Six weeks ago, Ned Yost was absolutely locked into his bullpen tactics: one inning for Herrera, one inning for Davis, one inning for Holland. It worked pretty well, until it didn’t. In the middle of September, began to show a little flexibility, which made the Royals a little better.
One week ago, Yost was absolutely locked into his lineup, using exactly the same lineup for more than a whole calendar month. It was working pretty well, but he showed some flexibility when the World Series shifted to San Francisco, which probably made the Royals a little better.
In Games 3 and 4, Yost did stack two left-handed hitters in the middle of his order, followed by two right-handed hitters. This, as I wrote before Game 3, didn’t make much sense. Because of Bruce Bochy’s deep and balanced bullpen. Well, glory be:
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Yost bats Perez 5th, breaking up Hosmer and Moustakas. Finally realized it might not be a good idea to give J Lopez two free shots at a LHB.
There are a couple of ways to look at this, and I don’t know if they’re mutually exclusive. Probably not. Anyway, you might applaud Yost for making an obvious adjustment. Or you might wonder why someone who’s managed as many games Yost would need so long to figure out something so obvious.
Still, this is a good thing if you’re a Royals fan. Really, there’s just one more obvious thing that Ned Yost might do, and especially in Game 5: Get his right-handed pinch hitters into the mix. Now, it seems pretty obvious that he’s simply never going to pinch-hit for Mike Moustakas, even though Moustakas is one of the worst hitters in the majors against left-handed pitchers, and even though Yost has not one, but two decent righty bats on his bench (Billy Butler and Josh Willingham, neither of whom appeared in Game 3 or 4).
But then again, Yost has fooled us before. He really can change. And if there’s anything the 2014 have proved, it’s that one should never stop hoping.