The Kansas City Royals and New York Mets matchup is underway and Pete Hodges and Rick Rowand have our 2015 World Series Game 4 preview for tonight’s game.
Game 1: Kansas City won 5-4
Game 2: Kansas City won 7-1
Game 3: New York won 9-3
Game 4: Royals @ Mets 8 PM Saturday 10/31
Game 5: Royals @ Mets 8 PM Sunday 11/1*
Game 6: Mets @ Royals 8 PM Tuesday 11/3*
Game 7: Mets @ Royals 8 PM Wednesday 11/4*
All times are Eastern
Game 3 Recap
Game 3 featured two of the premiere young starters in the game which the New York Mets needed to win. The visiting Royals gave rookie Noah Syndergaard a rude greeting to the World Series stage. After striking out Alcides Escobar, Syndergaard gave up a double to Ben Zobrist. Zobrist moved over to third on a single by Lorenzo Cain and then scored on an Eric Hosmer ground out, giving the Royals their first lead of the night, 1-0.
Yordano Ventura fared even worse in his first inning of World Series action. A leadoff single by Curtis Granderson was followed by a two-run homer by David Wright. Ventura then settled down and retired the next six batters he faced.
For Syndergaard, things just got worse in the second inning. A leadoff single by Salvador Perez led to another single by Alex Gordon, putting men on first and second. Alex Rios singled on the very next pitch, scoring Perez from second, but Gordon was thrown out by Michael Conforto trying to go from first to third. However, Rios advanced to second on the throw and Ventura then did his duty by moving Rios to third. The one-out sac bunt paid off as a wild pitch scored Rios. Escobar singled and advanced to second on a steal, but Zobrist ended the inning on a fly out to center and the score was 3-2 Royals.
With two rough innings behind him, Syndergaard sat the Royals down in order in the third and then led off the bottom of the inning with a single. The leadoff single would cost Ventura for the second time as Granderson hit a two-run home run of his own to propel the Mets to a 4-3 lead.
Syndergaard repeated his third inning performance in the fourth and Ventura ran into more trouble. Lucas Duda started the party with a single followed by a Travis D’Arnaud double. Conforto drove Duda home and moved D’Arnaud to third on a single. After retiring Wilmer Flores, Ventura was lifted in favor of lefty Danny Duffy. Duffy struck out Syndergaard and retired Granderson on a fly to center to end the fourth inning with the score of 5-3 in favor of the Mets.
The top of the fifth inning would be eventless were it not for Raul Mondesi Jr. making his major league debut. Mondesi became the first player in MLB history to make his debut in a World Series game. The highest level of pro baseball he’d been in before was AA. The bottom of the inning saw Luke Hochevar replace Duffy and pitch a scoreless fifth.
The sixth inning would be Syndergaard’s last. After striking out the first two batters, he walked the bases loaded. However, the youngster buckled down, forcing Rios to ground out to shortstop to end the threat with the score at 5-3 and his chance for a win intact.
Veteran Franklin Morales started the bottom of the sixth for the Royals. After retiring D’Arnaud, he gave up a single to pinch-hitter Juan Lagares and then hit Flores with a pitch. Juan Uribe, on his third team this year, pinch-hit for Syndergaard and drove Lagares home, extending the lead to 6-3. Granderson then ground into a fielder’s choice as Morales threw Uribe out at second. Flamethrower Kelvin Herrera entered the game and lit it on fire. Wright greeted Herrera to New York with a two-run single. After a Daniel Murphy walk loaded the bases, Yoenis Cespedes hit a sac fly to left field before Duda struck out to end the inning with the score at 9-3 Mets.
The bullpens then entered into a stalemate as they combined to allow just one hit over the last five frames, including a non-save appearance from Jeurys Familia. The Mets hope to continue the trend of home teams winning to even up the Series tonight.
Game 4 Starters
Steven Matz had his postseason debut in Game 4 of the NLDS. The rookie went five innings while giving up three runs in the losing effort. He made his second playoff start in Game 4 of the NLCS, and while he did not earn the W, he went 4 ⅔ inning giving up just one run.
Matz made his major-league debut on June 28, allowing 2 earned runs over 7 ⅔ innings, while striking out six. His second start showed the first was no fluke, as he pitched 6 innings of shutout ball while striking out eight Dodgers. Then on July 9 the Mets announced that Matz had suffered a partial tear to his lat muscle and he would not appear in another game for two months.
Matz returned on September 6 and made four starts to close out the last month of the regular season. In those four starts, the lefty posted a 2.86 ERA, a 3.18 FIP, and a 3.21 xFIP over 22 innings. The rookie relied heavily on his four-seam fastball (68.23%), while his favorite secondary pitch is a curveball (19.79%). He also throws a change (9.90%) and a slider (1.91%). He throws his fastball and curve 95- and 77-mph, respectively.
Chris Young is the only other listed starter that has started a game in the postseason this year in addition to one relief outing. In 8 ⅔ innings he has an ERA of 3.12 and a BAA of .200
Young compiled an 11-6 record in 34 games, 18 of them starts. He had an ERA of 3.06, a FIP of 4.52 and an xFIP of 5.33.
He relies on two pitches: the four-seam fastball (58%) and the slider (40%). The fastball is not overwhelming, clocking in at 87-mph. He’ll also throw the occasional change and curve.