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Run free, Ned

Jamie Squire

Jarrod Dyson found himself on first base last night to lead off the top of the sixth inning. With the pitcher's spot coming up next, Yost went to his bench and brought in Norichika Aoki to face Yusmeiro Petit.

In a precursor of innings come and gone, it came to nothing. Aoki grounded sharply to first, beginning the always enjoyable 3-6-3 double play and killing any faint hope of a rally.

The problem doesn't have to do with any of the decisions Ned Yost made, and I highly doubt that Dyson was given a red light in a tie game in the sixth inning. No, if we're going to point fingers, the onus is most likely on Aoki for grounding out on the second pitch of the at-bat, disallowing Dyson ample time to make a move for second.

The Royals speed was a storyline in the Wild Card game, considering they tied a major league record for stolen bases in a playoff game. It was a factor in the ALDS, keeping the Angels on their toes. It was a factor in the ALCS, considering the Orioles devised an entire scheme for holding runners to try and neutralize them on the basepaths.

So far in the World's Series, it has been decidedly less so. Kansas City has attempted two stolen bases, being successful once.

Part of this is a result of circumstance; the Royals were down by a lot in Game 1 and Game 4, and were up big late in Game 2. You are less likely to run in those situations. In Game 3, they didn't get on base in the late innings, so it never really came up.

If the Royals are going to be successful against Madison Bumgarner today, it is going to come down to taking advantage of their opportunities. And one of their distinct advantages, throughout the season and the early part of the playoffs, has been the running game. Hopefully they can capitalize on them today.