Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mets-Royals World Series Game 2 - deGrominated

Game 1 was bad enough, but Game 2 was even worse. At least the Mets could have and probably should have won Game 1. But the Mets were outplayed in every phase in Game 2. The hitting and pitching issues that surfaced in Game 1 look much worse now. And the Royals are halfway to the title.

After Game 1, I rationalized that Matt Harvey had pitched well enough for five innings before giving up the lead in the sixth. In Game 2, Jacob deGrom did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. After four, he had allowed no runs and one hit. But then it all fell apart for deGrom and the Mets. In the fifth inning, he allowed four earned runs on five hits. deGrom did not come out for the sixth. 

After two games, a trend looks to be developing. The Met starters can't strike out the Royals - just four Ks combined in 11 innings. And while the Mets needed to blow past innings limits just to get to the World Series, the starters now appear less able to go deep into games.

Starting pitching was supposed to be the big advantage for the Mets. Johnny Cueto allowed eight earned runs in two innings in his previous start and has been erratic since his trade to Kansas City. But Cueto held the Mets to just two hits and became the first American League pitcher to throw a complete game since Jack Morris in 1991.

Game 1 seemed to emphasize that the Royals would have their best chance to win once the games went to the bullpen. But the Royals were able to win Game 2 without using their bullpen at all, keeping them rested. 

It was inevitable that Daniel Murphy would cool off. But not only has nobody else stepped up, but it's become more evident that much of the Mets lineup has been lousy throughout the entire postseason. Wilmer Flores has a .669 OPS with no homers and no RBI. Yoenis Cespedes has an OPS of .631.Travis d'Arnaud OPS is .595, David Wright's is .540, and Michael Conforto, just 1-for-20, has a batting average of .050 and an OPS of .325.

A great Game 3 from Noah Syndergaard and a mediocre performance in Game 4 from Chris Young, who threw 53 pitches in Game 1, and this series could be tied. So there's still hope. But that hope is slipping away fast.

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