Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Put Pressure on the Giants Defense
Much has been made of the Royals ability to steal bases. During the regular season, the Royals led all of baseball with 153 steals, 15 more than the second place Los Angeles Dodgers, and 31 more than the next highest total in the American League. Not only were the Royals prolific thieves on the basepaths, but they were also extremely successful, stealing bases at an 81% rate, third in baseball by mere tenths of a percent.
That ability to not only take the extra base, but to steal bases as well, has carried over to the postseason. Unsurprisingly, the Royals have stolen the most bases in the playoffs with thirteen, nine more than the next closest team. With Terrance Gore and Jarrod Dyson ready to come off the bench, and with Nori Aoki, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar in the starting lineup, the Royals could field a track team. It is little wonder that the Royals running game was able to get into the heads of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series.
Add in the Royals ability to make contact to their impressive running game, and it is easy to see why the opposition would feel as though they are facing a relentless offense. While the Royals do not walk, they also do not strike out, putting the ball in play and letting their speed go to work. The threat of the stolen base, and the Royals ability to take an extra base, could potentially force the defense into a mistake. When that has happened this postseason, the Royals have been able to take advantage.
How can the Royals keep putting pressure on the Giants, and potentially force them into mistakes?