Mets know they must clean their act up to win games in this World Series
Tuesday night has really been billed as an epic game, and by all accounts, it was.
A 14-inning duel of pitching, ending with one team executing slightly better than the other.
That’s been the story of countless World Series from the past – games coming down to one little thing that mean the difference between a win and a loss.
Tuesday’s game was no exception. For the Mets, their loss was defined by a poor play in the outfield at the start, and a poor play by David Wright at the end.
And it was Wright’s 14th-inning error that sealed a lost night for the Mets on a night that seemed so promising 25 outs into the game.
“I got an in-between hop,” Wright explained after the game. “The ball kind of came up on me, and I just couldn’t get a glove on it. It hit my wrist and then got me in the midsection. I know he can run, so I tried to rush the throw a little bit and couldn’t [get the out].”
Because of that error, the misplay right off the bat (literally and figuratively) in the first inning from Alcides Escobar, and an inability to conjure up anything against the Royals notoriously good bullpen (they recorded just five hits and two walks with 12 strikeouts against Kansas City’s bullpen), the Mets could not withstand Alex Gordon’s game-tying home run (which should never have been) in the ninth inning against Jeurys Familia.
But needless to say, it wasn’t one of Wright’s best days defensively on Tuesday.
The lesson to be learned for the Mets is simple. Against a Royals team which never gets sloppy and can shutdown an offense late in the game, the Mets must counter with play equally as sharp as the Royals if they stand a chance.
And yes, even if they intend to win a one or two-run game in the ninth inning with a lead.
Wright expects better play from himself and his teammates on Wednesday. Clearly, they’re going to need it if they stand a chance to win Game 2, or any game in this World Series.
“We’ve been resilient all year,” Wright said. “I expect us to play a crisp, clean game [Wednesday].”
The Mets will put those hopes and expectations in the hands of Jacob deGrom, their best pitcher in 2015 but someone who has struggled himself in his two most recent starts.
But he was given an extra day of rest as Terry Collins felt he was suffering through some fatigue, and he thinks deGrom will respond well to the extended hiatus since his start against the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS.
“If you start to get a little fatigued that hand just doesn’t catch up sometimes,” Collins explained on Tuesday. :That’s why we wanted to give him an extra day, because the last time we pushed him back a little bit he came out throwing great. We’re hoping that extra rest is going to make a difference tomorrow night. This guy is as good as there is in the League.”
If he’s on, the Mets will be in good shape to escape Kansas City and return home with the split, the minimum a road team looks for in a seven-game series.
But if the Mets do achieve that minimum, it will help soften the blow from a very difficult loss on Tuesday night.
Collins himself said he and the team were very frustrated with the end result, too.
“We’re frustrated,” Collins explained. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities, but we had a few shots. But we got the lead and we lost it, we came back and got the lead again. And we know their bullpen is really good.”