Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Missed Opportunities hurt Mets in Game 1 of World Series

KC leads Series 1-0

While it is easy to talk about how close the Mets came to winning Game 1 of the 2015 World Series, the fact remains Game 1 as a whole was a series of unfortunate events that plagued the Mets from start to finish, as the Royals pulled away 5-4 in a 14-inning marathon.

For the very get go, Game 1 got off to an inauspicious start with Alcides Escobar rounding the bases on an inside the park home run that Yoenis Cespedes badly misplayed to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. The Mets spent the entire night trying to forget that run ever happened.  If Cespedes makes that catch, perhaps Jeurys Familia is pitching to Alex Gordon with a two-run lead in that ninth inning?

Give the Mets credit they did their best to put that moment behind, which makes this Game 1 loss even more excruciating.

New York tied the game on an infield single by d’Arnaud in the fourth inning; took the lead on a Curtis Granderson homer in the fifth, and added to that lead with a Michael Conforto sac fly in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough. The Royals stormed back to score two runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at three, with Mike Moustakus’ base hit proving to be the dagger that ended Matt Harvey’s night.

Harvey had a shaky outing in Game 1. Perhaps the 10-day layoff between starts left him a little rusty, as he wasn’t commanding the zone much at all. Harvey’s pitches were flat and the Royals were hacking at everything the “Dark Knight” threw. Clearly the Royals are not intimidated at all by the Mets power arms, which is a scary thought.  

In the eighth inning, the Mets caught the biggest break of all, when a Wilmur Flores bouncer to first base went underneath the glove of Eric Hosmer at first base, allowing Juan Lagares to round third for the go-ahead run, leaving Mets fans with flashes of Bill Buckner dance in their heads, but, sadly it wasn’t enough.

Alex Gordon’s home run off of Familia was the punch to the gut Mets fans were hoping would not come in this series. Some on social media even compared it to the Yankees comeback against the Mets 15-years ago in Game 1 of the 2000 World Series. While the game would go on into the 14th inning, the home run in the ninth took all the air out of the Mets.

HEROES: The Mets heroes in Game 1 were Granderson, Juan Lagares and Wilmur Flores. Lagares was the brightest star of the night. He came into the game late as a defensive substitution, but was tremendous with his bat, dropping down a bunt for a single, and working an epic at bat against Kelvin Herrera to get on base as the lead-run. Lagares proved he should be in the starting lineup the rest of the series.  

Granderson, of course was brilliant. His home run gave the Mets the lead, and he also worked out two tough walks. Flores worked very long and consistent at bats as well. His grounder to first almost became the defining moment of Game 1.

ZERO: Yoneis Cespedes. Not sure what was going through Cespedes’ head on that fly ball in the first inning, but it turned out to be THE biggest mistake of the game. On top of that Cespedes was 1-for-6 at the plate, and struck out in a couple of big spots with men on base for the Mets.

OUTLOOK: The Mets need to win tomorrow. Jacob deGrom gets the ball and has to find a way to get the Royals on their heels in this series. Meanwhile, New York has to do a better job of working deep counts, and driving guys in; the Mets were 1-for-10 with RISP. If the Mets are going to make this a series, they have to prove that Game 1 wasn’t the mental turning point the Royals needed.  

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