|Photo courtesy of http://www.sacbee.com/sports/mlb/article41645265.html|
An inside the park home run. A ball gone off a glove. A ball bounced more than you would have liked. A ball bounced off the third base bag. A game tying home run off of the Mets #1 closer. All of these things happened in 14 innings of Game 1 of the 2015 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets and what we came to find out by the end of this game was that both of these teams are evenly matched and this was perhaps one of the single best games of baseball ever played. As a die-hard Mets fan from birth, as I sat up past 1 am, I didn't care by the 12th inning how it ended. Both teams earned my respect tonight (I didn't know a lot about the Royals going into this) and I just wanted it to end because I knew that this was only the first game of the series and there was so much more baseball to be played I didn't want the players to suffer in Game 2.
Here are Five Fun Things about the game last night, and basically things the Mets should learn going into Game 2 and forward.
# 1: I never want to see Michael Cuddyer again. This might sound harsh, but the guy struck out three times in a row last night. In the World Series. Striking out three times in a single game is pretty bad, but doing so in the first game of the World Series, when the Mets could have really used hits at those times was simply unacceptable. If you think I'm taking this a bit too much to heart or whatever just go back and watch his first strikeout. He simply watches the ball sail past him- a perfect pitch for him to knock out of the ballpark- as if he is unaware he was supposed to be swinging and hitting it. Imagine someone scoring the game winning goal in a hockey or soccer game as the goalie just watched it go by. That's what this reminded me of most. Cuddyer may have had some good points during the regular season but if he shows up in Game 2 I'm going to have to question how badly the Mets want to win. Especially after that whole "If you don't produce you won't play" deal they had earlier this season. Michael Conforto gets taken out after a sacrifice fly but yet Cuddyer is allowed to strike out three times? Simply unacceptable.
# 2: Familia got his blown save out of the way. Now let's hope that for the rest of the World Series he remains the Lights Out closer we have all come to know and love this season. (Shout out to Jon Niese and his relief efforts tonight as well)
# 3: Matt Harvey didn't bring his A-Game. It took him a bit to find his groove and if he didn't give up that first run this might have been a different ball game. Hopefully, the starting pitchers from here going forward will be able to have that strike out power from the first inning onward and not have to find themselves getting adjusted.
# 4: David Wright got some hits, so that's good. I don't feel like the Mets revolve around one star player (Though Daniel Murphy has been having an amazing post season) and so at any time really any of the players can hit that home run or RBI that gets things going. David Wright proved tonight that he's no longer an easy out and if Murphy and Duda aren't hitting home runs then they can come from other places like Curtis Granderson. Except for Michael Cuddyer. Nothing good can come from him during this World Series.
# 5: This was only Game 1. There are still six more games to potentially go. And it took the Royals 14 innings to defeat the Mets. They weren't all "We're not going to the bottom of the 9th here". It took them way too long to finish off a Mets team which simply was not having its best night. They should only be so lucky for the rest of this series. I also particularly enjoyed how the fans in Kansas City reacted to each play- even each pitch- as if the entire World Series was on the line. Many of these players who are supposed to be the stars of the Royals were shut down tonight. When they bragged before the game about how the Royals never commit any errors, they had one tonight (Well, one called but I really saw more than just the one) From here, the Mets can only hopefully figure out the formula of the Royals, shut them down again tonight and don't make the same mistakes as they did in Game 1 (no inside the park home run and no runs given up by Familia) so they play like that team who swept the Cubs.
I realize a lot of these same points could likely be made from the Royals side of things, even though the Royals won they didn't bring their A-Game (Unless they did, in which case I apologize and am sad for your team) and so maybe tonight will go for more innings. Maybe one of the two teams can be finished in only 9. Who knows, but all I do know is that for all of the sporting events I've watched I've never seen a feed cut out before so good job on that one, Fox. Tonight I'm looking forward to some of the best baseball we will see this season and more importantly more ways to tell Joe Buck to shut his mouth.