Just when it looked like the Mets were set to make this a one game series, the Royals did what they do best- put pressure on the bullpen and pull out a win. 10 thoughts on how the Royals put the Mets on the brink of elimination:
Rios’s Wild Night: Alex Rios made plays on both end of the spectrum last night: a gorgeous diving catch to rob a hit, and then an absolute blunder in not knowing the outs, allowing a Mets runner to score. Every game is so critical in these games, and not knowing how many outs there are was absolutely inexcusable. With a runner on third every outfielder’s mentality should be to want the ball to throw the guy out at the plate, and not being prepared for that moment would have been the story of this game had it not been for the 8th inning (which we’ll get to later).
Good Review by the MLB: On that same Rios play, it appeared that the Mets runner may have left early, and the Royals rightfully challenged as it would have eliminated the run. However, the MLB got this call right; in NFL terms this was one of those plays that the refs would have described as “the call stands” and not “the call is confirmed.”
Conforto’s Big Day: Two home runs is a good day, especially in the World Series. The first was a mamoth shot, and the second was a swing-for-contact hack that he happened to barrel up perfectly. The pitch caught too much of the middle of the plate, but it was a defensive swing that showed how strong this kid is. These are the types of games that lead to legend status, but unfortunately for him it will be forgotten.
Colon-Perez Epic Battle: Speaking of moments that will be forgotten, Bartolo Colon striking out Salvador Perez on 10 pitches was fun to watch, and came at what was at the time a huge moment in the game. Clinging to a one-run lead, Terry Collins went to Bartolo Colon with a runner on 2nd and two outs in the 6th. Perez fought off several pitches, but Colon ultimately won the battle. It is so much fun watching the 42 year old pitch, I hope this isn’t it for him.
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Zobrist Stays Hot: In my opinion, Ben Zobrist has been the best player in this series. Despite the unusual double play he struck out into in the 1st inning, he continued to be a huge part of the Royals offense, leading off the 6th with a double and scoring the Royals first run, and then starting off the 8th with a walk against Clippard that led to the Mets’s unraveling. With Escobar cooling off, he has been the fuel for this offense.
Clippard Blows Up: The past few season Tyler Clippard has been one of the best relievers in the MLB. But since joining the Mets, he has struggled to find consistency, with an ERA of 3.06 (bad for his standards, but still solid). But walking two batters with a one run lead in the 8th inning is inexcusable, and he put Familia in a very tough spot.
Murphy’s Downfall: No one is learning how cruel the world of sports can be more than Daniel Murphy. Just last week he was on top of the world, looking at a gigantic contract because of his home run spree. But now he has completely struggled at the plate, and made an inexcusable error in the 8th inning that I’m sure you’ve heard of by now. I won’t dwell on it too much, but ultimately the Royals scored three runs while only hitting one ball hard, and Murphy’s miscue was a big part of it.
MVP Watch: Ultimately, picking an MVP for this team is always a struggle because they play such team centered baseball. But after all I said earlier about him, I’m going with Ben Zobrist. No other player on the Royals has been as consistent.
Royals Outlook for Game 5: Don’t let this go back to Kansas City. That has to be the mentality, as even though the Mets are down, facing Matt Harvey, DeGrom and Syndergaard is still a tough task. This Royals team has been within one win of it all before, and knows how tough Game 7’s against a stud pitcher can be. They’ll aim to finish off the Mets while they can.
Mets Outlook for Game 5: Backs against the wall, it’s time to see what this team is made of. The Mets better hope Matt Harvey can be the hero Gotham deserves.
By Aaron Gillette