Yost's seventh-inning blunder

Yost's seventh-inning blunder

Published Oct. 22, 2014 10:53 p.m. ET

With Kelvin Herrera returning to the mound in the top of the seventh inning, Harold Reynolds said (approximately), "This is what I call 'the formula': Herrera in the seventh, Davis in the eighth, and Holland in the ninth to close it. That's Ned Yost's plan."

Well, yes. It certainly is.

But should it have been, in Game 2?

In the top of the sixth, Herrera threw nine pitches to snuff out a mini-rally.


In the bottom of the sixth, the Royals took a 7-2 lead.

Can Yost or anyone else reasonably argue that Jason Frasor or just about anybody else couldn't have pitched well enough in the seventh to hand off the lead to Wade Davis in the eighth? Remove Herrera right there, and he'll be exceptionally well-rested for Game 3. Let him throw a dozen or more pitches, and he might not.

In the event, things went even worse than we'd have expected. Despite issuing a couple of walks, Herrera didn't give up any runs. But he did wind up throwing 32 pitches, which might limit him to just one inning in Game 3.

If the Royals win Game 2, nobody's going to talk about those extra 23 pitches Herrera threw. But if the Royals are trying to protect a small lead in the middle of Game 3, people might suddenly remember.