McDonald: Like 2000 All Over Again

(Twitter: @mets)

Well that was a tough 30 hours Met fans and your Amazin’s come back limping to Queens down 0-2.

Last week, this space was saying how this felt like 1986, because the Yankees were not a factor, but over the first two games, this has been a repeat of the 2000 World Series. The Mets lost a ninth inning lead and then the game in extra innings in Game 1 and then were blown out in Game 2.

“Look, Royals have a good team,” said manager Terry Collins. “We’ve got to make better pitches and we’ve got to play better.”

This isn’t the end of the World Series, however. With three games at Citi Field, the Mets have a chance to claw back. But if they are going to do it, they will have to rely upon two rookie starting pitchers. On Friday, they will look to Noah Syndergaard and then follow up with Steven Matz.

It won’t matter who pitches if the Mets don’t hit. Tonight they only could manage two hits off Johnny Cueto as the Royals jumped on Jacob deGrom for four runs in the fifth inning. You could have turned off the TV right then and there as the Mets were cooked.

“We’re not hitting,” Collins said. “That’s what I see. We’ve stressed it enough, when we play good our lineup produces throughout. It just shows you right now with us not hitting how big Dan Murphy really was in the NLCS with the home runs.

“We’ve got to pick it up offensively. We’ve got to do a better job of using the field to hit. And we’ve done it. We certainly have done it. We’ve got to do it again.”

It’s not going to be impossible, but the Mets have to be aggressive against the Royals and work deep counts. They need to not make it easy for Kansas City as they look to close this series out this weekend.

And more importantly, they cannot give the Royals any extra outs. Even though deGrom got out of the fourth unscathed, he had to endure an error by Lucas Duda at first, which set up a busy inning.

“They’re really, really good,” Collins said. “That’s what you tell every hitter that plays. They’ve got to make adjustments back to back, from pitch to pitch at times. So when we go up there, and one thing they know we do is throw strikes. So they can hunt the strike zone and know they’re going to get something in that. You’ve got to make quality pitches or they’re going to get hits off of you.”

The Mets will have one advantage. The Citi Field crowd will be behind them, especially if they get out to an early lead. The Royals used their home field to their advantage and now it’s the Mets turn. Citi Field needs to be deafening from the moment Billy Joel ends the National Anthem until the final pitch.

Even with that, the Mets need to be perfect. These aren’t the Nationals, Dodgers or Cubs and if the Mets played any other team, they probably would be up 0-2 now.

But these are the Royals and they are giving the Mets a run for their money.

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.

Get connected with us on Social Media