2. Mike Moustakas Makes “The Catch”
As mentioned before, defense is admittedly a little underrepresented on this list. However, this moment was clearly the top defensive one of the postseason. It might not even be particularly close.
When considering the impact of a defensive play there are a few things to take into consideration. Firstly, one must consider the ramifications of the play not being made. In that regard, Moustakas’ catch doesn’t measure up to, frankly, any ball put in play. Sure, the hitter gets new life, but they aren’t automatically on base.
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This instance, though, was huge. With nobody out in a 1-1 game, Adam Jones and the heart of the Orioles lineup were coming up in the sixth inning against Jason Frasor. Thanks to Moustakas’ hustle—and the momentum that it gave the Royals—the game remained tied.
That is until the bottom half of the inning when Butler hit a sacrifice fly to score Jarrod Dyson. The run gave the Kansas City Royals a 2-1 lead, which they held on to the rest of the way.
The victory, in turn, gave the Royals a commanding 3-0 lead in the ALCS. We’ll never know what might have happened if Moustakas didn’t put his body on the line for a nearly impossible catch. Maybe Jones strikes out and nothing changes. Or maybe he singles, Cruz follows with a two-run homer and the Orioles get back in the series with a huge road win.
Regardless of the significance you assign to the play, the excitement it generated for the Kansas City Royals and their fans makes it a worthy runner-up.