Royals manager Ned Yost saw the ultimate example of Willie Bloomquist’s usefulness in the space of two innings in Friday night’s 10-inning, 2-1 win at Anaheim. Bloomquist, as a pinch-runner, stole a base and scored the tying run in the ninth inning. Then he belted a RBI single for the winning run in the 10th.
“He’s a National League player – that’s a National League style. A National League player can have a major impact on a game. You can sit there for nine innings and jump right into the fray and make a difference,” Yost said.
“It’s a little more difficult to do that in the American League. But what Willie brings is a comfort that I can do anything I need to do.”
The stolen base was impressively made while the third batter, Mike Aviles, was up and he did it successfully because he bided his time and picked just the right spot.
“He was making sure he gave himself the best opportunity to be successful instead of just blindly running,” Yost said.
Next pitch Aviles ripped a double and Bloomquist scored from second.
Bloomquist finished the game at first base and made a sharp fielding play and throw to second base for a force-out in the ninth. That’s another part of Bloomquist’s value.
“You can play him absolutely anywhere in the field with the exception of behind the plate and I’m not so sure that he couldn’t handle that,” Yost said.
Bloomquist was on deck in the 10th and had not yet batted in the game so the Angels walked David DeJesus intentionally to get to him.
“I was not the least bit upset when they walked David DeJesus yesterday because I just knew that Willie was one of the guys, just like (Wilson) Betemit, who’s out hitting early, he’s prepared to get in that game and be successful. And that’s what you want your bench people to do.”
Bloomquist ripped a RBI single and, after a slow start this season, that made him 14-for-38, .368, since May 22.