Once again, it looked bleak for the Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, hosting game 2 of a three-game set against the powerful Washington Nationals.
Heading into the bottom of the 8th, the Royals hadn’t hit–again–and had given up 6 runs and now needed a rally in order to salvage a much needed win after having gone 2-6 in its last 8 games.
KC pitchers had checked off one important key to the series by keeping Bryce Harper at bay. The NL MVP is batting .095 in his last six games, including 0-5 Tuesday thanks to solid pitching. It’s the other players which have been taking advantage of the opportunity and hurting the Royals.
In typical Kansas City fashion, the last at-bats seemed to spark something in the quiet sticks of the Royals. After bringing the score closer at 6-4, the Mike Moustakas singled to center with two men on base, notting the game up at 6 a piece.
Three batters later, again with two men on, a struggling Lorenzo Cain stepped up. Cain is batting meager .220 so far this season and can’t seem to put the ball in play. Some have argued that he appears to be swinging for the fences every time he’s up, which isn’t how he’s made his money when it comes to offense. In fact, no one on the Royals lineup is considered a home run-hitter.
This time was different. With an important win on the line and the team in need of something positive as they scratch to remain .500 on the season, Cain took a pitch from Jonathan Papelbon and sent it to deep left-center field for a walk-off win and a huge celebration from his teammates.
Not only was the win good for a team in the midst of a slump, but equally as important for one of KC’s best players to have success in an important situation.
In baseball, losing streaks and winning streaks seem to follow each other and typically shouldn’t trigger extreme high’s or extreme low’s either way due to the length of the season in Major League Baseball. However, for a team coming off back-to-back World Series appearances, the latter of the two resulting in a championship, .500 baseball and losing streaks look the sky is falling.
The Royals don’t listen to the critics, though. They keep playing baseball and show up to the stadium, each day knowing today is going to be their day as long as they remain patient and continue down the path which has brought them so much success over the past several seasons.
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