What to look for: Mets vs. Royals, World Series Game 2, 8:07 PM ET

Kauffman Stadium 2 slice

The Mets will look to even the World Series with a win in Game 2 against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Wednesday night at 8:07 pm ET.

BaronHere is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:

Curtis Granderson – RF
David Wright – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Yoenis Cespedes – LF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Michael Conforto – DH
Wilmer Flores – SS
Juan Lagares – CF

Jacob deGrom – RHP

Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.88 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Mets.

Johnny Cueto (1-1, 7.88 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Royals.

Mets Royals WSHere’s what I’m looking for from the Mets tonight:

Pick it up, and move on.

Tuesday night stunk. It was a hard fought battle despite not playing particularly well, and they could not reach the top rung of the ladder before the Royals did.

None of that matters. It’s time to pick up the pieces, play better, execute better, score more runs, not strand so many people on-base, and figure out how to beat Kansas City.

It’s doable. They had them beat in the ninth inning with one out in Game 1.

The Mets have a superior defensive alignment on Wednesday than they did on Tuesday with Juan Lagares in centerfield. It took a game, but Terry Collins realized run prevention can be a powerful ally, especially after that inexcusable gaffe in the outfield in the first inning of Game 1. The Mets should be able to play a cleaner, crisper game, support their starting pitcher and go home with a split.


It’s big start for Jacob deGrom on Wednesday, as he’s tasked with not only getting the Mets their first World Series win in 15 years, but also keeping the Mets from skidding into an 0-2 hole in this series.

He’s working on extended rest, which has proven to be an effective remedy to his starts during the season when command has eluded him at times. Of course, nobody can question the heart and guts which have been on display in any of his postseason efforts this month.

But the Mets will need that heart and guts plus a real steady effort with good pitch execution from deGrom on Wednesday. A swift victory – led by their ace – would be precisely what they need after a tough loss on Tuesday.

Better at-bats.

Yes, the Royals bullpen is great, and they deserve credit for the work they did against the Mets in eight of the 14 innings on Tuesday night. But the Mets had their share of chances and they did not execute well offensively for the most part in Game 1. They had a lot of rushed at-bats with wild swings at pitches out of the zone all night long. There were too many strikeouts, not enough contact, and not a lot of mobility on the bases, short of two good base running plays by Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes and an error from Eric Hosmer which allowed a run to score.

That’s gotta change, especially early when the Mets have a clear advantage on the mound. They have to attack early, they have to attack often, and they must get their starter a lead which can allow him to be aggressive in the strike zone to help keep his pitch count down and keep Terry Collins from going to his bullpen, the area Kansas City has the obvious advantage in.

Johnny Cueto has done a good job neutralizing left-handed hitting in 2015 – they’ve produced just a .598 OPS against him. But right-handers have done reasonably well, posting a .743 OPS. So if the Mets are going to have success against him, look for the right-handed hitters to do some damage, which again needs to happen early and often.

2015 World Series wordmark

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