Royals [redacted], Blue Jays 2
Well, Liam Hendriks shut down the Royals! The 26-yo RHP from Perth, Australia gave up just 1 hit over 4.1 innings, striking out 2 and walking nobody. Why was his stellar game cut short? Because he wasn't the starter. RA Dickey was and RA Dickey was dreadful.
We should now note that I hate the Royals' approach to baseball and I don't know how it wins games. What I do know is any MLB team would have beaten up Dickey yesterday. He had nothing and did not get out of the second inning.
After Dickey left, however, the Royals managed only 1 extra base hit. So you'd expect that they got very few additional runs. Wrong.
Has any team ever gotten more mileage out of singles than the Kansas City Royals? Does the concept of BABiP not exist when the Royals play? They not only added on runs after Dickey's exit; they added on 9. Nine. N–I–N–E. Their improbable luck on balls in play even showed up against Cliff Pennington, the first position player to ever pitch in a postseason game.
And Pennington isn't some random dude who won a contest. Twitter extraordinaire and actual Major League pitcher Brandon McCarthy had this to say about the typically nicknamed "Penny":
Penny has 4 pitches plus command. Could easily pitch in the big leagues— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) October 20, 2015
At Fangraphs yesterday, Jeff Sullivan found that teams that make lots of contact tend to have better success against really good postseason pitching. But the difference was very small—only a couple percentage points.
If you want the actual final score, go depress yourself... I'm not going to do that to you. Now onto an actual baseball game:
Mets 5, Cubs 2
Daniel Murphy homered. But that's not news any more, just something that happens every time the Mets play.
Jacob deGrom was superb. Which, again, pretty normal. (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 7:1 KBB, "unlucky" HR/FB)
The rest of the game was pretty strange:
• Wilmer Flores hit what looked like an inside the park home run, but the ball got stcuk in the ivy and the ground rules (Are you "ground rule vs book rule" people happy now!?) forced him to stop at second. The other runner had to stop at third.
• Kyle Schwarber dropped a line drive (after showing off his insane power a couple innings earlier).
Other Baseball News
• Clint Frazier hit a 3-run homer in the Arizona Fall League.
• There was no swearing involved in Troy Tulowitzki's Monday ejection. #Umpshow (3 separate Ken Rosenthal links there, if you didn't notice)