Back in 2010 when Elvis Andrus emerged as one of the best young, electrifying players in baseball, he was doing it by wreaking havoc on the bases and being a real headache for opposing pitchers.
Since then, it seems Andrus has gradually gotten away from being a pest on the bases; and while he's still stealing bases has shown a tendency to make some boneheaded plays at times, too.
On Monday night in the Texas Rangers' rout of the first-place A's, Andrus showed why he can be so dangerous with some vintage aggressive and smart baserunning.
In the top of the sixth inning, Andrus hit what should have been a single back up the middle to Oakland's notoriously weak-armed center fielder Coco Crisp. It was a routine single, but Andrus gunned it right out of the box and never slowed until he slid into second base ahead of Crisp's hurried throw for a double.
After that, he advanced to third base on a shallow fly out to Crisp, once again taking advantage of his poor throwing arm and beating an off-line throw to third base. After that, Andrus kept the pressure on when Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson was chased back to the bullpen mounds in foul territory to catch a pop-up for the second out. Andrus tagged at third and bolted for home, sliding in under a high throw from Donaldson to score one of his two runs.
Any time the Rangers put up 14 runs against the A's, especially these days, it's fun times for all. But Andrus' turn of events there in the sixth inning was a highlight in a night that was full of them.