What to look for: Royals vs. Mets, World Series Game 3, 8:07 PM
The Mets will look to get back into the World Series with a win of Game 3 against the Royals on Friday night at Citi Field at 8:07 pm.
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for New York:
Curtis Granderson – RF
David Wright – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Yoenis Cespedes – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Michael Conforto – LF
Wilmer Flores – SS
Noah Syndergaard – RHP
Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:
Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 2.77 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Mets.
Yordano Ventura (0-1, 5.09 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Royals.
Here’s what I’m looking for from the Mets…
Stick to what works.
The Royals have four hits off of 83 total fastballs against Mets starting pitching in this series. One of them should have been caught, too.
Yes, they make a lot of contact, and they are baseball’s best at hitting hard fastballs.
But the stats suggest they have yet to do much against fastballs from the Mets starting pitchers. Simply put, the Mets aren’t getting beaten by their best stuff in this series.
They need to stick with what got them here if they intend to get back in this World Series. Get beat by the best that can be offered, and there will be no regrets.
For the Mets, they just need to take this one pitch at a time, and get Saturday down 2-1. Then, focus on Saturday’s problem at that time.
It’s Noah Syndergaard’s turn in the rotation. He’s well rested, he’s confident, and he needs to deliver in an absolute must-win game on Friday night.
He said on Thursday he is going to stick with what got him here, which suggests he’s going to live off of his fastball and mix his pitches in accordingly.
It’s the right call.
He throws 100 mph. If he’s locating, the Royals stats against 95 mph+ will be out the window, because they won’t hit him.
That’s not to say he can get into any patterns on Friday. He will have to pitch backwards at times, not repeat anything from one sequence to the next, and ensure he’s not giving anything away, something which might have been the case on Wednesday, based on the swings the Royals got off of Jacob deGrom in the fourth and fifth innings.
It’s time to go batty.
The Mets are hitting .220 in the postseason. Take out Daniel Murphy, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, and Lucas Duda, they’re hitting about .150.
The Mets can’t be expected to light up good pitching. And in fairness, between Johnny Cueto, Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw, and Zack Greinke, the MEts have done a pretty good job.
And, they’re in the World Series.
But they need to start having better at-bats. They need to force stressful pitches from the Royals, force mistakes by working deep counts and fouling tough pitches off. They’re too much of a swing-and-miss team right now, and the Royals are evidence alone of how much they might benefit if they shorten up, recognize pitches better, and be more selective.