They weren't bunting, stealing or taking the extra bag enough. They went away from the 'Small Ball' that got them through the Wildcard, Division Series and American League Championship Series.
The Royals played a certain way during the regular season and the style worked for them through the playoffs, but in crunchtime in the World Series, they lost their nerve.
Alex Gordon's hit to the wall in the ninth inning off of Madison Bumgarner was a prime example of their lack of courage in the toughest of moments. I blame the Third Base Coach, Mike Jirschele, who could have waved Gordon around third and pressed the Giants into earning the win with a defensive play.
The pundits who say Gordon would have been out by a long way are badly mistaken. If you look and analyze the play correctly, things would have been very different if Jirschele was paying closer attention to how the play was unraveling.
If Jirschele was doing his job the right way, he would have been waving Gordon in towards home plate and left the option of holding on at third to the last moment (he stopped waving a split second after Gordon rounded second base). This was the type of Royals agenda that was dictated for almost the entire season.
The bottom line is that the Royals did not stick to their gameplan and ultimately it came back to bite them bigtime. It is exactly what happened to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night in their loss to the Washington Redskins.
This season, the Dallas Cowboys have been exemplary in their run game with DeMarco Murray and have relieved pressure from Tony Romo and their passing game. With the improved running game, the passing game for the Cowboys is able to open up more and keep the opposing teams guessing.
Multiple times in the game on Monday, the Cowboys had opportunities to keep momentum on the ground, but they chose not to and risked their chances of winning. The mistake in not staying true to how they have gotten to be an elite team this season also put Tony Romo's health in jeopardy.
The lesson here is to 'know who you are, what you are best at doing, don't deviate and stick with it.'
For both teams, the losses were disappointing because they went down while losing their identity instead of either winning or losing with their identity and keeping their pride.
Unlike the Royals though, the Cowboys are not done with their season.
The Cowboys must look at what happened to them Monday and what happened to the Royals in the World Series to better understand how they must discipline themselves to stay true to who they are and what is working for them.