KC Leads Series 3-1
To quote Verne Lundquist during Super Bowl XIII when Jackie Smith dropped a sure touchdown pass, "Bless his heart. He's got to be the sickest man in America." is the exact quote to describe the eighth inning for Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy.
Murphy, who built a incredible rags to riches story with his incredible postseason run, had one of the worst mistakes a fielder can make when he allowed a ground ball by Eric Hosmer sneak under his glove to drive in the game-tying run. Citi Field fans took a collective gasp as they saw the baseball go under Murphy's glove, sucking all of the momentum out of the building.
Murphy simply tried to do too much on one play. All he needed to do was field the baseball and throw out Hosmer, and there would have been runners on second and third with two out in that eighth inning. Perhaps the Mets get out of that inning up 3-2. Perhaps the Mets win the game. Perhaps with the series even at 2-2, the Mets find a way to win two more games and win the World Series? All of the shoulda, coulda, woulda will be uttered by Mets fans forever after that play happened.
To be honest, while the error is inexcusable, I feel horrible for Murphy. He deserves better.
That being said, the Mets are down 3-1 to a relentless Royals team, and it is extremely unlikely that the Mets are going to find a way out of this deficit now. The Royals are going to be baseball's new World Champion. It's just a matter of when.
Bottom line the Mets should have won this game. Michael Conforto was going to be the star of this Game 4 when he corked two monster home runs for the Mets to help build a 3-1 lead, but mismanagement by Terry Collins with his bullpen did the Mets in just as much as the Murphy error did.
Collins had Steve Matz rolling after five innings. The rookie left-hander got out of a huge two-on,two-out jam in the fifth inning to preserve a 2-1 lead, and looked gassed when he finished the fifth. Yet, Collins felt the need to send Matz back out there for the top of the sixth inning after Conforto made it 3-1 on a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth.
It didn't work out. Ben Zobrist doubled on the first pitch he saw from Matz in the sixth, and Lorenzo Cain singled to drive in Zobrist to make it 3-2. At this point it was too little too late by Collins. He inserted Jon Niese into the game, and the veteran lefty was able to get Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to ground out for the first two outs. Collins then inserted Bartolo Colon to get Salvador Perez, which he did by striking him out to keep it 3-2.
Then in the eighth inning, Collins made the curious choice to keep Tyler Clippard in a batter too long after he walked Zobrist with one out. He should have gone to Jeruys Familia sooner, but waited until there were two men on base with one out -- big mistake.
As we know, the Murphy error then happened and the floodgates opened for Kansas City. Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez followed the Murphy gaff with a RBI base hits to ice it at 5-3. Wade Davis shut down the Mets over two innings for the save.
On top of that, the Mets lineup was once again inept. They managed only six hits and were 0-for-1 with RISP, that's right only one guy in scoring position, against Chris Young of all people! David Wright, Lucas Duda and Yoenis Cespedes were a combined 1-for-11 on the night.
The Mets (1-3) are now down to their final 27 outs. It won't be easy, and probably unlikely.