Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Unsung hero: Elvis Andrus
By Richard Durrett
DETROIT -- The bat and then the speed of Elvis Andrus in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 7-3 Game 4 win impacted the game and allowed the Rangers to make a comeback.
With Ian Kinsler at third base and one out in a 2-1 game, the Tigers were forced to draw the infield in. Kinsler stole third base on a 2-2 pitch, which Andrus took. So he had one chance to try to drive a ball into the outfield and past the drawn-in infield. And he did it, sending a pitch just over the head of second baseman Ramon Santiago to score Kinsler to tie the game.
But Andrus wasn't through. His presence at first base drew five throws from starter Rick Porcello. And Porcello's final one was wild, getting away from first baseman Miguel Cabrera and rolling into the Rangers dugout. That put Andrus at second. He scored moments later on Michael Young's single up the middle.
"One of the things I did last year was be aggressive on the bases, and I wanted to get back to that," Andrus said. "That at-bat, I was ready to go. I got a good jump and Michael came through. He was watching and putting a lot of attention on me and he threw it away."
Andrus was hitting just .167 coming into the game and hadn't put up the offensive numbers he hoped. But he certainly contributed in the sixth on Wednesday.
"It was huge," Andrus said. "It hasn't gone the way I've wanted it to, but we're winning. Right now it's not about what I've accomplished. It's about winning the games. I'm going to do everything I can to help us do that."