McDonald: A Tough Game 1 Makes Game 2 A Must Win

(Twitter: @royals)

The Mets have never won a Game 1 of the World Series. That trend continued tonight.

The 5-4, 14 inning walkoff win by the Royals, feels bad now, but remember, the Mets won two of those World Series in the past.

Much like the 1969 World Series, when Don Buford hit Tom Seaver’s first pitch out of the park, Alicides Escobar hit Matt Harvey’s first pitch into a misplayed flyball for an inside the park homer.

Much like the 1986 World Series, when Tim Teufel had an error to give the Red Sox Game 1, David Wright’s throwing error opened the door for the Royals.

And much like 2000, when Armando Benitez blew the lead in the ninth, Jeurys Familia gave up a homer to Alex Gordon to tie the game.

All of the games gave you heart break, but the good news is that there’s another game tomorrow.

“We’re frustrated,” said manager Terry Collins. “We didn’t have a lot of opportunities, but we had a few shots. But we got the lead and we lost it, we came back and got the lead again. And we know their bullpen is really good.”

Great. Turn the page. Tomorrow is Game 2.

And the good news is that you have to like the matchup the Mets have tomorrow. Jacob deGrom has been the Mets best pitcher in the postseason, while Johnny Cueto is inconsistent this October, to say the least.

Royals manager Ned Yost knows that and he managed this game like he will lose tomorrow. He used his Game 4 starter Chris Young for three innings tonight. He burnt Kelvin Herrera for two innings, leaving only Kris Medlen and Franklin Morales in his bullpen.

And because he’s been so good for the Mets, you can’t blame Familia. He thrives on work and was burned on a ball up, that usually sinks when he doesn’t have five days off. It happens.

Make no mistake, this is a shocking loss for the Mets and deGrom needs to be on his game tomorrow for New York to get even.

“(The Royals) going to battle you, deGrom said. “They’re not going to strike out a lot and they’re going to put the ball in play. I think my job is to keep the ball down. I always say I try to go out there and get early contact, and strikeouts just seem to happen. That’s going to be my same game plan going into this.”

But if deGrom comes in as the Mets stopper, then all bets are off. You knew this series wasn’t going to be as easy as the Cubs with the Royals “having the been there before” were going to force the Mets in the first game.

But much like 1969 and 1986, this series is not over. It’s just beginning and if the rest of the games are as good as this one, we will most certainly be entertained.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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