KC Royals: Five Things About Game 2 Comeback VS. BlueJays
By John Viril
Oct 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) scores a run during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game two of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
3. ERIC HOSMER’S BASERUNNING WAS THE KEY TO THE COMEBACK
The key to Saturday’s seventh-inning rally was two baserunning plays from Eric Hosmer. First, Hosmer ran on the pitch that Kendrys Morales grounded toward second base sent by first base coach Rusty Kuntz. If Hosmer had not been running on the pitch, the Blue Jays would have a perfect double play ball. Lorenzo Cain would still have scored the second run of the inning, but with two outs and no one on base, the Blue Jays would have been in position to escape the seventh inning with a one-run lead.
You can see a replay of the inning below:
Instead, Mike Moustakas came to the plate with Hosmer on second and one out. That’s when Hosmer made his second outstanding running play when he correctly read that Moose’s liner would be out of reach for a leaping Ryan Goins at second. Hosmer didn’t hesitate as the ball came off Moustakas’ bat, and that jump allowed him to score the tying run.
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This sequence shows how the KC Royals team speed helps them pull off late rallies. They’re a multi-faceted offense that can do a little bit of everything. Hosmer isn’t a speed guy like Terrance Gore, Lorenzo Cain, or Jarrod Dyson, but he’s got enough juice in his wheels to swipe a bag or take an extra base.
Most of the Kansas City lineup can make plays with their legs. That ability allows the Kansas City Royals to fully exploit the least little mistake by their opponents. Whereas the Blue Jays seemed to be waiting for someone to knock one out of park when they were trying to make up a three-run deficit in the ninth, the KC Royals can take advantage of any opportunity that might emerge late in the game.
Hosmer’s running plays kept the pressure on Blue Jays pitcher David Price rather than swinging to Moustakas to get the tying run with two outs and no one on base.
While Hosmer is gifted with better wheels than most first basemen, he’s hardly a speed demon. Instead, the Kansas City Royals used smart, aggressive decisions from both Hosmer and the coaching staff to get five runs out of a rally that could have run out of steam at two.
Next: Hochevar's Fifth Inning Escape Shows The Value Of KC's Bullpen Depth