Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Unhappy Recap: Royals 5 Mets 4

What a crazy way to start off a World Series, with an inside-the-park home run. Just a crazy fluke play. I'm still not sure if Cespedes really lost the ball, or there was confusion between him and Conforto, and he pulled up thinking Conforto would catch it. But I do think Lagares makes that play 99 times out of 100.

Also, given Lagares's performance, I think there is a pretty good chance he starts the rest of the Series in center with Conforto at DH.

Kelly Johnson is 1 for 7 in the playoffs. Michael Cuddyer is 1 for 11. Unfortunately, Conforto is 1 for 17.

But the game was really lost by Jeurys Familia. I don't blame him. He's been lights out and you can't expect him to be perfect. But in a short series against a good team you just can't afford to play a game in which you took a lead into the 9th inning. Especially because of how unlikely it seems the Mets would be able to do the same against Wade Davis.

The Mets need better production from Cespedes, Duda and d'Arnaud if they are going to win this series. Cespedes looks terrible at the plate right now.
The Mets bullpen pitched well, Reed, Clippard and even Colon, but they just couldn't hold out that long.
As Reissberg pointed out, so many, rare, unusual, downright crazy things happened in this game: the inside-the-park HR, a run-scoring error, a game-tying HR, the longest game in World Series history (tied), a TV power outage, and the death of the starting pitcher's father before the game.
But here's the bottom line: the Royals are an excellent team. They are great at building rallies because they make contact and cut down their strokes to hit singles, instead of swinging like Cespedes trying to hit the ball 500 miles. They play great defense and their bullpen is spectacular (thought I can't figure out how soft-tossing junk-baller Chris Young so thoroughly dominated the heart of the Mets order.
In a short series between two evenly-matched teams, each game means so much. You never know when a bad bounce or a lucky break will turn against you (like a ball hitting third base with your slowest runner chugging down the line) so you never want to be in the position of having to play must-win games.
But as I always say, momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher. Jacob deGrom has been great in these playoffs, Johnny Cueto has been bad.
If that holds to form in Game 2, the Mets will come home with the advantage again.

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