Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Evan Longoria (38), who laid down a sacrifice bunt for the first time in nine years since 2014, put his team’s victory first.
Longoria reflected on the day after his team’s 9-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 2 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Monday.
Longoria, who started at third base for the eighth time on the day, reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and a sacrifice bunt. With one out in the third inning, he laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to second base.
It was the first time he had laid down a sacrifice bunt since Aug. 3, 2014, at home against the Los Angeles Angels while a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the second sacrifice bunt of his 16-year career.
“It was a bunt, trying to get a hit. I wanted to get a spark in that situation,” he said of the bunt. “I thought it was my best chance in that situation,” he continued.
It turned out to be a sacrifice bunt, leaving the runners on base, but the team’s bats exploded from there. Longoria also had an RBI single to left in the seventh.
The win “reflects what we’ve been doing all season,” he said. “Rather than relying on long balls, we’re making good contact at the plate and hitting to the whole field. We’re capitalizing on their mistakes and consistently putting pressure on their pitchers. The entire lineup, from the top of the order to the bottom of the order, is executing the game plan,” he said of the team’s offense.
The former No. 4 hitter in the World Series 15 years ago is now batting eighth. “I’m batting eighth for a reason,” he said. “The role of the bottom of the order is to connect offensive opportunities to the top of the order. This postseason, Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte have been outstanding. Getting runners in scoring position in front of them and creating scoring opportunities is the goal of a bottom of the order hitter like myself.”
Has he found it difficult to embrace his new role? “I came to this team to win. The games we are playing now are probably the most important games of our lives. Everyone is embracing the role.”
“Whether it’s a bunt in that situation in the third inning, whether it’s a pinch-hitter late in the game, I think it’s all part of what Tori (Lovello) is doing to help the team win. That’s all I’m thinking about right now. It’s about putting the players in the best position to help the team win. It’s not a hard mentality for me to get into.”
The 2008 American League Rookie of the Year, 메이저놀이터 three-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove, and one-time Silver Slugger added, “When I was younger, I didn’t understand how difficult it was to be in this position. The World Series is a completely different experience. You have to enjoy every moment. The best thing I can say to younger players is probably, ‘Don’t take anything for granted because this opportunity doesn’t come easy,'” he said.