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. Rangers designate Neftali Feliz for assignment, activate Matt Harrison

    Jul 4, 2015, 12:58 AM EDT

    Neftali Feliz Neftali Feliz

    In a shocking move, the Rangers designated Neftali Feliz for assignment to clear roster space for Matt Harrison.

  2. Coco Crisp is dealing with kidney stones

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:45 PM EDT

    Coco Crisp Coco Crisp

    Base Ba’al has no mercy for Coco Crisp.

  3. Report: Mets willing to “overpay” to acquire Ben Zobrist

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Ben Zobrist Ben Zobrist

    The Mets are VERY interested in Ben Zobrist.

  4. The Mets have discussed, but decided against, calling up prospect Michael Conforto

    Jul 3, 2015, 10:10 PM EDT

    Michael Conforto, Barbaro Arruebarruena Michael Conforto, Barbaro Arruebarruena

    The Mets are getting desperate for runs, but aren’t ready to rush prospect Michael Conforto just yet.

  5. Miguel Cabrera exits Friday’s game with a calf injury

    Jul 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Miguel Cabrera Miguel Cabrera

    Miguel Cabrera suffered a calf injury after a single in the fourth inning on Friday against the Blue Jays.

  6. Patrick Corbin to start for the Diamondbacks on Saturday

    Jul 3, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Patrick Corbin Patrick Corbin

    Patrick Corbin will complete his long trek back to the major leagues when he starts against the Rockies on Saturday.

  7. Josh Reddick expressed unhappiness with his playing time in a radio interview, then apologized

    Jul 3, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Josh Reddick Josh Reddick

    The Athletics haven’t used Josh Reddick much against left-handed starters. Reddick isn’t too happy with that, despite his results against southpaws.

  8. Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon to miss two months due to hernia surgery

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Jameson Taillon Jameson Taillon

    Jameson Taillon was getting pretty close to returning to action for the Pirates, but an inguinal hernia has knocked him back on the shelf.

  9. Cubs acquire Clayton Richard from the Pirates for cash considerations

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Clayton Richard Clayton Richard

    The Cubs acquired Clayton Richard from the Pirates and he’ll start for the club on Saturday.

  10. The Blue Jays are interested in Jeff Samardzija

    Jul 3, 2015, 3:52 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija AP

    Both he and the White Sox have disappointed this year, but he could help a contender.

  11. The Tigers have designated Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny for assignment

    Jul 3, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Joba Chamberlain Getty Images

    Chamberlain has posted a 4.09 ERA and an ugly 1.682 WHIP in 30 appearances this year. Gorzelanny has been even worse.

  12. Travis Ishikawa designated for assignment by the Giants. Again.

    Jul 3, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    travis ishikawa getty Getty Images

    He’s only had six plate appearances since being recalled in late June.

  13. Yovani Gallardo extended his scoreless innings streak to 29 and a third

    Jul 3, 2015, 9:11 AM EDT

    Yovani Gallardo Getty Images

    He has a 2.56 ERA and a 72/31 K/BB ratio over 102 innings on the season.

  14. The Braves get a walkoff win against Max Scherzer

    Jul 3, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT

    Cameron Maybin Getty Images

    He wasn’t hit hard, but the Braves hit ’em where they weren’t.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Moore (3407)
  2. J. Hamilton (3330)
  3. J. Ellsbury (3133)
  4. M. Cain (2976)
  5. M. Sano (2899)
  1. H. Ramirez (2739)
  2. J. Fernandez (2546)
  3. P. Corbin (2494)
  4. B. Harper (2473)
  5. C. Dickerson (2380)