The old adage is, "Good teams will find a way to win. Bad teams will find a way to lose."
Right now, the Tigers are the definition of that "good team." They are, quite frankly, the hottest team in baseball. The Royals are…..well….not. And as the best team in baseball plays a series against the worst team in baseball, there have been some interesting games.
Today was no different
After the Tigers put up a 0 in their half of the first, the Royals countered by putting up 6 in their half of the frame. More than half of these runs came through back to back to back jacks by their 5-6-7 guys. This would allow most teams to breathe a sigh of relief.
But, not the Royals.
They had lost their last 12 games and the Tigers were riding a 5 game winning streak as well as one win away from playing .700 ball. And, they also saw a similiar lead quickly evaporate in the 2nd game of this very series. That game they were up 4-0 at one point and ended up dropping the game 8-5.
So, even after being up 6-0 every Royals fan knew that they were a long way from being out of the woods. And sure enough, The Tigers slowly started climbing back. They started by cutting KC’s lead in half in the top of the 2nd. They would add 5 more runs on top of that in the next 6 innings to have 8 runs at the end of 8. KC would muster one run in 4th and one more in the 6th to have a tie ball game at the end of 8.
In the top of the 9th, Detroit would take the lead for the first time this game by getting 5 hits; 3 of them homers to make it 13-8. KC threatened with a couple of baserunners, but were unable to plate any.
KC (4) – Graffanino, Berroa, Mientkiewicz and German
Detroit (4) – Thames (2), Monroe, Rodriquez
This marks the 2nd time in 3 days that KC has hit 4 home runs and still lost. It shows that home runs don’t win games and they certainly don’t win championships. At least not home runs alone. It takes more than that.
It’s the same reason why I’m against a salary cap in baseball. Everybody complains about the Yankees that they can buy whoever they want. Now, I really like the Yankees, but do you seem them winning the championship every year? Nope. Because, even if you have the best team on paper, it doesn’t mean you’re going to win it all.
This is also why I get worried when the Cardinals seem to be getting too dependent on an Albert Pujols home run. If everyone isn’t participating, you aren’t going to win.
I asked in an earlier post what would it take for the Cardinals to win it all. I pointed out that for 2 straight years we had the best team in baseball. So, the best record doesn’t equate championships.
And the Royals should serve as warning that a lot of flashy home runs don’t necessarily even will the game, let alone a series or even the World Series. It’s about more than that. It’s about a team that depends on each other and knows that when one person is down, someone else will pick them up. It’s about small ball, hit and running, squeeze plays and excuting the easy plays.
The Royals don’t seem to be doing a lot of these things and don’t seem to be playing a lot of "team ball" right now.
I hope the Cardinals take note of that and stay consistent in their team effort. If they do, maybe this will be our year.
Speaking of the Cardinals, we play tomorrow agains the San Diego Padres. Suppan will be first up for the ‘Birds, coming off a win in his last start. It sure would be nice to close out this road trip with a sweep, or at the very least, the series win.