Skip to content

This clinches it: Ned Yost has no idea what he’s doing

Sep 9, 2013, 10:11 PM EDT

Ned Yost Getty Images

Setting the scene: Indians up 4-3 on the Royals in the top of the ninth. Cleveland closer Chris Perez gives up a single to Salvador Perez and a walk to Mike Moustakas to begin the inning, setting things up very nicely.

Very nicely indeed, for Ned Yost to trample all over what was left of the Royals’ postseason hopes.

After back-to-back hitters reached, Yost, already having pinch-run for both Perez and Moustakas, sent in David Lough to pinch-hit for Lorenzo Cain and lay down a sacrifice bunt. It was successful, giving the Royals runners on second and third with one out.

And that is a defensible decision. It’s not the one I would have made, but it put the Royals in a position to take the lead with a single. It’s what happened next that’s truly remarkable.

Needing a single — again, the whole point of the bunt was to set things up for a two-run single — Yost had Carlos Pena pinch-hit for Jarrod Dyson. The very same Carlos Pena who has hit .197 and .208 the last two years. Pena’s entire game is walks and homers. The only active major leaguer with 1,000 plate appearances and a lesser rate of hitting singles is Adam Dunn. Pena hits singles in 10.3 percent of plate appearances.

So, Pena did what he does best: he struck out looking.

Yost wasn’t done, though. He called on another pinch-hitter for Alcides Escobar. This time, it was George Kottaras. Kottaras doesn’t qualify for that list above. But if you lower that cutoff to 800 plate appearances, there’s absolutely no one in the majors who hits singles less frequently than Kottaras (lower it to 500 and you get five pitchers who do). Kottaras has singled in 9.2 percent of his plate appearances.

Kottaras walked. Which is fine. The Royals were probably happy about that, since it brought up Alex Gordon. Gordon, though, popped up to end the game.

Frankly, I’d fire Yost for the whole sequence. To give up the first out and then call on those two hitters to drive in the runs shows a painful lack of sense. If the bases were loaded and a walk or a sac fly would have won the game, then Pena and/or Kottaras would have been worth a try. But Yost needed a single and he took out two guys who were better bets to get one for him in Dyson and Escobar. Not only that, but the player on the bench most likely to single, Lough, was the guy called on to lay down the bunt. It was a brutal case of overmanaging, and it quite possibly cost the Royals the game and further dimmed their long shot hopes for the postseason.

Just get rid of him, seriously.

Latest Posts
  1. Royals’ World Series hopes in Yordano Ventura’s hands

    Oct 22, 2014, 12:58 AM EDT

    It’s up to the rookie in Wednesday’s Game 2.

  2. Giants stomp Royals 7-1 in World Series Game 1 rout

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:41 PM EDT

    bumgarner getty Getty Images

    The 2014 Royals have finally dropped a postseason game. And it was an ugly one for the home team.

  3. Royals get on the board on a Salvador Perez home run

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT

    salvador perez getty Getty Images

    Giants starter Madison Bumgarner was working on a shutout in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium until Royals catcher Salvador Perez slugged a two-out solo shot over the left field fence.

  4. James Shields driven from Game 1 in the fourth inning

    Oct 21, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT

    james shields getty Getty Images

    Royals manager Ned Yost has gone to the bullpen early in Game 1 of the World Series, lifting starter James Shields after he allowed an RBI single to Giants designated hitter Michael Morse in the top of the fourth inning.

  5. Giants take early lead in Game 1 of World Series

    Oct 21, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

    hunter pence getty Getty Images

    The Giants exploded for three runs in the top of the first inning on singles by Gregor Blanco and Buster Posey, a double by Pablo Sandoval, and a Hunter Pence two-run homer to center field.

  6. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady rooting for his hometown Giants in the World Series

    Oct 21, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT

    tom brady

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady posted this picture on his Facebook page this evening with a caption that reads “Gearing up to watch my hometown Giants in the World Series.”

  7. Video: Kansas City, Home Sweet Home

    Oct 21, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT

    kauffman stadium kc getty Getty Images

    Here’s a Royals pump-up video that MLB Advanced Media put together featuring the music of Motley Crue …

  8. Mike Zagurski signs with NPB’s Hiroshima Carp

    Oct 21, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    mike zagurski getty Getty Images

    From Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca comes word that left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski has officially agreed to a contract with the Hiroshima Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball.

  9. Phillies re-sign Jerome Williams for $2.5 million

    Oct 21, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    Jerome Williams AP

    Williams has pitched for seven different MLB teams in nine seasons, posting a combined 4.40 ERA in 891 career innings.

  10. Royals’ World Series rotation: Shields, Ventura, Guthrie, Vargas

    Oct 21, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Yordano Ventura Yordano Ventura

    That’s the same alignment the Royals used in the ALCS, when they swept the Orioles in four games.

  11. The Royals have three closers, really. And they’re closing things out at an amazing rate

    Oct 21, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.22.46 PM Getty Images

    Joe Posnanski looks at where they came from and just how dominant they’ve been.

  12. Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer re-injures shoulder in Arizona Fall League

    Oct 21, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Kyle Zimmer Royals Getty Images

    Zimmer came into this season as a top-25 prospect according to Baseball America and MLB.com.

  13. Funding approved for a new spring training complex for the Nationals and Astros

    Oct 21, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Palm beach

    Now they just need a site. If you have a few hundred acres in the Palm Beach area, call Mark Lerner.

  14. Mark Appel is thriving in the Arizona Fall League

    Oct 21, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

    Mark Appel AP AP

    Mark Appel had a weird season, as the former No. 1 overall pick was awful at Single-A with a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts and then made headlines over the weird quasi-controversy of him throwing a bullpen session in Houston.

  15. The Kansas City Star is drunk on World Series excitement

    Oct 21, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    kauffman stadium getty Getty Images

    So drunk that today’s editorial says that the taxpayer subsidies to renovate the place several years ago are all worth it. Um, yeah.

  16. Royals add Jayson Nix to the World Series roster

    Oct 21, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    jayson nix ap AP

    He replaces rookie Christian Colon.

  17. HBT Daily: In which I waffle on my World Series pick

    Oct 21, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT

    Bruce Bochy Bruce Bochy

    Breaking down tonight’s starters, the bullpens and the magic.

  18. The World Series will likely be Lorde-free

    Oct 21, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

    george brett and lorde

    I suppose she could parachute into the stadium and surprise us or something, but don’t count on it.

  19. Must-click link: surviving spring training on $0 a day

    Oct 21, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT

    Jimenez

    Minor leaguers have filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball alleging unfair labor practices. Here’s the story of one player who realized that there has to be a better way.

Featured video

Pitching duel highlights Game 1 of WS
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Morse (1825)
  2. L. Cain (1741)
  3. B. Posey (1673)
  4. B. Roberts (1510)
  5. A. Wainwright (1493)