No. 3 Lorenzo Cain’s Race Home
You knew this was coming. Our tease a few slides back made that abundantly clear. In an era defined by speed and base-running ability, this moment will always be among the most fondly remembered.
After a lengthy rain delay in ALCS Game 6, the Kansas City Royals opened the bottom of the eighth inning looking to break a 3-3 tie. Cain got the frame started off right with a walk after fouling off some pitches against Roberto Osuna. Hosmer followed with a single down the right-field line.
Never breaking his stride, the fleet-footed outfielder scored well ahead of the throw as the Kauffman Stadium crowd went into hysterics.
Bautista knew he had no chance to throw Cain out at third base, so he spun to fire directly to second base in an attempt to keep Hosmer at bay. The move, which the Kansas City Royals knew about, allowed Cain to keep running. Never breaking his stride, the fleet-footed outfielder scored well ahead of the throw as the Kauffman Stadium crowd went into hysterics.
Joe Buck summoned it up best on the FOX broadcast, “He can fly!”
One could argue it was a risky move given there were no outs. Morales followed with a single that would have certainly scored Cain from third base. But this play, whether it had worked or not, signaled the intention of the Kansas City Royals: You put pressure on the defense and force them to make a play.
That philosophy was on full-display several times during this exciting era. It even shows up again later in this countdown.