World Series Game 5 — Royals at Mets
With all this nostalgia centered around this World Series, everyone was focused on the Cubs and their predicted win according to a 26 year old movie (set 30 years ago). But if we were to look 30 years ago, the winners of the World Series were the Kansas City Royals. To quote another 1980s movie, “they’re looking in the wrong place!”
Okay, so let me be clear here, the Kansas City starter Volquez threw a very good game despite being on the losing side of the game for his entire outing. In his first start after the death of his father last week, Volquez kept the Mets to just 2 hits and 2 runs (just 1 earned run), but it was the 5 walks that were the biggest flaw in his otherwise decent performance.
Those Mets runs began with a lead-off solo home run in the 1st inning. The Mets clung to their 1-0 lead until the 6th inning. A lead-off walk, a single, and a fielding error loaded the bases. But the next batter caught a foul ball directly off his knee and collapsed. After a few minutes of severe pain and time with the trainer, Cespedes got back up to take a swing and pop out, but the way he hobbled out to 1st base and then barely made it down the dugout steps made it clear his night was over. X-rays came back negative, so the diagnosis was a deep contusion. Again, when you simply bang your knee on the coffee table, it screams at you for days, but it’s nothing compared to a 95 mph sinker off your knee.
Anyway, a sacrifice fly scored one of those runs before the inning ended on a groundout. It also ended Volquez’s night.
On the other side of the diamond, it was the Mets’ starter Harvey, affectionately known to Gothamites as the “Dark Knight”. And for his first 8 innings, he was throwing heat and keeping the Royals from hitting much of anything. For 8 innings, his stats read: 102 pitches, 4 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 9 strikeouts. All he (and the Mets) needed were 3 outs to tie up the series. Harvey entered the dugout and petitioned to go out for the 9th inning. The fans even demanding the Dark Knight’s return to the mound.
But the 9th inning was going to be anything but that story book ending. Harvey promptly walked his lead-off batter that scored on a double ending his rather beautiful shut-out evening. His night was over, and for a reason that will be forever questioned by Mets fans forever, they sent in the same closer who has both blown both saves this series and who was virtually flawless during the regular season. (The postseason does stuff to players, bringing out the best or the worst in some people.)
This new reliever came in and gave up a ground out that moved the runner to 3rd and another ground out that scored the runner when the Mets’ 1st baseman overthrew the ball to home plate for the double play (that would’ve sealed the deal for the Mets to win this game too, by the way). But no, the game was now tied and would be sent into extra innings. Three to be exact.
So it would be onto the 12th inning for the Royals to find their late-inning rally. A new reliever on for the Mets. A lead-off single, a stolen base, and a ground out put the winning run on 3rd base so that a pinch-hit single could score the winning run for the Royals. A force attempt and error got another runner on base and a double scored another run. An intentional walk loaded the bases with just 1 out, so the Mets made another pitching change. But a bases-clearing double pushed the Royals into clear winning territory before getting two ground outs to end the inning.
And the Royals near-perfect closer got 3 strikeouts (and gave up a single) to close out the Royals game tonight and handed them a win and the Series.
Final score: 7-2 Royals in 12 innings, Royals win World Series 4-1 over the Mets.
Congrats to the Royals and Series MVP Salvador Perez, the Royals catcher (the first catcher to win the MVP since 1992). We’ll see you again in about 30 years. Don’t worry, Mets fans, if we’re following history then 2016 is your 30 year reunion. But you never know… I mean, the Yankees still need their #28.