The Royals did it again. Just when you thought they'd finally made a mistake, just when the vaunted defense and bullpen looked like they'd cracked, just as the Mets were two outs away from taking the first game of the World Series, Kansas City came storming back.
In the 8th, an error by Gold Glover Eric Hosmer led to an unearned run off of Kelvin Herrera, giving New York a 4-3 lead. Jeurys Familia entered in the 9th, bringing with him a season record of 48 saves and one hold in 54 save situations (including playoffs) for a 90.7% success rate; his last blown save had come on July 30. But with one out, Alex Gordon homered to tie the game, because of course he did. The Royals, regularly praised for manufacturing runs using long, cooperative rallies, instead got a long ball right when they needed it from a guy with a career .435 slugging percentage. When you combine a ton of talent with just the most uncannily amazing timing imaginable, this is what happens.
Then things dragged on in that Royals kind of way, where you already know KC is going to win and just wish they'd get it over with already. By the time we reached the 14th, each team put up one good threat in extra innings and we'd moved on to a new pitching matchup of Chris Young against Bartolo Colon. The Mets went down in order, but in the bottom of the frame David Wright made an error on a routine grounder to lead things off and that was enough to open the floodgates. Soon the bases were loaded with nobody out, and Hosmer lifted a sac fly to end it.
Just like that, Hosmer went from potentially being the goat of Game 1 to arguably being the hero (it was his second sac fly of the game in a one-run win). And so go the Royals.
Game 2 (Royals lead series, 1-0)
Time: 5:07 p.m. PT
Location: Kauffman Stadium, KC
Starters: Johnny Cueto vs. Jacob deGrom
In Cueto's last start, he gave up 8 runs to the Blue Jays, and he's only really been good once in three tries this postseason. Meanwhile, deGrom has been excellent in all three of his playoff starts. The pitching matchup would seem to favor the Mets. But no pitcher seems to be immune to KC's hyper-aggressive, nickel-and-dime offensive attack, and even if you beat their starter the pressure is still on you to hold your lead so that you don't need to score more off of their ridiculous bullpen.
Can the Mets stop the Royals, or will they head back to New York with an 0-2 deficit?
|NEW YORK METS||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|Curtis Granderson - RF||Alcides Escobar - SS|
|David Wright - 3B||Ben Zobrist - 2B|
|Daniel Murphy - 2B||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Yoenis Cespedes - LF||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|Lucas Duda - 1B||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Travis d'Arnaud - C||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Michael Conforto - DH||Salvador Perez - C|
|Wilmer Flores - SS||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Juan Lagares - CF||Alex Rios - RF|
|Jacob deGrom - RHP||Johnny Cueto - RHP|