Mike Moustakas is gone for the year, out with an ACL injury.
However, we can still honor his memory with all his fantastic hits over the years. Let's make a trip down memory lane. Here are the top ten hits of his career.
10. September 9, 2015: Grand Slam in the seventh inning against Baltimore
The Royals were scuffling last September. After crushing everyone in the AL Central the entire year, they proceeded to lose and lose a lot going into the playoffs. At the time, it was disturbing, and many thought the slump would doom Kansas City's playoff run.
It did not, of course. Though the Royals ended up with a 11-17 September record, they won this game. Ahead 7-4 against the Orioles, Kansas City loaded the bases. Moustakas crushed a home run, lengthening the lead and providing a huge helping of momentum to the team.
9. September 9, 2012: go-ahead single against Chicago
Goose eggs all around in the tenth inning of an away game, Moose walked to the plate with two outs. A Billy Butler walk gave the Royals a runner on first, and Ned Yost took a chance, pinch-running Jarrod Dyson. It payed off. Moustakas slashed a single, putting the Royals in the lead.
8. April 16, 2014: go-ahead home run in the 11th inning against Houston
Mike Moustakas was not good in 2014; it was the year he was demoted to Omaha for a hot minute. On this game, Danny Valencia started at third base. Still, it was an extra innings contest, and Moustakas was a pinch hitter. In his second plate appearance of the game, which just happened to be in the 11th inning, Moose walloped a go-ahead home run. The Royals would tack on another run later that frame and Greg Holland earned the save.
7. April 22, 2014: Go-ahead home run in the fourth inning against Cleveland
A mere week later after the previous entry, Moustakas stepped up to the plate against Danny Salazar. With two runners on, two outs, and an 0-1 count, Kansas City was flirting dangerously with not scoring any runs that inning. Not so, said Michael, ripping a shot to right field for a three-run homer to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. It was the first of many wallops, as the Royals wore down Salazar and the bullpen to win 8-2.
6. April 30, 2013: go-ahead home run in the sixth inning against Tampa Bay
James Shields started a game against his former team, but was outdeuled by Alex Cobb--until the sixth inning. After Alcides Escobar and Butler's groundouts, Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain followed with two consecutive hits, scoring the Royals first run. Moustakas was not intimidated, and lifted a giant smash to give the Royals a lead, 3-2. A James Byler won $2300 in the Sonic Slam inning as well. Congrats, James.
5. September 5, 2013: walk-off home run in the 13th inning against Seattle
The Royals were attempting to finish their first winning season in a decade in 2013. They did succeed, in part helped by Moustakas' home run in the 13th of this epic, extra-inning game. Kansas City's previous run-filled frame was the seventh inning, and the homer bailed out Greg Holland's blown save in the ninth inning.
This game featured a cavalcade of random players, the lengthy game combining with expanded September rosters to yield hilarious results. Emil Bonifacio! Donnie Joseph! Jamey Carroll! Pedro Ciriaco! Brett Hayes! Random Royals will never not be funny.
4. August 23, 2015: go-ahead double against Boston
3. May 5, 2014: go-ahead single in the 11th inning against San Diego
In an interleague game against the Padres with two outs already logged, Moustakas rifled a ball into right field, scoring Salvador Perez. It gave the Royals the lead in the top of the 11th inning to make the score 5-4. Unfortunately, it was one of the few great moments of the game, as Holland and Tim Collins both earned blown saves en route to a 6-5 walkoff loss.
2. October 17, 2015: game-tying single in the seventh against Toronto
This was the David Price game. Bask in its glory.
1. October 2, 2014: go-ahead home run in the 11th inning against the Angels in Game One of the ALDS
How could it be anything else?
After the most ridiculous game the Royals had ever or will ever play, they met with the best team in the American League. Again, the Royals exhibited late inning magic. Moustakas crushed a pitch into the right field bleachers, setting the Royals atop the Angels. Greg Holland was waiting, and Greg Holland was at the height of his powers. The Angels didn't stand a chance.