There will be a time to reflect on the incredible run the Mets had in 2015, and a time to discuss how bright their future is. At the moment, though, it’s hard to focus on those things since the Mets simply handed the World Series to the Royals.
The Mets’ offense during the World Series was non-existent for large stretches, but even with that being the case, they could’ve easily been the ones clinching the title on Sunday night at Citi Field. Perhaps it’s even fair to say that they should’ve been the ones doing the clinching.
The info above is quite crazy, showing how unlikely it is that the Mets lost Game 1 (one-run lead in the ninth inning), Game 4 (one-run lead in the eighth inning) and Game 5 (two-run lead in the ninth inning).
So, how did it happen?
It was mostly brutal defense, with a bit of managerial error mixed in.
Let’s take a painful look back…
The Mets allowed the Royals to score a run in the first inning when Yoenis Cespedes misplayed what should’ve been a routine fly out that instead resulted in an “inside the park home run.” Even with that miscue, the Mets were in position to win and had Jeurys Familia on the mound in the ninth inning with a 4-3 lead.
Familia then got cute with a pitch to Alex Gordon, quick-pitching him. The result was a game-tying homer.
The Mets still had a chance in extra innings, but David Wright‘s error to open the 14th inning paved the way for a Royals victory.
The first mistake, with the Mets up 3-2, was pulling Bartolo Colon after he faced just one batter. That resulted in going to Addison Reed in the seventh inning (he held the lead) and Tyler Clippard (who shouldn’t have been in the game) in the eighth inning.
In the eighth, Clippard walked a pair of Royals before being replaced by Jeurys Familia. The first batter against Familia hit a slow roller to Daniel Murphy. If Murphy had fielded the ball cleanly and gotten the out at first base, the Royals would’ve had runners on second and third with two outs and the Mets still ahead. Instead, Murphy had the ball roll under his glove as the Royals scored the tying run. Later in the inning, the Royals added two more runs to put the Mets away.
With the Mets leading 2-0 entering the ninth inning, Terry Collins allowed Matt Harvey to begin the inning. I was fine with this, as were most fans. But Harvey should’ve been removed after issuing a leadoff walk to Lorenzo Cain. Instead, Harvey stayed in and gave up a double to Eric Hosmer as the Royals cut the lead to 2-1.
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After Jeurys Familia came in and got a grounder to first base for the first out (with Hosmer moving over to third), he induced a grounder to third base with the infield in. David Wright looked Hosmer back and threw to first base. Hosmer broke for the plate as the throw left Wright’s hand, likely surprising Lucas Duda, who fired well wide of the plate as Hosmer scored the tying run.
Another Murphy error in the 12th inning paved the way for the huge Royals inning that put the title in the bag, but the main issues were leaving Harvey in too long and Duda’s poor throw.
If Jeurys Familia had pitched regularly to Alex Gordon in Game 1, the Mets likely win.
If Terry Collins avoided using Tyler Clippard in the eighth inning of Game 4 or if Daniel Murphy fielded a ground ball later in the inning, the Mets likely win.
If Lucas Duda’s throw home in the ninth inning of Game 5 was on line, the Mets win.
The Royals are getting tons of credit — and they do deserve credit. But had the Mets simply played a cleaner brand of baseball or if Terry Collins had his finger on the pulse a bit quicker in Games 4 and 5, the Mets wouldn’t have failed to force a Game 6 on Sunday night. They would have been World Champions.