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New York Mets: How bad defense sunk the 2015 World Series hopes

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Lucas Duda #21, David Wright #5, Daniel Murphy #28 and Wilmer Flores #4 of the New York Mets look on as Matt Harvey #33 is relieved in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game Five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Lucas Duda #21, David Wright #5, Daniel Murphy #28 and Wilmer Flores #4 of the New York Mets look on as Matt Harvey #33 is relieved in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game Five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 30: Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets reacts after failing to make an out on first base in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game Three of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on October 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Everyone got involved in Game 5

The other Murphy error occurred in the ever-haunting Game Five but there are defensive miscues that led to that play.

The ending of this 2015 World Series started with the infamous throw home. Everyone knows about the bad throw home from Duda, but there is another layer to this play.

It all started with Hosmer at third base and Salvador Perez at the plate. Perez hit the ball to shortstop where Wright cut in front of Wilmer Flores to scoop it up and throw submarine to first base. Wright quickly checked back towards Hosmer at third but once Wright released the ball Hosmer broke for the plate.

This meant Duda had to make a perfect throw home to try and throw him out. Needless to say, he threw it wide and Hosmer scored.

The right play to make in that spot is for Wright to stay closer to the bag and let Flores at short play the ball. Presumably, Hosmer would have been held closer to third and may not have broken for the plate.

The Mets did not lose on that play, it only tied the game and to extras they went. That’s when Murphy happened again.

It was the top of the 12th (14:40) one out one runner on base with well-known Paulo Orlando at the plate. Once again, the Mets needed a ground ball to try and get out of the inning and they got it, but the outcome was not what they wanted.

Murphy tried to throw the ball to second before he even had it in his glove, and it bounced off him rolling into shallow right field. That put runners on first and second and that would lead to the Royals scoring four more runs in that inning.

If Murphy had fielded the ball cleanly and the Mets had gotten out of the inning down one run the bottom of the 12th would have been much more interesting.

Picture it. Mets down 3-2 in the bottom of the 12th of an elimination game. Conforto comes up with two outs and singles. Then the walk-off king Wilmer Flores comes to the plate. It’s a home crowd a double ties the game and a home run wins it but unfortunately, that was not the case thus heartbreakingly ending the World Series.

All in all, the Mets defense is what lost them the series. So many times, there were plays that defined the momentum of the game and the series from the first play to the last.

Over the years the Mets have sacrificed defense for added offense and the 2015 playoffs were a microcosm of that. The first two rounds showed how it is beneficial and then the World Series showed why defense is so important and cannot be ignored.

I think all the time what could have been had the Mets played better defense and won that World Series. One would hope that the team would learn from their mistakes especially ones on the biggest stage on national television but sadly through the last few seasons, the team still sacrifices defense for offense.

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Hopefully one day the Mets will overcome this obstacle and win a championship but until then all the fans have is a thought of what could have been.

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