I'm still behind. I didn't get to watch last night's game beyond the second inning. Hoping to catch up. Here, a few bullets on Monday's Tommy Milone coming out party.
In my notes, I call every out on the bases a TOOTBLAN. The Royals had three TOOTBLANs in this loss, which matches up perfectly with the three walks that Milone issued. First, Josh Reddick showed off his cannon in right by throwing dead on to get Jason Bourgeois trying to tag and move to third. Second, Eric Hosmer tried to steal third. Yes, Eric Homser the first baseman. Kurt Suzuki's throws have been on point this season, and this was no exception. Hosmer's jump looked pretty good from second, but Suzuki sat him down anyway. Third, in the same inning, Jeff Francoeur got picked off on what didn't look like an amazing move by Milone -- I think Francoeur was going first-move, and it bit him.
Three walks and no strikeouts is not the way you typically throw eight shutout innings. Milone wasn't even pitching particularly to contact (like I said, three walks), but the Royals were willing to hit his pitches often enough to get a lot of easy fly-outs. What I can't tell is whether Milone was off with his location or whether his entire game is pitching just outside the strike zone and forcing hitters to practice extreme patience. TIME WILL TELL, I suppose.
Daric Barton made a diving catch on a line drive toward the hole in the fifth. Chris Carter immediately grabbed his car keys in case Barton was going to hit the DL, but everyone appeared to be fine.
Josh Donaldson knocked in the only run in the game on a line-drive single into right field. It's not clear whether he's a guy who likes to go to the opposite field or whether his swing is so long that he can't pull a fastball. I fear it might be the latter.
It seems like Luis Mendoza throws a nice hard sinker. I don't know why he's not a better pitcher. If I had to guess, I'd say secondary stuff. He left some off-speed pitches in the hitting zone against the A's.
I don't remember if I'd seen Yoenis Cespedes ground out before his eighth-inning bouncer against Jose Mijares. It was a relatively routine play, but he busted ass down the line and made it very close. If the A's and Royals traded shortstops, Cliff Pennington might have uncorked a throw six feet over Eric Hosmer's head in his hurry to get Cespedes.