10/28/10 2:35 AM ET
Kinsler's aggressiveness costly on basepaths
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
But sometimes the one way is the wrong way. An ill-fated decision on the bases led to a key out in the eighth inning of the Rangers' 11-7 loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series at AT&T Park on Wednesday.
Kinsler led off the eighth by chopping a single against San Francisco reliever Sergio Romo on three hops to second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who threw late and wide of the bag. However, first baseman Aubrey Huff dove to his left to grab the throw before it could careen into foul ground and possibly out of play.
Kinsler, believing the ball had eluded Huff, turned toward second base. Had Kinsler not made the ill-fated turn, Texas would have had a man on base and a better chance at erasing what at the time was an 8-4 deficit.
"I didn't see much," Kinsler said. "I saw the throw was going to be wide. I didn't get a full look at it and I heard the crowd react, so I figured it went by [Huff]. I took one step and I saw that he came up with it, and I was out."
It's not the first time Kinsler's zeal on the bases has led to a bad play at a key time.
In Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, the Rangers -- much like Wednesday night -- blew an early lead and were down by one against the Yankees. Kinsler drew a four-pitch leadoff walk against New York reliever Kerry Wood. However, Wood came with a pickoff mood and caught Kinsler, who had already begun to take off for second. It was a key moment in the Yankees' 6-5 victory.
Of course, Kinsler recovered, and so did Texas, which won the ALCS in six games.
Kinsler wasn't the only culprit in the Rangers' sloppy performance Wednesday. They committed four errors -- two by Vladimir Guerrero, who shed his normal designated-hitter tag in a National League park to play right field. Ace Cliff Lee gave up seven runs (six earned) in 4 2/3 innings. He had never given up more than five runs or pitched fewer than seven innings in any previous postseason game.
But with the success of this year's playoffs behind him, Kinsler can chalk up Wednesday to just another set of crazy circumstances that make the game fun.
"That's the beautiful thing about baseball, you never know what's going to happen," Kinsler said. "I don't know how many critics or predictions said there was going to be a Rangers-Giants World Series. That's the beautiful thing about this game.
"We try to perform to the best of our abilities. It's just a baseball game. Obviously, it's a big baseball game. We were confident coming in. We played OK. We just had a couple of rough innings there."