Ya Gotta Believe! Because the Mets still do
Yes, the Mets have fallen into an 0-2 hole in the World Series. Yes, they need to win four of the next five games and go back to Kansas City and win in order to win the World Series. Yes, the Mets strength in their starting pitching has been neutralized, and yes, the Mets offense has not shown up to the World Series yet.
But Ya Gotta Believe!
Why? Because the Mets are not hanging their heads.
Not at all.
“By no means are we done,” Lucas Duda said late Wednesday after their demoralizing 7-1 loss to the Royals in Game 2. “We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole here. But we’re used to it. We’re used to coming back and fighting back.”
Duda was the lone Met to record hits in Game 2. He had two very soft singles in an otherwise forgettable night at Kauffman Stadium.
It was a night which featured an ineffective pitching strategy, no offense against Johnny Cueto who just steamrolled them, and the Mets left with picking up the pieces on their overnight flight back to New York.
But if the Mets are going to rally in this World Series, they’ll at least have the advantage of playing the next three games at home, a building the Mets won 49 games in during the regular season and have gone 3-1 in during the postseason.
“Now’s not the time to hang your head,” David Wright said after Wednesday’s loss. “We’ve certainly won four games before, numerous times during the regular season and during the postseason. We’ve just got to get it done at home. We know we’re a good team. We’re playing in the World Series. We don’t need to be reminded that we’re a good team. You just have to look on your shoulder and see that patch, and that should give you all the confidence that you need.
“Even if you have a short memory, we just beat an excellent Cubs team four games in a row,” Wright continued. “Hopefully we can use that home-field advantage to our advantage and go take care of business at home. These guys are playing excellent baseball, so we know it’s going to be a challenge. They took care of their home field. We need to take care of ours.”
There is a ray of hope, and the Mets don’t have to look any further than their own history.
They fell into an 0-2 hole in the 1986 World Series at home, only to go to Boston and win two of the next three and win the final two games at Shea Stadium to capture their second, and last World Championship.
But in order for the Mets to capitalize on the energy in their ballpark, changes need to take place.
Most notably, those changes need to occur defensively, an area the Mets have simply been toppled over in the first two games of this series.
The Mets offense has to wake up as well. Only Duda recorded hits in an otherwise anemic offensive performance by the Mets against Cueto.
“We’re not hitting. That’s what I see,” Terry Collins explained on Wednesday.
But the Mets need to find an equilibrium with their young, hard-throwing starting pitchers and figure out a way to neutralize the Royals attack, which mainly features a relentless ability to make contact on even the best pitches in the staff’s arsenal.
“The Royals have a good team. We’ve got to make better pitches and we’ve got to play better,” Collins said emphatically after Wednesday’s loss.
The Mets will be placing their faith for a rally in the hands of Noah Syndergaard on Friday night at Citi Field, a place the statistics say he feels very comfortable in. He held opponents to a .551 OPS while going 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 12 starts in Flushing.
“We’ve just got to focus on Friday’s game,” Wright said. “We can’t think about the hole we’re in. We’ve just got to concentrate on winning. It’ll be nice to get to our house and our park. I’m sure the fans are going to be going crazy.”