I’ve often called this Kansas City Royals lineup “balanced”, and it’s usually a compliment. As we’ve seen throughout the regular season, and now again on the game’s biggest stage, that style of offense can also work against them when facing top-shelf pitching. Being balanced means not having any particular Royal in the lineup that pitchers must fear, and it seemed pretty clear that Madison Bumgarner wasn’t afraid of anyone in Game 4 of this 2014 World Series. KC’s MVP Alex Gordon came as close to filling that role as anyone on the roster during the regular season, and his recent struggles help explain why the Royals now find themselves down 3-2 in this series.
Alex Gordon’s .100 average in the Fall Classic is the lowest among any Royal with more than eight at-bats in this series. After hitting .300 against Los Angeles Angels pitching in KC’s first real playoff series, Gordon’s postseason career average now sits at just .170. That looks undoubtedly ugly, but he may be ready to break out at Kauffman Stadium.
Jake Peavy starts Game 6 for the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, and Gordon should be thrilled to see him again. In his career, Gordon hits .357 against Peavy with five RBIs in 28 career at-bats. The Royals won’t bring home the crown this season without run production from their MVP. After batting in nine runs in the seven wins over the Angels and Baltimore Orioles, KC’s leader in nearly every regular season power statistic has just one RBI in five World Series games. That lone run came against Peavy in Game 3.
Whether or not Gordon can contribute on Tuesday may decide whether or not KC survives for one more day and one final, World Series-deciding game.