Archive for the ‘ Game Day ’ Category

What to look for: Royals vs. Mets, World Series Game 5, 8:15 PM

Citi Field


The Mets will look to stay alive in Game 5 of the World Series when they take on the Royals at Citi Field at 8:15 pm.


BaronHere 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
Matt Harvey – RHP


Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Matt Harvey will start for the Mets.

Edinson Volquez will start for the Royals.


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

It aint over.

Last night stunk. Plain and simple. And the Mets are in a boat load of trouble as they have their backs to the wall and on the brink of ending their season.

But the season isn’t over until the Royals win one more game. And until then, the Mets need to just take this one pitch at a time, and focus on getting this series back to Kansas City.

It starts with cleaning up their act, playing better, and winning on Sunday night.

If they’re going to lose this World Series, it would be better if they lost making their best pitch, and playing their absolute best.

Then, there are no regrets, and no “what-ifs.”

They just need to take this pitch-by-pitch, win this game, and then focus on Tuesday. They can’t worry about what might have been or what lies ahead.

All that matters is winning Game 5 on Sunday.

It’s #HarveyDay.

And it’s the last Harvey Day of the year. He is tasked with keeping the season alive and getting his team on a charter flight back to Kansas City later on tonight.

He pitched well on Tuesday night in Game 1, but got away from what made him successful when he threw a season-low 37 percent fastballs. Ultimately, that came back and bit him in the sixth inning of that start.

It will be interesting to see how much he goes back to his fastball and whether or not he comes hard and in to the aggressive Royals hitters.

He’s had a rollercoaster of a year, but for the most part a very successful year. Hopefully he can give the Mets one of his patented big starts and shut down the Royals, and give the team a pulse.

Go batty, have fun.

Nobody expects the Mets to win this World Series now. Only six teams have ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in World Series play, so history certainly plays a role in that thinking.

But if that’s the case, the Mets have nothing to lose now. There’s no pressure in that sense, so the Mets should use go out there and have a whole lot of fun in Game 5.

It starts with attacking Edinson Volquez early in counts and early in this game, get a big lead and tack on runs to make for a relaxing game. After last night, the Mets could sure use another laugher and at least let the Royals know that they won’t go down without the fight of their lives.

2015 World Series wordmark

What to look for: Royals vs. Mets, World Series Game 4, 8:07 PM

Citi Field 1 slice


The Mets will look to even the World Series with the Royals in Game 4 at 8:07 pm on Saturday night at Citi Field.


BaronHere is tonight’ 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
Steven Matz – LHP


Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Steven Matz (0-1, 3.72 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Mets.

Chris Young (1-0, 2.31 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Royals.


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

Relentless Mets.

The approach the Mets had at the plate in Game 3 worked perfectly for them. They were aggressive, they didn’t fall into pitcher’s counts, attacked mistakes and kept the merry-go-round going in their relentless attack of Yordano Ventura and the Royals bullpen.

They need more of the same on Saturday night against Chris Young.

The key against Young is to get him to throw the ball down in the zone. It’s not conventional, but he’s very deceptive thanks to his height and awkward delivery, and he’s difficult to pick up when he’s at the belt or higher.

But even if the ball is down in the zone, the Mets will need to execute the little things, move runners up, and not giveaway at-bats with poorly executed bunts and poor situational hitting.

The good news is they know Young, and Young is also coming off an outing in Game 1 in which he was asked to throw 53 pitches in three innings of relief. So they should have a pretty good idea of what he’s up to since he departed the Mets a few years ago, and they could take advantage of what could be a tired arm from Young as well.

Establish inside.

Why was Noah Syndergaard so successful on Friday? he came inside with his fastball, and stuck to his program which was based purely on his heater as well.

Steven Matz must be just as aggressive against Syndergaard.

Yes, the Royals are going to make contact. Yes, they are going to swing early in the count, not get cheated, and not miss mistakes. It’s a known quantity at this stage of the World Series. But Matz has explosive stuff thanks to a very calm and simple delivery, which gives the impression his stuff is being thrown harder than it actually is.

Matz needs to stay calm and cool early in the game, and like Syndergaard, establish some mound presence. Live off the fastball, trust the stuff, and stick to what got him to the big leagues. If he does that, the Mets should be in good shape on Saturday.

Clean it up.

The Mets defense has been inconsistent at best, poor at worst in the World Series. Playing against a team that makes so much contact, that means the Mets simply must clean up their defense. They cannot afford to give away outs, especially on routine ground balls and easy double plays. The little things matter a lot, and to this point, the Royals have executed those little things a lot more than the Mets have.

2015 World Series wordmark

What to look for: Royals vs. Mets, World Series Game 3, 8:07 PM

Citi Field 1 slice


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.


BaronHere 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.


Mets Royals WSHere’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.

Happy #ThorsDay.

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.

2015 World Series wordmark

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.

#HairWeGo.

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

What to look for: Mets vs. Royals, World Series Game 1, 8:07 PM ET

Kauffman Stadium 3 slice


The Mets play Game 1 of the 2015 World Series against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City 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 – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Michael Conforto – LF
Wilmer Flores – SS
Kelly Johnson – DH

Matt Harvey – RHP


Here is tonight’s pitching matchup:

Matt Harvey (2-0, 2.84 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Mets.

Edinson Volquez (1-2, 4.32 ERA in the postseason) will start for the Royals.


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

Early and often.

The Mets have the obvious starting pitching advantage on paper tonight, although it remains to be how Harvey responds to the extended rest he’s had since opening the National League Championship series a week and a half ago.

The Mets simply have to avoid getting into the middle and late innings of these games trailing, as the Royals bullpen is lockdown good at that point and they won’t have much of a shot against the ammo Ned Yost will throw at them. So, they have to get to Volquez quickly, establish the pace and tone of the game early, and give Harvey a lead he can roll with into the late stages of this game.

It’s #HarveyDay.

As good as the Mets pitching has been through the postseason, Harvey has more or less been the most consistent starter, especially in his last start against the Cubs when he simply shut them down for a victory in Game 1 of the NLCS.

But even Harvey has admitted he needs to change the program up against the Royals, as they are the best team in the game at hitting fastballs 95 mph and higher. He will probably feature an array of curveballs, power sliders, and get his change-up working to help off-set his fastball and keep the Royals guessing throughout the night.

But that fastball will still be important, especially if he can locate it on the outskirts of the strike zone. The Royals will probably be aggressive and adjust quickly, meaning Harvey’s going to have to adjust literally from pitch-to-pitch.

Take the first step.

The winner of Game 1 of the World Series has won 69 of the 110 series in baseball history. That has been the case in 11 of the last 12 and 16 of the last 18 World Series beginning 1997, with 2002 (San Francisco defeating Anaheim) and 2009 (Philadelphia defeating New York) the lone exceptions.

So if history – and recent history at that – is any indication, it’s critical for the Mets to get off on the right foot and secure a win tonight, especially with three of the following four games taking place at Citi Field.

They have the matchup they want on paper to get that done, but anything seemingly goes in the postseason, and so they cannot simply rely on science to win this game. Its going to take guts, rolls of the dice, and some craftiness to combat the Royals aggressiveness and avoid getting into their bullpen trailing for that first step to be taken.

2015 World Series wordmark

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