Gregarious on Gregg

Sometimes, even the most effective prophylactics fail. With an effectiveness percentage of 84, every once in a while … so too does Kevin Gregg. 

21 out of 25 times, Gregg has deployed the Optic Blast and picked up the Cyclops Save. His job is to protect a lead of three runs or less, and occasionally opponents get the best of him. Surprisingly, he’s only blown four saves this year although sometimes it seems like ten or more.

Not to sound like a Kevin Gregg apologist, but it’s easy to peg this loss on him simply because he was the last guy out there.


Unlike Saturday evening’s game against the Orioles, Kevin Gregg did an okay job of finding the strike zone. The only real big mistake he made was walking Jose Guillen on four straight pitches to put the go-ahead run on base with two outs.

Other than that, the Royals nickel and dimed him for a couple of ground ball singles … and frankly, that could’ve happened to any other reliever in the bullpen, not just Kevin Gregg. Things like that are bound to happen when you’re playing against the squad with the highest team batting average in the majors.

As an aside, check this out: 73 % of all the Royals hits have been for singles. The Blue Jays on the other hand have 55 % of their total bases as singles. What does this mean exactly? I’m not totally sure, but it probably equates to the Royals nickle and diming plenty of other teams as well.

Cito was correct when he said the team didn’t play good fundamentals. The play that stands out in my mind was in the top of the fourth when Adam Lind got nailed at third base trying to advance on a sac fly.

Since he was tagged out before Wells reached the plate, Lind’s third out negated what would’ve been a run by Vernon. Had Adam Lind just stood there at second base, Wells probably scores on the sac fly and there are still two out.

Instead, Lind got a little too aggressive trying to draw the throw away from home plate and it cost him dearly. It’s just baseball fundamentals that you don’t make the third out of an inning at third base, and that’s especially true on a sac fly play.

In a strange way, I don’t feel all too badly about handing that game to the Kansas City Royals because it’s not like they have much to celebrate these days. It was only their second walk-off win of the season.

Let them pile up at home plate and use it as a lesson for the future. Don’t tag up and go second to third base unless you’re absolutely sure you’ll get there.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

6 thoughts on “Gregarious on Gregg

  • July 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    "Other than that, the Royals nickel and dimed him for a couple of ground ball singles … and frankly, that could've happened to any other reliever in the bullpen, not just Kevin Gregg."

    That's because our bullpen is not very good!!!

  • July 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Callum, I know the relievers in the Jays bullpen take a lot of flack (Gregg and Frasor mostly), but I don't think they're nearly as bad as some people paint them out to be.

    The Jays bullpen ranks 6th in the AL with a combined 3.93 ERA, so they're not the best … but they certainly aren't the worst.

  • July 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    On the bright side, Yunel Escobar continues to look good at the plate. The guy's already laid down more bunt singles than the entire rest of the team for the whole year.

  • July 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    sadp, I wish Fangraphs or Baseball Reference had a way to track bunt singles – and I don't doubt that Yunel already has more in one week than the entire team has all year.

  • July 21, 2010 at 3:05 am

    The reason the Jays' pen ranks as well as it does is because Camp is the glue that holds that shit together and Cito throws his arm off.

  • July 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    No doubt. I think Camp is this year's version of Jesse Carlson. Camp has already tossed 48 innings through 43 games … given Camp has been a machine this year.

    Once the manager finds an arm he likes, he tends to stick with him for the rest of the season.

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