Strictly speaking, Kansas City is probably picked to win the world series,based upon the strength of their batters but definitely not their relief guys.
I was picking up on an article By Dayn Perry who wrote an article based upon 5 things the Royals have to do to win the series. That’s asking a lot of a team, even the Royals.
Their starters are strong,defense and batting roster. But where I think a lot of teams falter is their relief pitchers period.
Why you ask?
He is considered one of the best when he’s on his game. Kind of like a guitar player who’s playing like crap one night when you go to see him, but playing like crazy good when your best friend goes to see him. That’s how great or bad Cueto is.
But back to the bullpen and the Royals…
Any team needs to have a strong bullpen and why I think if you have a strong short relief staff, even if you’re winning by one run only, you’re gold, most of the time.
Not always. That’s why baseball is such a quirky game and that even if you’re up 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth and there are two outs,and you’re ready to win the World Series, it can all fall apart.
Even if the opposing team is down to their last strike.
Probably why the series against the Jays went 6 games,and why Kansas depended too heavily on Wade Davis and their bullpen in long relief.
When you’re going against a team like the Mets or the Jays with dangerous power men hitting,not having strong short relief pitchers will hurt you,and why the Royals barely eked out that ALCS series win in the 6th game against Toronto.
Guys like Madson and Herrera have to come in strong and be able to take care of business in the 8th and 9th inning,because if not they don’t, won’t be able to help the Royals get to the promised land–that being World Series champs.
You can have all the great hitters in the game and win 110 games by a large margin. But if you don’t have a strong defensive core of infielder’s,outfield personnel and especially a strong relief cast, you won’t outlast your opponents ever.
Kansas City always seems to come through in the clutch,and last night’s 14 inning game was no exception. But it puts their relief pitching core in harm’s way.
Meaning, having to use them too much will filter into their starting core,and having to use one or two of those starters. Even the Jays used David Price in relief, and it worked out alright.
But being able to have your starters finish 6 to 7 innings every night has been an issue for Kansas City, and a team like the Mets could easily pounce and that and make mince meat of their starters, and get it into the heads of their top relievers, this team is good and I better pitch more than heat.
But pitching heat can backfire, and so can pitching change ups and sinkers. Especially if the Mets pick up on that right away.
One thing though the relief staff of the Royals keeps the ball in the park and have had a combined ERA of under 2.00 which says a lot for their bullpen.
Like I said the game of baseball is a quirky thing,and can change on a dime. If you bet on sports you better study it to the hilt or be taken for a ride $dollar wise, that leads to less than stellar results, with your gambling and the Royals.
But first,lets see what Johnny Cueto does tonight. If he stays strong he’ll go 7 innings. So don’t just count on hitting and relief pitching if Johnny falters. Nor should you count on the defense.
It’s going to be a great World Series. The people of Kansas City, and especially New York will love their team being back in the series again.
It’s gonna be a great ride baseball fans. Especially if relief pitching on both teams hold the fort down.
I have a short article here on why I think relief pitching is more important than starters. If you’re a true baseball fan who studies the game and loves stats and the ability of short relievers, you’ll learn something from this.
As much as effective starters have on the game their arm health is important even if they do have the ability to go 7 innings consistently. But if they aren’t getting sufficient run support they have to pitch beyond the norm.
Think about the impact your regular players aside from pitching play, and if they are giving proper run support. As well, what pitchers have a bigger impact on winning.
Starters or relief. As well, the health of starting pitchers is vital,not just so they win 15 or 20 games,but so they are competitive and contribute to the team in a way that gets wins at least 9 to 15 wins at most.
Pitching is tough on starting pitchers arms, and a lot of people don’t understand that. This isn’t the 60’s or 70’s or back further when pitchers went 8 innings in a lot of their games.
I would like to see a data analysis of the average number of wins stating pitchers get in today’s major league baseball, and how healthy their arms stay while starters, and how long their careers last— as well if they tend to go up and down between the majors and minors a lot.
What comes into play as well in this is how long starters are in the “farm system” before being brought up as reliable starters.
Because I find that both pitchers and position players of every player tend not to spend enough time in the minors to become better players before coming up to the majors, and be able to handle it physically, and contribute in a way that doesn’t see them going back and forth between MLB and the minors.
I would rather see more relief pitchers be in games than a starter. I realize you don’t want to burn out your relievers, but to keep your starters healthy a large contingent of quality relievers is more important to acquire wins and keep your team competitive.
Interesting question, eh?
But lets see how Kansas City Royals and Johnny Cueto do first then we’ll see if if relief pitching has an impact on their winning or not.