George Springer's failure to immediately run out a long drive in Game 1 of the World Series didn't sit well with A.J. Hinch though the Houston Astros manager is backing his team's potent slugger.
Springer ended up with a double on an eighth-inning play on Tuesday but may have able to reach third if he had run from the outset. The lack of hustle was magnified when Jose Altuve followed with a fly to right -- a play in which Springer could have tried to score from third -- with the Astros trailing by one in the eventual 5-4 defeat.
Hinch and Springer discussed the play twice. Springer called the manager late Tuesday night when he was surprised at the public backlash and the two met face-to-face on Wednesday.
Hinch said prior to Wednesday's Game 2 that it was "a mediocre base-running play" as opposed to "an egregious showmanship kind of pimp job, as they call it."
Springer skipped out of the box several times after belting the long drive to right-center field, leaving the impression he felt he had hit his second homer of the game. But the ball didn't clear the fence and Washington's Adam Eaton was unable to make the catch.
Springer didn't fully run until he was near first base and ended up with the two-bagger.
After the game, Springer was asked about the play and said he didn't want to pass up Kyle Tucker on the basepaths. Tucker was at second and went back to tag, and scored when the ball wasn't caught.
"I've been around George, I know how hard he plays," Hinch said. "I know he leaves it all out on the field. I talked to him late last night on the phone. He called me. He initiated the conversation. We followed up today with a personal meeting and walked through the different scenarios.
"I'm not sure if the play ends any differently, but everybody understands the look when it's a late entry into a play like that."
Hinch said he expressed to Springer that being at second base with one out instead of third effects strategy employed by both teams.
"He didn't want to be perceived or looked upon as missing an opportunity to advance," Hinch said. "And as I told him, I don't know what the infield (does), if they pitch Jose the best way and hits a fly ball to right field, I don't know if that fly ball to right field with Eaton's arm allows him to score.
"There's so much context and what-ifs. In this sport we always assume that the other way of doing things would have worked out perfectly. And as we know, that's not the case. But I wanted to encourage him to interpret the play the right way."
Earlier in the game, Springer set a record by homering in his fifth consecutive World Series game.
--Field Level Media