By Jason Wojciechowski on April 16, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I've said before that I don't do much in the way of factual recaps, since you can get those anywhere, but since I'm just recording these for posterity anyway, let me note the hilarity with which this contest ended. In the top of the twelfth inning, Jordan Norberto and Andrew Carignan combined to let the Royals take a 4-3 lead with two outs via an Eric Hosmer single (Norberto) and a Billy Butler double to left (Carignan). Coco Crisp had a strong assist on this, as his lame-duck throw likely contributed to the Royals sending Hosmer all the way from first and making it. The throw from the relay man wasn't terrible, but it wasn't perfectly on target, due in no small part, surely, to the amount of extra mustard required to make it even close to a play at the plate after Crisp's throw from the wall.
But, ah, you know the score. You read it in the title. So Jonathan Broxton, having been saved by Ned Yost, much to the delight of fans everywhere, for this exact situation, saw Alcides Escobar boot an easy grounder from Seth Smith. A four-pitch walk (!) to Jemile Weeks ensued, and Eric Sogard took a free pass on six pitches (not taking the bat off his shoulder for a single one) to load the bases. With this situation and one out, Coco Crisp, hero to us all, stepped to the plate. He did the most Coco thing you could do: roll a weak grounder to second base, so weak that the only possible play was at first base, thus letting the tying run score. With a base thus open, Broxton pegged Yoenis Cespedes, who glared out at the mound. (I don't approve of this, but he's been getting hit a lot, so I can understand it.)
Broxton, despite weighing approximately 350 pounds and thus being able to eat Yoenis Cespedes for lunch if he so desired, was apparently so rattled by the Cuban outfielder's glare that he promptly put a fastball square into Jonny Gomes's ass. Walkoff hit-by-pitch. It's the best way to win a game.
Josh Reddick had a strange at-bat in the fifth inning against Royals starter Bruce Chen. The thing ended up last ten pitches and saw Reddick line out to left on a nice diving catch by Alex Gordon, but I'm not sure that a single one of the last nine would have been called a strike. Reddick has clear athletic talents, both in the field and at the plate, but I'm getting very wary that his approach will keep him from tapping his full potential, parallel, perhaps, to the way that Andrew Bailey's injury situation will prevent him from becoming the year-in-year-out stud closer that his stuff could let him be.
Kelvin Herrera, who threw the eighth for Kansas City, throws very very hard. It was almost unfair for Yost to bring him in directly after Bruce Chen, who's a consummate purveyor of left-handed slop.
The HBP that Reddick received in the eighth inning was pretty scary, as the ball ricocheted off his shoulder into his jaw. He looked a little woozy getting up and being helped off the field. He got right back into things in the next series, though, so I'm assuming he passed all the concussion tests and such that I assume they gave him.
Brandon McCarthy wound up with solid numbers as a runs-allowed matter, got nine swinging strikes in 102 pitches, and generally seems ok from the numbers, but his command, again, did not seem top-notch. This contributed, I think, to ten of the twenty balls the Royals put into fair ground (counting the Billy Butler homer) being in the air. That's not the route to success for McCarthy.
Still, everything would have been fine had Brian Fuentes not permitted a game-tying homer to a lefty. That lefty was Alex Gordon, but still: that's Brian Fuentes's job.
Ryan Cook throws baseballs hard.