The chances were looking pretty slim for the Royals. Down 2-4 to the Rays last night in the top of the ninth, it looked like it was going to be another disappointing series loss at the wrong time in the season. It looked like the Royals were going to be coming back to Kauffman with their heads held low, about to face the toughest team in the division. Then Salvador Perez stepped up to the plate.
We all know the value of home runs in the MLB, but we never truly appreciate them, I think, until they have a major impact on a game. For instance, the grand slam in the fourth inning that put the Rays up 4-2 with one swing. It seemed as though that sucked the life out of all the Royals players and fans.
I can’t imagine what Salvy was thinking when he came to the plate in the ninth. Two runners on, one out, and a chance to start clawing back into the game. I can honestly say the pressure would be too much for me to handle. Probably most of you, too.
Instead of cracking under pressure (like he did in his previous at-bat when he popped up to 2B with bases loaded) Salvy took the pressure, and smashed it to RF. I was sitting in my car listening to the game, and cheered so loud I actually shook the car. That’s how excited I was.
It’s safe to say this Royals team isn’t the most exciting team, and home runs are hard to come by. This one couldn’t have come at a better time.
Salvy didn’t just win a game last night. He invoked a fire in the Royals players and fans at just the right time. The Royals are going to need all the energy and passion they can get against the Tigers, and hopefully finish the first half of the season on a high note. 4.5 GB the Tigers for first, the Royals are sitting pretty in second place.
Salvy remind us why we all love home runs. He reminded us how they can make or break a game. He reminded us how they get our blood flowing and fists pumping. He reminded us how much better they are than singles and stolen bases.
Salvy’s home run last night was more than a home run. It was a majestic, beautiful gift from the baseball gods that might just be enough for the Royals to punch the Tigers square in the nose on our home turf.
Thank you, Salvy.