After just five games, Major League Baseball has a new champion. The Kansas City Royals bested the New York Mets on the national stage. Pete Hodges has the 2015 World Series clinching game recap to finish off our playoff coverage.
The hometown Mets had their backs against the wall in Game 5, down 3-1 in the series. They turned to the ace of their young staff, Matt Harvey, aka The Dark Knight. He did not disappoint.
Curtis Granderson welcomed Royals starter, Edinson Volquez to New York with a leadoff home run. Volquez then struck out the next two batters before getting Yoenis Cespedes to ground out for the third out.
The starters traded zeroes for the next four innings. Over those four innings, Volquez walked four batters (one intentional), struck out three, and didn’t allow a hit. Harvey matched Volquez by allowing just a single and a walk, while striking out six.
The Royals continued to be stymied by Harvey into the top of the sixth. Granderson led off the Mets half of the inning, drawing a walk. David Wright then singled, moving Granderson to second. Daniel Murphy then loaded the bases on a costly error by first baseman Eric Hosmer. Following a Cespedes popout, Lucas Duda drove a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Granderson, and the Mets lead increased to 2-0.
Harvey continued to dominate, shutting down the Royals through the eighth inning. Kelvin Herrera entered the game in the bottom of the seventh for Volquez, and after a leadoff single by Michael Conforto, induced Wilmer Flores to hit into a double play. Herrera then got Harvey to ground out, ending the inning. Herrera stayed in the game for the eighth inning and struck out the side in order.
Harvey talked Terry Collins into leaving him in the game to start the ninth inning, instead of going to his closer, Jeurys Familia. Harvey started the inning with a seven-pitch walk of Cain, who stole second base for the second time on the night. Hosmer then doubled to score Cain, and Collins finally came out to lift Harvey. Familia induced a Mike Moustakas ground out, but Hosmer advanced to third. Hosmer then scored on a Salvador Perez ground out to first base:
Familia ended the inning by getting Alex Gordon to ground out to the mound. Despite retiring all three batters, Familia blew the save. The game went to the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied at 2.
Kelvin Herrera continued his excellence into the ninth, getting the side out in order. This would end the night for Herrera, who pitched three innings of shutout relief, allowing just one hit, while striking out three.
Familia pitched a shutout top of the tenth, striking out two. Luke Hochevar replaced Herrera and continued the trend of great Royals bullpen pitching by sitting down the Mets in order.
Jon Niese came in for the Mets to start the eleventh and got the first two batters out. Hosmer singled and stole second, but Mike Moustakas lined out to left to end the inning with the score still tied.
Hochevar stayed in for the bottom of the eleventh, and despite a Daniel Murphy walk, the lefty kept the Mets off the scoreboard.
Addison Reed replaced Niese in the twelfth inning, and things quickly unraveled for the Mets. Perez hit a leadoff single and was pinch run for by Jarrod Dyson, who stole second. Dyson advanced to third on a Gordon groundout to first base. Following a coaching visit to the mound, pinch-hitter Christian Colon drove Dyson home on a single to left, giving the Royals the 3-2 lead.
Paulo Orlando then reached first when the Mets botched a double play attempt. With men on first and second, Alcides Escobar doubled to left, scoring Colon and moving Orlando to third. With first base open, Reed intentionally walked Ben Zobrist and was replaced by Bartolo Colon. Colon was greeted with a Cain bases-clearing double, giving the Royals a 7-2 lead. Colon was then able to end the inning, getting Hosmer and Moustakas out.
Wade Davis entered the game for the Royals. The closer struck out the first two batters he faced before Conforto hit a single, giving a glimmer of hope to the hometown fans. However, that hope was quickly dashed as Flores struck out looking on 95-mph fastball. The Kansas City Royals were crowned World Champions for the first time in thirty years.