Pearce to third – 5-4
Aoki cuts off a ball that is almost always a double and races it in to the cutoff man. Good fielding can't stop the hitting here, though.
Hundley – CBX (soft liner that Infante climbs up to catch).
5-4 and Shields is getting roughed up his third time through the order. He should not be allowed to see anyone a fourth time.
Top of sixth versus Gausman (new pitcher) 5-4
Perez – CFFBFX (ground ball to Hardy easy play 6-3)
Infante – BX (liner through the hole between third and short, missed Flaherty's glove by about a foot) SINGLE
Moustakas – BX (medium fly to LF, caught by DeAza)
Escobar – BX (smashed ground ball right at Flaherty, 5-4 force out at second base).
Bottom of sixth versus Finnegan 5-4
Schoop – BBCSFBB WALK
Herrera up in bullpen.
Markakis – FBBX (flare over Infante into shallow rightfield) SINGLE, Schoop to second base.
DeAza – squares to bunt F squares again B, Perez throws to second, Escobar's throw to third HITS Schoop, Schoop is safe at third, ball stays in field of play, almost leaves. It's a stolen base, I think for Schoop. Markakis advances to second on the error on Escobar. X – bloop falls in front of diving Escobar, Schoop scores, Markakis stays on second, DeAza to first, 5-5.
Herrera in to pitch.
Jones – B (almost hit him) BFX, slow ground ball to Moustakas, tags bag, throws in dirt to Hosmer on attempt at double play. E5 advances DeAza to third while Jones is safe at first. One out.
Cruz – X – 6-4-3 double play and the inning is over 5-5. Herrera threw only five pitches to get out of the mess.
Top of seventh versus Gausman 5-5
Aoki – BBCBB leadoff WALK the thing that hurt the Royals in the sixth.
Dyson in to pinch run for Aoki.
Cain – 1 (squares to bunt, pulls back) CB11 (very close) (Pearce is way off bag) 1 (that style of play is very odd) 1S (tried to check, but didn't) B (stolen base attempt, Dyson beat it, but came off and was tagged out) C – strikeout.
Miller in to pitch for Baltimore
Hosmer – BCBBX (liner to right field) SINGLE
Butler – BSBSBC – strikeout. Inside pitches to right handed hitters are getting called. The called strike three to Cain and the called strike three to Butler both looked questionable, but terribly close to be taking with two strikes.
Bottom of seventh versus Herrera 5-5.
Dyson stays in to play centerfield; Cain moves to right field.
Pearce – S (tried to check, but failed) FB (very close, why can't the O's be rung up on borderline calls?) X – medium fly to Cain in RF, 1 out.
Hardy – SBCBS – strikeout. He's getting batters to swing and miss. The concern I had with Herrera over that appears to be done for now.
Flaherty – CBB (check swing) B (another check swing) C (he checked again, but I think he also went around) S – strikeout, dropped by Perez – 2-3 putout.
Top of eighth versus Miller 5-5
Gordon – BFB (HIT BY PITCH on the third pitch)
Ball hit in shoulder first, then bounced up to neck. He stays in after the concussion check.
Perez – CSS huge strikeout.
Infante – S (tried to check – horrible pitch to swing at way low and in almost got away from Hundley) S (same pitch, swung right through) BX (foul pop to Pearce).
Moustakas – 1BBS (horrible call by third base ump on check swing here) F S (another non check, but ump is right this time). Strikeout. Wasted the leadoff HBP.
Bottom of eighth versus Davis 5-5
Hundley – BX – pop up on infield caught by Hosmer.
Schoop – CSBS – strikeout.
Markakis – X- routine fly ball to Cain in RF.
Top of ninth versus Britton 5-5
Escobar – BFFBBB – leadoff WALK
Dyson – BB (no surprise that Dyson is squaring, but the pitches have not been close) 1BB WALK, Escobar to second.
Pitching coach, Wallace, to mound.
Cain – B (Cain squares, but pulls back) Infield is charging in for the bunt B (squares but pulls back) B
O'Day warming up
Cain at 3-0 – B – WALK! Escobar to third, Dyson to second.
Hosmer – B (borderline, but since Britton has been way away he didn't get call) S (the same pitch that has been missing all along) BFBX (weak ground ball to first, got force out on play at plate, 3-2) . Pearce could have touched first, but if he does Escobar definitely scores. No chance at a double play. Bad throw by Pearce, nice play by Hundley.
Dyson at third, Cain at second, Hosmer at first.
O'Day in to pitch for Baltimore
Butler – CBFBFFX – 6-4-3 double play.
Three leadoff walks and the Royals get nothing. Hosmer swings at a ball that was low and away.
Bottom of ninth versus Davis 5-5
DeAza – CFFS – Strikeout, dropped by Perez, 2-3.
Jones – CSS – strikeout.
Cruz – B (VERY close, but Timmonds hasn't been calling that one all night) SFS – Strikeout!
Davis – 18 pitches in two innings with 15 strikes, 4 strikeouts.
Top of tenth versus O'Day 5-5
Gordon – BCX – BOMB TO RIGHT FIELD, HOME RUN 6-5.
Perez – BBBB – walk – PEREZ WALKS?!
Infante – B1 (Perez was on first the whole time and laughing) CFS – Strikeout.
Matusz on to pitch so that O'Day doesn't see another LHB
Moustakas – BBSSBX – HOME RUN TO RIGHT CENTER FIELD – 8-5
Escobar – CB – and the Orioles fans are leaving…. FX – Fly out to Markakis.
Dyson – C (bad call, it was clearly outside) FBS – Strikeout.
Bottom of tenth versus Holland 8-5
Pearce – X – foul out to Perez
Hardy – CFBS – Strikeout.
Flaherty – X – ground ball through the hole between first and second. SINGLE
Pinch Hitter for Hundley
Paredes – BBFBCFB (very close, but Timmonds just won't ring up O's) WALK – Flaherty to second.
Young pinch hitting for Schoop – SSBF (the ever scary hanging slider) BX (ground ball through the middle, Flaherty scores, Paredes to second base.) 8-6
Lough in to pinch run for Young.
Markakis – CBBX – Ground ball to Infante – 4-3 – GAME.
Shaky save for Holland, but got the job done.
Royals win 8-6 in ten innings.