The Royals defeated the Mets by a score of 5-3, storming back late against the Mets bullpen. The Mets had a 3-1 lead at one point, due in most part to two solo home runs by Michael Conforto, but the Royals came back in the 8th, scoring 3 runs off of Jeurys Familia after Tyler Clippard had issued back-to-back one out walks and Daniel Murphy made a key erro. The loss puts the Mets down in the series 3 games to 1, and they must win 3 in a row to win the World Series.
Both starters cruised through their first two innings, with Steven Matz working around a couple of hits (including an interference call on a would-be stolen base in the 1st). In the 3rd, the Mets struck first against Chris Young on a long home run down the right field line for Michael Conforto to give them a 1-0 lead.
Wilmer Flores followed with a single, and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch before Matz bunted him to 3rd. Curtis Granderson then hit a sacrifice fly to right, on which it appeared right fielder Alex Rios forgot how many outs there were. Rios’s mistake gave Wilmer Flores an extra second to beat the throw home, and though the Royals challenged that Flores left too early, the call stood.
The Royals struck back for a run in the 5th, after a Salvador Perez double booted in center by Yoenis Cespedes. Alex Gordon singled him in to make it 2-1, but Matz was able to work out of trouble, retiring the next 3 hitters. Michael Conforto tacked on a second solo home run in the bottom of the 5th to make it 3-1, but the Royals struck back again in the 6th. Ben Zobrist doubled to lead off the frame, followed by an RBI single by Lorenzo Cain, chasing Matz from the game. Though Cain stole 2nd, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon combined to get out of the jam with a 3-2 lead.
Addison Reed pitched a 1-2-3 7th before Tyler Clippard ran into trouble in the 8th. After retiring Alcides Escobar, Clippard walked Zobrist and Cain, prompting Terry Collins to bring in Jeurys Familia to try to get a 5-out save. Eric Hosmer sent a slow ground ball to Daniel Murphy that scooted under his glove, scoring a run and putting runners at the corners. The game was tied at 3 on a play that should have put runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Singles to Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez put the Royals up 5-3, before Familia got Alex Gordon to ground into a double play to end the inning.
The Mets were quiet against closer Wade Davis in the bottom of the 8th as he tried for a 6-out save, but they began to put a rally together in the bottom of the 9th. With 1 out, Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes each singled, putting the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate with one out. Lucas Duda hit a weak bloop to 3rd base, caught by Mike Moustakas on the fly and flipped to first for a game-ending double play, as Yoenis Cespedes was caught way off 1st base.
POSITIVES: Being down 3-1 in the World Series, there aren’t many. Steven Matz and Addison Reed were solid as ever, with Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon getting key outs. Michael Conforto hit two home runs before being lifted for defense. Hansel Robles pitched a clean 9th after the Mets had fallen behind 5-3.
NEGATIVES: Murphy’s error could very well have cost the Mets the game, but Tyler Clippard walked back-to-back hitters with 1 out to set up the fiasco. Jeurys Familia couldn’t get out of the jam cleanly, though he did get a couple of ground balls at first. Yoenis Cespedes ruined any outside shot at a 2-out 9th inning rally by getting doubled off 1st base. Cespedes also booted a ball earlier in the game that led to a run.
This was a game that summarized Mets fans’ fears. Weak middle relief, weak defense, and an inability to hit the Kansas City bullpen (save for a solo shot by Conforto against Danny Duffy) sealed their fate. On top of that, 2 runs in 4 innings against Chris Young won’t cut it, especially when they’ll face Volquez tomorrow, plus Cueto and Ventura if the series continues past tomorrow.
WPA Winner: Michael Conforto (.239)
- Jeurys Familia (-.555)
- Lucas Duda (-.207)
- Tyler Clippard (-.099)
- Michael Conforto hits a solo home run, Mets up 1-0, 3rd inning (.136)
- Michael Conforto hits a solo home run, Mets up 3-1, 5th inning (.111)
- Eric Hosmer reaches on a fielding error by Daniel Murphy, Ben Zobrist scores. Game tied 3-3, 8th inning (-.341)
- Mike Moustakas hits an RBI single, Royals up 4-3, 8th inning (-.186)
- Lucas Duda lines into a double play with runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out, 9th inning, Royals up 5-3 (-.169)
- Lorenzo Cain hits an RBI single, Mets up 3-2, 6th inning (-.106)
- Alex Gordon hits an RBI single, Mets up 2-1, 5th inning (-.103)