'Really hot' Hosmer dialed in with men on base
KANSAS CITY -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer's teammates all seem to agree on one thing: Hosmer, especially with men on base, is locked in.
"Oh, he's seeing it good right now," shortstop Alcides Escobar said after the Royals' 7-1 win over the Mets in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night. "He's seeing guys on base; he gets focused."
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain agreed, noting, "We all know we just have to get on. Have good at-bats, keep the line moving, get on base and guys like Hos and [Kendrys Morales] will get us home."
Added veteran outfielder Alex Rios, "He's just a good young hitter. We've got a lot of them in here."
But none are driving runs home quite like Hosmer. On Tuesday night in Game 1, Hosmer delivered two sacrifice flies, including the game-winner in the 14th inning.
On Wednesday, Hosmer delivered the go-ahead two-run single in the fifth off Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, and the Royals were off and running.
"Just trying to get good pitches and swinging when I see them," Hosmer said.
Hosmer already owns the franchise record for career postseason RBIs with 27, having passed George Brett's mark of 23 during Game 1 of this Series.
Oh, and Hosmer also has the franchise's RBI mark for a single postseason with 15. And with at least two games left, Hosmer has a chance to break the MLB all-time single-postseason mark of 21, set by David Freese of the Cardinals in 2011.
"He's just really hot right now," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Just seeing pitches and not missing them."
Hosmer said the key is swinging early.
"I just try and be aggressive [in those RBI spots]," he said. "I just try and get something good early to hit and not miss it. With [the Mets], with the stuff that they're featuring on the mound, you can't afford to get in a hole with these guys.
"That's one thing we're consciously trying to do as an offense, get good pitches and not miss them. Because a guy like deGrom, a guy like [Matt Harvey], it's too hard to be deep in the count on them, because of how effective their pitches are, and how much more effective they make them when they have two strikes."
The other key, Hosmer said, is to not waste scoring opportunities against talented pitchers -- not a major revelation but one the Royals have adhered to in the postseason.
"I just think as a team, and especially off a guy like deGrom," Hosmer said, "you know any time you've got him on the ropes, any time you have opportunities with guys on base, you've got to make the most out of it.
"Facing a guy like that, you might not get many opportunities like that, so I just think as a team, we all realize how important it is, and you just really see everybody bear down, put together good at-bats and fight off tough pitchers' pitches, and hope for him to leave it out over the plate so we can do some damage on it."
That has happened, and now the Royals take a commanding 2-0 Series lead to New York for Game 3 on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX; 8 p.m. game time). But Hosmer knows his team isn't going to get overconfident after what happened last year in the World Series.
"You realize nothing is over," he said. "You realize the Series is far from over. There's still a lot of work yet to do. Last year we took a 2-1 lead in San Francisco and were feeling pretty good about ourselves, and we had a three-run lead in the next game [before eventually falling to the Giants in Game 7].
"You have to realize as a team, as an offense, you've got to keep your foot on the gas and keep pushing, because that team with that staff, they have the ability to reel off a couple of good outings in a row, and their offense has the ability to get hot."