October 23, 2014

Pinkel expresses concerns about the Mizzou offense and Mauk dodges media better than the pass rush (Google Hangout)

Listen to coach Pinkel’s brief and rather terse comments about the struggling offense.

Five-run sixth inning filled with some drama as Royals come roaring back to even World Series

Billy Butler connects for an RBI single in the sixth giving the Royals the lead (photo/MLB)

Billy Butler connects for an RBI single in the sixth giving the Royals the lead (photo/MLB)

On my preview of Game 2 of the World Series, heard across our Missourinet radio network on Wednesday afternoon, I stated the key for the Royals to win game two was for pitcher Yordano Ventura to be able to get into the sixth inning keeping it a one run game in either direction.

Royals manager Ned Yost needed to be able to get this game to his dominant bullpen if they wanted hopes of tying this series up.  The rookie pitcher did exactly that.  He pitched into the sixth, ran into trouble, but got bailed out by Kelvin Herrera who was hitting 100+ mph on the radar gun.

The bats came alive to chase Jake Peavy and beat up on a rusty San Francisco bullpen for five runs in the sixth, pushing the Royals to a 7-2 victory.  The Series moves to San Francisco on Friday tied up at 1-1.

The game had an eerie feeling to it when Gregor Blanco led off the game hitting a 3-2 pitch from Ventura into the right field bullpen to give the Giants another first inning lead.  However, Ventura showed great poise and retired the next three in order.

The Royals’ hitters were in a bit of a dilemma.  They needed to show a little more patience at the plate than what they did in game one, but the scouting report on Jake Peavy is to attack him early.  After Peavy gave up a lead off single to Alcides Escobar, his second baseman Joe Panik made a great play on a throw from Buster Posey to nab Escobar at second trying to steal.  With two outs, Lorenzo Cain doubled and Peavy made the mistake of walking Eric Hosmer.  That brought up Billy Butler who had 13-career hits against Peavy coming into the game and Butler laced a single into left center tying the game at 1-1 after the first.

A two-out double by Escobar in the second gave the Royals the lead after Omar Infante’s one out double.

The Giants have had success so far in this series getting the leadoff batter home when they reach base.  Pablo Sandoval doubled and scored on Brandon Belt’s double tying the game a 2-2 in the fourth.  The Royals caught a break when a fly ball to Nori Aoki in right field warranted a hard throw back into the infield as Belt acted as if he would tag up.  The throw in from Aoki was off the mark.  As the ball got away on the infield, Belt started for third, but tried to turn back.  Ventura got the loose ball and fired to second picking Belt off ending the threat.

The Giants put the leadoff hitter on again in the fifth and then in sixth on a single by Buster Posey.  A one out infield single from Hunter Pence put two men on and prompted Yost to go to Herrera.  Throwing as hard as 101 mph, Herrera coaxed a fly out and force out to end the threat.

Now the Royals were ready for Peavy who had settled down after the first two innings to retire ten straight.  Interesting fact about Peavy in the postseason.  In his seven previous starts, Peavy has never been able to finish the sixth inning.  We’re talking about a previous Cy Young winner and three time All-Star.

With a pitch count of only 54, it looked like Peavy was in shape to get through seven or possibly eight, but the Royals responded.  Lorenzo Cain singled and Eric Hosmer walked and just like that Peavy’s night was done, making it an eighth straight playoff non-quality start.

The Giants needed four pitchers to get through the inning after Jean Machi gave up a single to left for Butler’s second RBI of the game.  Javier Lopez faced Alex Gordon and Hunter Strickland came on and gave up an RBI double to Salvador Perez following a wild pitch, scoring two more runs.  Strickland then gave up a two run homer to Infante and the benches briefly cleared after a misunderstanding at home plate between Strickland and Perez.

Frustration was clearly boiling over for a San Francisco bullpen that had been just as effective as Kansas City’s in the postseason.  The Giants ‘pen entered Game Two having gone 10.2 innings without allowing a run.

“We showed them that we have fight in us, and I think they knew that already,” said Butler. We stepped up big there as a team, and that gave us some confidence.”

With a 7-2 lead, Herrera, after sitting for a half-hour struggled early in the seventh, but finished it off.  Then Wade Davis and Greg Holland got in some work and closed it out.

Those three relievers combined for 3.2 innings, one hit, two walks and six strikeouts.   Prior to the start of the World Series, the Royals bullpen went 16 innings against Baltimore and allowed just two runs.

The advantage leans heavily towards the Royals bullpen, but National League ballpark rules come into play.  The factors to watch in San Francisco is how Yost will handle the pitcher batting and double switches in late-inning situations.

Mizzou’s Ryan Rosburg, “If you’ve seen Hoosiers, it’s kinda like that,” describing practices under Anderson (Google Hangout)

Ryan Rosburg and Jonathan Williams III sat down with Missourinet to talk Tiger basketball (photo/Phil Kornblut)

Ryan Rosburg and Jonathan Williams III sat down with Missourinet to talk Tiger basketball (photo/Phil Kornblut)

It’s the men’s turn at SEC Basketball Media Days in Charlotte, NC.  Ryan Rosburg and Jonathan Williams III joined head coach Kim Anderson for the event earlier today.  The Tigers were picked right in the middle of the pack at 7th.

Kentucky was predicted to win the 2015 Southeastern Conference men’s basketball championship in voting by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.  The Wildcats, who are the overall preseason favorite for the 10th time since the 1998-99 season, tallied all 20 first-place votes.

No Tigers were picked to the preseason team, but I have no issues with that at all.  Keep the outside expectations low and fly under the SEC radar in the first season of Anderson and it will keep unnecessary outside pressure off.

Phil Kornblut sat down to chat with Rosburg and J3.

Listen to exclusive Missourinet audio on Mizzou hoops

The Phil joined me on a Google Hangout and we were discussing the Tigers, when he got kicked out of his prime seating location.  Enjoy the video!

Pingeton thinks senior Morgan Eye has a shot at setting NCAA three-point record. Mizzou picked 11th in the SEC preseason poll

Missouri Women's Basketball senior Morgan Eye during a basketball game in 2013.  (Photo courtesy/Mizzou Athletics)

Missouri Women’s Basketball senior Morgan Eye during a basketball game in 2013.
(Photo courtesy/Mizzou Athletics)

The Missouri Tigers are picked 11th in the SEC preseason poll, but will rely on senior Morgan Eye and her eye for the three point shot when it comes to raising expectations and wins.  The Tigers have back-to-back winning season and postseason appearances.

Eye, a senior from Montrose, Missouri, finished last season with 108 three pointers, sixth-most in the nation and her second consecutive year with more than 100.  She needs 103 this season to set the NCAA mark and Head Coach Robin Pingeton thinks she can get there.

“She’s had a tremendous offseason and over the course of the last four year’s she’s (Eye) got a much better understanding of change of speed on cuts and angles,” Pingeton told the SEC Network.  “Everybody knows she’s got a target on her back.  She’s got to come off a lot of screening action.  Her basketball I.Q. has led to being able to get so many different types of shots off.”

Eye is Mizzou’s all-time three-point leader at 283 and finished second in the nation averaging 3.48 three-point field goals per game.

South Carolina was predicted to win the 2015 Southeastern Conference women’s basketball championship in a voting of a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

SEC Preseason Poll

1. South Carolina (210)
2. Tennessee (191)
3. Texas A&M (179)
4. Kentucky (154)
5. Vanderbilt (150)
6. Georgia (132)
7. LSU (122)
8. Mississippi State (108)
9. Florida (96)
10. Auburn (83)
T11. Arkansas (77)
T11. Missouri (77)
13. Alabama (74)
14. Ole Miss (21)

Shields fell behind, Giants worked the count and a disappointing loss in Game One of the World Series

James Shields delivers a pitch to the Giants in Game One of the World Series. (photo/MLB)

James Shields delivers a pitch to the Giants in Game One of the World Series. (photo/MLB)

Baseball fans should be used to see this scenario from the San Francisco Giants.  After watching them dismantle St. Louis Cardinals pitching in a five game series, the National League champs are picking up right where they left off.  Royals top starter James Shields fell into hitter’s counts and the Giants struck early in a 7-1 final.

Shields got into a high pitch count and was done before he couldn’t finish the fourth inning because he was unable to spot pitches for strikes.  In five of the first seven batters that came up for the Giants in the first inning, Shields started them with off with a ball.

“It just wasn’t my night tonight,” Shields said.

Leadoff batter Gregor Blanco was up 2-1 in the count before eventually singling to center.  The second hitter Joe Panik flew out on a 1-0 pitch.  The heart of the order crushed Shields.

Buster Posey hit a 2-0 pitch to left.  After Pablo Sandoval took a pitch, he lined one into right field to score Blanco.  A great relay kept it a 1-0 score and Shields had the opportunity to escape with a small deficit, but again, fell behind 2-0 to Hunter Pence, who eventually homered deep to center on a 3-2 count.

With Sandoval on second with first base open, the Royals should have pitched around Pence who is hitting .444 in his last seven days.  Waiting on deck behind him was first baseman Brandon Belt, hitting just .182 in that same span.  The Royals elected to stick with the righty-righty matchup and it backfired.
With a man who carries the nickname “Big Game,” he certainly hasn’t delivered when it’s mattered most for this ball club.

“I was probably just overamped a little bit. I have to bear down and get the job done right there. That’s the bottom line. I didn’t get the job done tonight. Hopefully, I get another start.”

Shields got out of the next two innings, but in the fourth, more trouble. He had no choice but to face Pence and once again he fell behind 2-1 in the count and Pence doubled.  He went to third on a wild pitch and Shields walked Belt.  After another first pitch strike, Shields fell into a 2-1 hole and Michael Morse singled a run home to right field ending Shields’ night.

He went three plus innings and was charged with five runs.  The free agent to be, has not been impressive at all this postseason.  His start nearly derailed the Royals postseason in the Wild Card matchup against the A’s.  In four starts this playoff run, Shields is 1-1 having allowed 15 earned runs in 19 innings for a 7.10 ERA.