Alex Gordon Inspires Rejoicing, Hope


April 25, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) congratulated by teammates after hitting a grand slam home run in the tenth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are in first place after a tough road trip filled with off days, postponements, and difficult opponents. And they came out of it 4-3 and stay in first place.

While Thursday afternoon’s game was decided by a bases loaded walk by George Kottaras, the punctuation mark on the win was delivered by Alex Gordon:

After Lorenzo Cain doubled, Mike Moustakas walked. A wild pitch to Jeff Francoeur sent both up one base and, to get a force out, the Tigers had Phil Coke intentionally walk Francoeur. Kottaras worked a five pitch walk to bring in the lead run, then Darin Downs took over for Coke. Chris Getz reached on a fielder’s choice that retired Moustakas at the plate and Gordon came up with two outs.

And destroyed a 2-0 fastball.

The Internet lit up (or at least, the Royals fan side of the Internet did):

In fact, Alex Gordon ended up being a trending topic on Twitter:

Just as impressive as hitting a home run was the context in which he did it. Comerica Park is a big stadium, especially out to center. Downs was brought in because he was a lefty and Jim Leyland wanted to get the platoon advantage.

Some advantage.

Immediately after, the thought turned to Gordon’s place on the team and a reminder of his story. Like Jeff Herr, I recall questioning Gordon’s role on the Royals back in 2010 when he was sent down.

That provides some hope. The early-season stories have centered around the struggles of Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, two highly-touted prospects at every step, who have struggled this year (Moose much more so than Hosmer). Gordon had similar struggles, facing a disappointing rookie year, a nice sophomore effort, then a series of injuries during 2009 (torn labrum) and 2010 (broken thumb) that kept him from getting any kind of groove going. He should have been an All-Star in 2011, probably 2012 as well, and this year, well, you can vote here to help him get there this time around.

I have to agree with those sentiments. Alex Gordon is the man.