2015 World Series

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2015 World Series
Kansas City Royals logo
2015 World Series logo
New York Mets logo
Kansas City Royals
95 - 67 in the AL
4 - 1
Series Summary
New York Mets
90 - 72 in the NL

Overview[edit]

The 2015 World Series will begin on October 27, 2015 and will feature the New York Mets, champions of the National League facing off against the Kansas City Royals, champions of the American League. The Royals will have home field advantage as a result of the AL's win in the 2015 All-Star Game.

It was an unprecedented match-up, with two teams coming into the series with long World Championship droughts. the Mets last win dating back to 1986 and the Royals' to 1985; both teams had been back to the World Series once since that title, the Royals having lost the 2014 World Series in seven games to the San Francisco Giants.

In the end, the Royals ability to come back from deficits time and again won out over the Mets' strong starting pitching and ability to hit home runs. The Royals made three late-game comebacks to win the series 4 games to 1, the other win coming from a dominant pitching performance by Johnny Cueto. One of the key factors was Mets manager Terry Collins' repeated failure to have the right reliever in the game at the right time; this led to closer Jeurys Familia's three blown saves, as two of these came in situations that had spun out of control before Familia took the mound. Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who hit .368 while playing every inning but one behind the plate, won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.

The Teams[edit]

Mets The Mets had made it to the World Series on the strength of their starting pitching, particularly a quartet of young guns, namely Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, deGrom being the oldest at 27, while Matz had all of 6 games of major league experience before the postseason. Manager Terry Collins had decided to stake his fate on that group, while the more experienced Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese, who had started 31 and 29 games respectively during the regular season, were shifted to the bullpen. His reasoning was that the four youngsters could come up with a gem at any time, and the philosophy had worked thus far, as the Mets had managed to take down big name starters such as Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta on their way to the World Series. The bullpen relied on Jeurys Familia, author of 43 saves with a 1.85 ERA, and late-season acquisitions Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed as set-up men. The offense was not as spectacular as the pitching, but OF Yoenis Cespedes had had a tremendous run since joining the team at the trading deadline, hitting 17 homers and collecting 44 RBIs in only 67 games. The big power threat was 1B Lucas Duda, with 33 doubles and 27 homers during the season, although he had a reputation as a streaky hitter. 2B Daniel Murphy had been an unexpected power source in the first two rounds of the postseason, with 7 homers after hitting 14 during the season. The team was also counting on two players who had missed much of the season due to injuries, 3B David Wright and C Travis d'Arnaud, who were now fully healthy, but had lost starting SS Ruben Tejada to a broken leg sustained in the Division Series and had concerns over the health of CF Juan Lagares. The bench included power-hitting rookie OF Michael Conforto and veteran IFs Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, among others.

Royals The Royals had built their pitching staff upside down, as Fox Sports broadcaster Tom Verducci had quipped: their extremely strong bullpen could take care of things through the last four innings; all that was needed was enough starting pitching to make it until then. Closer Greg Holland had been lost to an injury earlier in the season, but everyone else had moved up a rung on the ladder, and the bullpen had not missed a step: Wade Davis, with an 0.94 ERA, was now the closer, with Kelvin Herrera (2.71) and Ryan Madson (2.13) handling the 7th and 8th innings, and Luke Hochevar available for the 6th. The starters included Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55) and Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08) in the top two spots and the up-and-down Johnny Cueto, a mid-season trade acquisition, in the third slot. Swingman Chris Young (11-6, 3.06) had been promoted to the number 4 slot, with Danny Duffy and Kris Medlen moved to the bullpen, and Jeremy Guthrie unavailable due to an injury. The Royals had a remarkably stable starting line-up, with the same nine players hitting in the same nine spots throughout the postseason: SS Alcides Escobar as an unconventional but effective lead-off hitter, 2B Ben Zobrist a very dangerous number 2 man, followed by CF Lorenzo Cain, 1B Eric Hosmer, DH Kendrys Morales and C Salvador Perez. The bottom three of 3B Mike Moustakas, LF Alex Gordon and RF Alex Rios was strong enough that they could have composed the middle of the order for many teams. Thus, there was never any moment for an opposing pitcher to catch his breath when facing this line-up, especially as as the hitters produced very few strikeouts, making it possible to put together big innings with a long stretch of singles. It was also an excellent defensive line-up, with Perez, Escobar, Hosmer, Moustakas, Cain and Gordon all excellent defenders. The bench was interesting because of the presence of some dangerous speedsters such as Jarrod Dyson, Paulo Orlando and Raul Adalberto Mondesi (who had not yet made his major league debut), who could all be used as pinch-runners for the slower-footed Morales, Perez or Rios.

Umpires[edit]

Series results[edit]

Game Score Date Pitchers Time (ET)
1 New York Mets 4 Kansas City Royals 5 October 27 Matt Harvey (0-0) Edinson Volquez (0-0) 8:00 pm
2 New York Mets 1 Kansas City Royals 7 October 28 Jacob deGrom (0-1) Johnny Cueto (1-0) 8:00 pm
3 Kansas City Royals 3 New York Mets 9 October 30 Yordano Ventura (0-1) Noah Syndergaard (1-0) 8:00 pm
4 Kansas City Royals 5 New York Mets 3 October 31 Chris Young (1-0) Steven Matz (0-0) 8:00 pm
5 Kansas City Royals 7 New York Mets 2 November 1 Edinson Volquez (0-0) Matt Harvey (0-0) 8:00 pm

Results[edit]

Game 1 @ Kauffman Stadium[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 R H E
Mets 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 1
Royals 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 11 1
WP: Chris Young (1-0), LP: Bartolo Colon (0-1)
Home Runs: KC - Alcides Escobar (1), Alex Gordon (1); NY - Curtis Granderson (1)
  • Attendance: 40,320

The Royals won a wild Game 1 in 14 innings at home. It took over five hours to play, and by the time it was decided, it had long been forgotten that Matt Harvey and Edinson Volquez had taken the mound at the start, as both teams had to dig deep into their bullpens to complete the game. For the Royals, it was scheduled Game 4 starter Chris Young who came up with a clutch performance, pitching three solid scoreless innings to earn the win, while ageless Bartolo Colon, normally a starter but used as a long reliever during the postseason, pitched the final three innings for New York and gave up the winning run. There were a couple of quirks in the Mets' starting line-up, as Yoenis Cespedes, normally a corner outfielder, started in center because of year-long concerns over the health of Juan Lagares, a much better fielder. Also, needing a designated hitter in an American League park, Terry Collins chose Kelly Johnson, but batted him 9th. For their part, the Royals used their standard line-up.

Volquez started the game unaware that his father had passed away from a heart attack in the Dominican Republic earlier in the day. The news began to circulate around game-time, but television announcers refrained from mentioning it, as they did not want to be the ones to break the news to Volquez (the television broadcast is usually on in the clubhouse). He began the game by setting down the first three Mets hitters in order, then in the bottom of the inning, Alcides Escobar led off with a drive to deep left center field on which Cespedes made a stab at the ball but failed to catch it, and it rolled away from him and LF Michael Conforto, allowing Escobar to circle the bases with an inside-the-park home run. The Mets replied in the 4th when Daniel Murphy led off with a single and Lucas Duda followed with another single one out later, putting Murphy on third base. Travis d'Arnaud singled as well to drive in Murphy, but Volquez recovered to retire the next two batters.

The Mets took the lead in the 5th on a solo homer by Curtis Granderson and then made it 3-1 in the 6th when Cespedes and Duda led off with back-to-back singles and Conforto hit a sacrifice fly. With a two-run lead, the Mets then made a move to strengthen their defence, moving Cespedes from center field to left and having Lagares replace Conforto in the line-up to play center field. The Royals erased the lead in that half inning however, on a lead-off double by Ben Zobrist, a single by Lorenzo Cain and a sacrifice fly by Eric Hosmer. Cain then stole second base and tied the game when Mike Moustakas singled with two outs. Both starting pitchers then left the game as the 7th inning started, Volquez giving way to Danny Duffy and Harvey being replaced by Addison Reed.

In the 8th, Kelvin Herrera took the mound for the Royals, but he allowed a two-out single to Lagares, who stole second base and then scored the go-ahead run when 1B Hosmer misplayed a ground ball by Wilmer Flores for an error. With a 4-3 lead, the Mets turned to Tyler Clippard in the bottom of the 8th. He allowed another lead-off double to Zobrist. Cain tried to lay down a bunt to move him to third base but failed, eventually striking out. Clippard then struck out Hosmer for the second out, but threw a wild pitch which allowed Zobrist to move within 90 feet of home. Kendrys Morales drew a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson, but Moustakas grounded out to end the threat. The Royals had apparently squandered their best chance to tie the game, with the almost untouchable Jeurys Familia coming to pitch the 9th, but they still had a miracle left in their back pocket. After one out, Alex Gordon, who had been quiet for most of the postseason until then, homered to center field to tie the game again. It was now 4-4, with extra innings needed to decided a winner.

It took some time for the teams to mount another scoring threat. Wade Davis masterfully struck out the side in the top of the 10th and Jon Niese also retired the Royals in order. In the 11th, against Ryan Madson, Lagares led off with a single and was bunted over to second by Flores. Michael Cuddyer struck out for the second out, but Granderson walked. However, David Wright was unable to get the key hit needed for the Mets to take the lead as he struck out swinging. With both teams running low on reliable bullpen arms, Ned Yost turned to starter Young in the 12th, and he struck out the side. He must have been especially pumped up, as he managed to hit 90mph on the radar gun, the first time he had done so since 2009, being someone who usually relies more on finesse to get batters out. Colon took over for the Mets and he allowed a lead-off single to speedy Paulo Orlando, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Escobar. Colon issued an intentional walk to Zobrist and Cain moved both runners by one base with a grounder to 1B Duda. Colon then issued another intentional walk, to Hosmer, to face Dyson, who had remained in the game after running for Morales earlier. He was unable to get the game-winning hit, flying out to center field. Neither team was able to score in the 13th and Young had another perfect inning in the top of the 14th, having faced only 10 batters in his three innings of work. Escobar led off the bottom of the frame against Colon and he reached on a throwing error by 3B Wright. Zobrist then singled, moving Escobar to third and Colon issued yet another intentional walk, to Cain, in order to load the bases and create a potential force play at home. The strategy did not work as Hosmer then lifted a fly ball to right field; RF Granderson had no chance of throwing out the speedy Escobar who scored the winning run on the sacrifice fly.

The game tied the record for most innings in a World Series contest, matching Game 3 of the 2005 Series and Game 2 of 1916. By time, it was just shorter than the 2005 marathon between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros. Surprisingly, Escobar was not the first batter to lead off a World Series game with an inside-the park homer, as Patsy Dougherty had done so in Game 2 of the 1903 World Series; there had also been an inside-the-park homer in the 14-inning Game 2 in 1916. Among other oddities, FOX Sports lost its main television feed in the 4th inning, causing a seven-minute delay, before it moved to its international feed, forcing both managers to agree to play with limited video review capability until the problem was fixed. Young, not known as a strikeout pitcher, tied a record held by Walter Johnson and Tug McGraw by recording four strikeouts in extra innings, while, at the age of 42, Colon became the oldest man to lose a World Series game; knocking out Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Game 2 @ Kauffman Stadium[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mets 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1
Royals 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 3 x 7 10 0
WP: Johnny Cueto (1-0), LP: Jacob deGrom (0-1)
Home Runs: none
  • Attendance: 40,410

Since his acquisition by the Royals at the trading deadline, Johnny Cueto had been something of a bag of surprises, sometimes being the dominant pitcher that was expected when he was brought over, like in Game 5 of the ALDS, and sometimes being beaten around like a rag doll, as the Blue Jays had done in Game 3 of the ALCS. Manager Ned Yost was therefore uncertain about who would show up on the mound in Game 2, but it was the world-beating Johnny Cueto who came out. He ended up pitching a complete game two-hitter, the first complete game by an American League pitcher in the World Series since Jack Morris's masterful performance in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. For the Mets, Jacob deGrom, who had been the team's ace in the regular season and had pitched likewise in the first two rounds, was the starter. The Mets made a move to strengthen their defense by having Juan Lagares start in centerfield and bat 9th, with Yoenis Cespedes back in his natural left field slot and rookie Michael Conforto acting as the DH. For the Royals, no tinkering was needed with a formula that had proved successful throughout the postseason thus far.

DeGrom started off well, not giving up a hit through the first three innings. Lucas Duda had the first hit of the game, a one-out single off Cueto in the 2nd, but he was immediately erased when Travis d'Arnaud grounded into a double play. The Mets scored first in the game, in the 4th, when Curtis Granderson drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a walk to Daniel Murphy after one out. Cespedes then hit a ground ball to 3B Mike Moustakas, who stepped on the bag to retire Granderson for the second out. Duda was next up and he singled to left to drive in Murphy. However, unbeknownst to the Mets at the time, they would not get another hit all night.

The Royals put pressure on deGrom in the bottom of the 4th, but were unable to score. Ben Zobrist opened the inning by reaching on an error by 1B Duda, then moving to second on a one-out single by Eric Hosmer. Kendrys Morales advanced both runners with a ground out, and Moustakas drew a walk to load the bases, but deGrom managed to induce a ground ball from Salvador Perez to end the inning. The Mets were still leading 1-0, but the Royals took over in the 5th. Alex Gordon and Alex Rios started things with a walk and a single, and Alcides Escobar tied the score with a single to center. After a couple of outs, Hosmer stepped up to the plate, and his clutch single to center turned the game, as two runs scored. Hosmer then moved to third on a single by Morales, and another single, by Moustakas, made it 4-1 Royals. DeGrom got the final out of the inning, but the damage was done, and so was his night's work. The Royals' success had come in large part because of their ability to foul off a large number of deGrom's pitches, forcing him to make 35 pitches during the frame.

Cueto was mowing down the Mets systematically at that point, and the Royals put the game away in the 8th when they added three runs against Jon Niese and Addison Reed. The sequence went single by Moustakas, double by Perez, double by Gordon, sacrifice fly by Paulo Orlando, who had come in for Rios as a defensive substitute, and triple by Alcides Escobar. The lead was now 7-1, and Yost did not feel the need to call on his bullpen. Cueto came out and retired Granderson and David Wright before issuing a walk to Murphy, the Mets' first baserunner since Duda's 4th-inning hit. Cespedes then flied out to right to end the game, sending the two teams to the Big Apple with Kansas City holding a two games to none lead in the series.

Game 3 @ Citi Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Royals 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 0
Mets 2 0 2 1 0 4 0 0 x 9 12 0
WP: Noah Syndergaard (1-0), LP: Yordano Ventura (0-1)
Home Runs: NY - David Wright (1), Curtis Granderson (2)
  • Attendance: 44,781

The Mets won Game 3 at home to get a foothold back in the series. 6' 6" rookie Noah Syndergaard was on the mound, and he came out wanting to make a statement against Royals lead-off hitter Alcides Escobar, known for always swinging at the first pitch. He started the game by launching a 98 mph fastball over Escobar's head, sending the shortstop sprawling to the ground and the team's bench in a fit of anger. The pitch was a flashback to the 1980 World Series, when Dickie Noles of the Philadelphia Phillies had sent George Brett tumbling to the ground with a brushback fastball, ending a sequence in which the Royals were teeing off on all of the Phillies pitchers' offerings. Syndergaard's purpose was similar, as he said after the game that he had no intention of hitting Escobar, but simply wanted to send a message.

In any case, Escobar struck out, but Ben Zobrist followed with a double, moved to third on a single by Lorenzo Cain then scored on a force out by Eric Hosmer for a quick 1-0 Kansas City lead. For all his blustering, Syndergaard was not particularly sharp in the early innings, struggling particularly with command of his slider. For the Royals, Yordano Ventura, himself sporting a reputation as a bit of a head-hunter, was on the mound, but he did not escalate things by sending a similar purpose pitch at the Mets. Actually, it may have been a better idea to do so, because he was quickly in trouble. Curtis Granderson led off with a single and David Wright followed with a home run to center field for a 2-1 Mets lead. The Royals came back immediately, though, as Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon led off the 2nd with back-to-back singles, then Alex Rios singled to LF Michael Conforto. Perez came in to score, but Conforto was able to gun down Gordon at third base after a video review overturned the original safe call. Rios made it to second on the throw and was bunted over to third by Ventura, before scoring when C Travis d'Arnaud allowed a passed ball. The Royals were back in the lead, 3-2.

There was no scoring in the bottom of the 2nd or the top of the 3rd, but in the bottom of that inning, the Mets took the lead for good. Syndergaard helped his own cause by leading off with a single and Granderson followed with a home run to right for a 4-3 lead. Syndergaard had now found his groove on the mound and pitched a perfect top of the 4th, but Ventura continued to get in trouble. In the 4th, he allowed a lead-off single to Lucas Duda followed by a double to d'Arnaud. A single by Conforto made it 5-3 in New York's favor, with the Mets threatening to blow the game wide open. Ventura managed to retire Wilmer Flores on a pop-up, but then was replaced by Danny Duffy. He got out of the inning by striking out Syndergaard and getting Granderson to fly out. In the bottom of the inning, Duffy was replaced by pinch-hitter Raul Mondesi, who struck out; it was a historic at-bat, as Mondesi became the first player to make his major league debut in a World Series game.

The Mets then put the game definitely away in the 6th, after the Royals had left the bases loaded in the top of the inning when Rios grounded out to shortstop. Having had to pull out his starter early, Ned Yost needed an inning from one of his second-tier relievers, and he turned to Franklin Morales, who had had a good regular season, but who had struggled in the World Series in two previous appearances. It was the case again this time as after one out, he allowed a single to Juan Lagares, pinch-hitting for Conforto, hit Flores with a pitch, and allowed a run-scoring single to Juan Uribe, pinch-hitting for Syndegaard. Granderson then hit a ball back towards the mound, but Morales could not retire anyone, loading the bases. Kelvin Herrera came on in this tricky situation, but he allowed a single to Wright that scored two more runs. A walk to Daniel Murphy loaded the bases again and a sacrifice fly by Yoennis Cespedes made the score 9-3, which turned out to be the final score.

The game was over for all practical purposes at that point. Addison Reed came on to pitch for the Mets and he, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia all worked a scoreless inning to make the win official.

Game 4 @ Citi Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Royals 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 0 5 9 0
Mets 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 6 2
WP: Ryan Madson (1-0), LP: Tyler Clippard (0-1), SV: Wade Davis (1)
Home Runs: NY - Michael Conforto 2 (2)
  • Attendance: 44,815

The Mets thought they had victory in their grasp in Game 4, taking a 3-2 lead into the 8th inning, only to see the Royals mount one of their patented comebacks to win, 5-3. The game played on a Saturday Hallowe'en night at Citi Field featured the two teams' fourth starters, and a bigger contrast could hardly have been imagined: for the Royals, well-traveled 6' 10" soft-tossing 36-year-old rightander Chris Young, matched up against 24-year-old hard-throwing lefty Steven Matz from nearby Long Island. Matz matched Marty Bystrom of the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies in making a World Series start with only six regular season starts on his resumé, not counting his two in the first two rounds of the postseason.

Matz had the upper hand in the early innings. He did allow a lead-off single to Alcides Escobar, but an attempted steal with two strikes on Ben Zobrist turned out badly, as Zobrist struck out, then fell into the arms of C Travis d'Arnaud as he was attempting a throw to second. He was called for interference and Escobar was declared out as a result. Matz had a variety of pitches going and was throwing them exactly on target, making it very hard for Kansas City batters to get good swings, Young began the game with two perfect innings, but he was ambushed in the 3rd as another rookie, Michael Conforto, jumped on a first-pitch fastball that he pulled into the upper deck, just fair down the first base line, for a lead-off homer. Wilmer Flores followed with a single, and while Matz was squaring up to bunt, Young bounced a pitched ten feet in front of home plate, out of C Salvador Perez's grasp, to advance Flores 90 feet. Matz then laid down a very nice sacrifice bunt, and Flores was on third base with one out. Curtis Granderson then lofted a ball to shallow right field, Alex Rios got camped under it and caught it, but seemingly forgot that this was only the second out, as he took a couple of lazy steps towards the dugout before realizing his mistake and firing home too late to get Flores. The Mets had an early 2-0 lead.

The Royals put up a first run in the 5th when Perez doubled with one out and scored on a single by Alex Gordon. Rios flied out for the second out, and with Young due up, Ned Yost called on his most dangerous weapon off the bench, Kendrys Morales, to come to bat, a puzzling decision given that the situation did not have a particularly high leverage. As it turned out, Morales singled but Gordon stopped at second base and Escobar flied out for the third out. The Royals now had to turn to their bullpen and Danny Duffy got the first call. Usually murder on lefties, Duffy was tagged by Conforto, the first batter he faced, for his second homer of the game, this one to right-centerfield, for a 3-1 Mets lead. After Flores made an out, Terry Collins for his part decided to let Matz bat, even though he had already thrown as many pitches as in his first two postseason starts. He made an out to center, then Granderson singled but was caught stealing to end the inning.

Matz thus came out for the 6th inning, but by now the Royals were getting more comfortable against him. Zobrist opened the frame with his 8th double of the postseason and Lorenzo Cain singled to center to cut the lead to 3-2. Collins now removed Matz, replacing him with another lefty, Jon Niese, against whom Cain quickly stole second base on a delayed steal. However, he could not advance further when Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas made outs, and Bartolo Colon came in to face the right-handed hitting Perez. Colon attempted to pick Cain off second base, but his throw sailed into centerfield, and Cain advanced to third base. However, after a long and tense at-bat, Colon, using all his guile, managed to strike out the Royals catcher and maintain New York's one-run lead for the time being.

In the battle of the bullpens now unfolding, Luke Hochevar pitched a perfect 6th for the Royals, Addison Reed did the same for the Mets in the top of the 7th, followed by Ryan Madson for the Royals in the bottom of the 8th. The fans were sensing that victory was close at hand when Tyler Clippard came out to pitch the 8th, with closer Jeurys Familia already up in the bullpen. That's when the Royals crushed their hopes, mounting yet another late-game comeback, a specialty this postseason. Things started off well enough when Escobar grounded out for the first out, but Zobrist drew a walk. There was a question whether Collins would call on Familia immediately, but he left Clippard in the game to face Cain. He battled to draw another walk, and now Collins had no choice but to call on his closer early. The very clutch-hitting Hosmer was up next, and he sent a slow dribbler towards second base. Running to scoop the ball, 2B Daniel Murphy missed it entirely for an error, the ball ending up in shallow right, with Zobrist scoring the tying run and Cain taking third. Moustakas then singled to right to give the Royals the lead, while Hosmer advanced to third. Another single by Perez, and it was 5-3, with Moustakas now on third. Just as the Mets were about to be blown out of the game, Murphy redeemed himself partially by fielding Gordon's grounder, running to tag Perez near first base and in one motion passing the ball with his glove to 1B Lucas Duda to complete a double play. There was no other way to get two outs, and failing to get the DP would have meant a 6th run for Kansas City. Still, it was now 5-3 for the Royals, and the crowd was suddenly very quiet.

Yost did not make the same mistake as Collins, not cutting corners as he asked his closer, Wade Davis, to pitch the final two innings. He got the Mets in order in the 8th, then Collins had to remove Familia in favor of youngster Hansel Robles, not wanting to tire out his closer with his team trailing by two runs. Robles did the job, helped by the fact Davis had to bat for himself and did not take the bat off his shoulder as he struck out on four pitches, and Davis was back to pitch the 9th. He struck out David Wright for the first out, but Murphy then hit a ball against the defensive shift towards the normal shortstop position; 3B Moustakas tried to field it but made a hash of it and Murphy was awarded a very generous single. Yoenis Cespedes followed with a sharp single to right, and the Mets now had the tying run on first. Lucas Duda was next up; he lined a ball towards Moustakas which the third baseman caught just above his shoetops; the two runners were on the move, and Cespedes did not manage to turn back towards first base until it was too late, getting doubled off easily to end the game. The Royals were now one win away from the second championship in team history.

Game 5 @ Citi Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Royals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 5 7 10 1
Mets 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 2
WP: Luke Hochevar (1-0), LP: Addison Reed (0-1)
Home Runs: NY - Curtis Granderson (3)
  • Attendance: 44,859

The two Game 1 starters were facing one another again in Game 5, Matt Harvey for the Mets and Edinson Volquez, back from his father's funeral, for the Royals. Harvey had been hampered for most of the season by the fact that the Mets wanted to limit his innings, as he was coming back from Tommy John surgery. However, there was no such factor in play this time: he would pitch as long as he was effective. Both managers designated their usual line-ups for the game, which meant for New York that Yoenis Cespedes was in centerfield and rookie Michael Conforto in left, with Juan Lagares available only for defensive duties.

The Mets scored first when Curtis Granderson led off the bottom of the 1st with a home run against Volquez. It was the Mets' sixth homer against only two for Kansas City, but the difference was that the Royals had scored plenty of runs without the benefit of the long ball, whereas the Mets had found it harder to do so when they kept the ball within the yard. That initial run stood alone for six innings, during which both starting pitchers were sharp, while the two teams turned three double plays to prevent any serious scoring threat to develop. Granderson was again at the origin of the Mets' second run, in the 6th, when he led off the inning with a walk, went to second on a single by David Wright and to third when 1B Eric Hosmer mishandled Daniel Murphy's ground ball for an error. The bases were loaded with nobody out, but Volquez got out with only minimal damage, getting three outs on a pop-up, a sacrifice fly by Lucas Duda, and a ground out.

The score remained 2-0 in the Mets' favor until the 9th. Kelvin Herrera replaced Volquez to start the 7th and stayed on for the 8th. For the Mets, Harvey was pitching a great game, which led manager Terry Collins to make a fateful decision, one of a number of similar controversial ones during the Series: he asked Harvey to pitch the 9th inning as well, mindful that his closer, Jeurys Familia, had already blown two save opportunities. No one will ever know if given the chance to start the inning, Familia would have done the job or not. What did transpire was that Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain on a full count. He promptly stole second base and scored the Royals' first run when Hosmer - once again - followed with a double. Now the situation was critical, with nobody out and the tying run on second base, and this is when Collins turned to Familia. Once again given an extremely difficult mission, as had been the case the previous night, he was again unable to accomplish it. Mike Moustakas grounded out for the first out, but this moved Hosmer to third. Salvador Perez then hit a soft bouncer to 3B Wright, who looked at Hosmer, who faked staying put before taking off for home as soon as the Mets' third baseman released the ball towards first base. Perez was out, but 1B Duda was taken completely by surprise by Hosmer's cheeky dash home and could not get a good throw off, allowing the runner to score the tying run. Another day, another tremendous late-game comeback for Kansas City!

Herrera stayed for a third inning of work and once again got the Mets in order, so extra innings were needed. Familia retired the Royals in order in the top of the 10th, then Luke Hochevar did the same in the bottom of the inning. Jon Niese pitched the 11th for the Mets and gave up a two-out single and a stolen base to Hosmer, but did not allow a run. In the bottom of the inning, Hochevar gave up a two-out walk to Murphy, but nothing else. In the 12th, Addison Reed came on to pitch and gave up a lead-off single to Perez, who would be named the World Series MVP after the game. Jarrod Dyson came on as a pinch-runner for the slow-footed catcher and stole second base before going to third on a ground out by Alex Gordon. Hochevar was due up, and Ned Yost sent little-used back-up infielder Christian Colon, hero of last year's Wild Card Game, to pinch hit. He drove in the go-ahead run with a single to left, and now that the floodgates were opened, the Royals rushed in with all their might. Paulo Orlando hit a ball towards 2B Murphy, but in his haste to attempt a play on Colon, he committed an error, and Alcides Escobar followed with a double that scored a second run. Reed issued an intentional walk to Ben Zobrist to load the bases and Bartolo Colon came in to pitch, but Cain greeted him with a double to the left field corner that cleared the bases, making it 7-2. There was no coming back from such a huge deficit. Yost took no chances, calling on Wade Davis to pitch the final inning, as Drew Butera took over behind the plate, the only time that the rock Salvador Perez would not be there for the entire series. Davis got Duda and Travis d'Arnaud to go down on strikes. Conforto singled, but Wilmer Flores ended the game by striking out as well. The Kansas City Royals had won the second championship of their history.

Aftermath[edit]

The winning share for the World Series was 370,069.03 while the losing share was $300,757.78.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Ted Berg: "9 extremely important factors that could determine the Mets-Royals World Series", For the Win, USA Today Sports, October 25, 2015. [1]
  • Ted Berg: "Terry Collins reflects on decision to stick with Matt Harvey in World Series Game 5", For the Win, USA Today Sports, January 12, 2016. [2]
  • AJ Cassavell: "DYK: Top facts about Mets-Royals matchup", mlb.com, October 24, 2015. [3]
  • Bill Chuck: "50 fabulous facts about the 2015 World Series", USA Today Sports, November 2, 2015. [4]
  • Jeffrey Flanagan: "Reigning men: Royals win 1st Series since '85", mlb.com, November 2, 2015. [5]
  • Jeffrey Flanagan: "15 for '15: Hosmer's dash one to remember: 'I figured we had to take a chance,' said first baseman", mlb.com, December 31, 2015. [6]
  • Steve Gardner: "Mets-Royals World Series: Five crucial matchups to watch", USA Today Sports, October 24, 2015. [7]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Royals find fitting end to World Series title", USA Today Sports, November 2, 2015. [8]
  • Greg W. Prince: Amazin' Again: How the 2015 New York Mets Brought the Magic Back to Queens, Sports Publishing LLC, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-1-61321-945-8

Related Sites[edit]

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