The Kansas City Royals and New York Mets matchup is underway and Pete Hodges and Rick Rowand have our 2015 World Series Game 5 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: Kansas City won 5-3
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 4 Recap
Game 4 featured two starting pitchers making their World Series debuts with very different histories. The Royals starter, Chris Young, a Princeton graduate and journeyman from Texas who was offered contracts to play in the NBA as well as professional baseball. He is also a very imposing 6’10”.
Mets rookie starter Steven Matz grew up on Long Island as a Mets fan who always dreamed of pitching for the local nine. Unlike Young, who has played for six different MLB teams, Matz has known no organization other than the Mets.
Neither team scored in the first two innings. The Royals did manage to hit a couple of singles off, you guessed it, fastballs. The first inning did feature the rare “batter interference” call when Zobrist fell across the plate on an attempted steal by Alcides Escobar. Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud played it perfectly by stepping into Zobrist to get the out call on Escobar. Zobrist was subsequently called out on strikes.
In the second inning we saw that the Royals Game 1 starter, Edinson Volquez, was back with the team after attending his father’s funeral in the Dominican Republic. He didn’t learn of his father’s death until after he came out of Game 1.
Matz got the Royals out in order to start the third. In the bottom half of the inning, Young gave up a massive shot to Michael Conforto into the second deck in right to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Wilmer Flores followed the home run with a single to center. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a Matz bunt.
Curtis Granderson hit a fly ball to right that Alex Rios caught for the second out. Rios then started to trot to the dugout as Flores tagged up at third. Rios recovered from his brain fart and threw home, but the ball was up the line and Flores scored without a play at the plate. Young was able to get out of the inning without further damage. 2-0 Mets.
Matz and Young retired the sides in order in the fourth.
After a Mike Moustakas groundout to start the top of the fifth, Salvador Perez hit a line drive that Yoenis Cespedes tried to catch on the fly, but instead managed to kick with his foot. Perez ended up on second with a double. He came in to score on an Alex Gordon liner to right. After Rios hit a fly to center for the second out, Ned Yost decided that now would be the perfect time to have his best pinch hitter come on to the game. He hit a single up the middle, moving Gordon to second. Escobar ended their half of the inning with a fly ball out to center. America once again wondered why Johnny Gomes was not on the roster. 2-1 Mets.
Danny Duffy came in to pitch for the Royals and Conforto said hello with his second homer of the night. The next two hitters, Flores and Matz, made outs. Curtis Granderson came up and hit a slow roller to Hosmer at first for a single. He was then thrown out at second on an attempted steal with Wright at the plate. 3-1 Mets.
Matz came back out to start the sixth and gave up a double to Ben Zobrist and a run-scoring single to Lorenzo Cain to cut the lead to 3-2. Terry Collins finally decided that he’d seen enough of Matz and brought in Jonathon Niese to relieve him. Cain took second on a delayed steal with no throw as d’Arnaud dropped the ball.
Niese got the next two hitters out and Collins brought in Bartolo Colon to get the last out of the inning. He had the perfect opportunity on a pickoff play to second with Cain taking a big lead off the bag. However, he threw wide of the base to the shortstop side and Cain took third on the throw. Perez, after a 10 pitch at bat, finally struck out for the third out.
Luke Hochevar relieved Duffy and sets the side down in order.
Yost replaces Hochevar with Ryan Madson who sets the Mets down in order.
In the eighth, Collins moved Cespedes to left and brought in Juan Lagares to center for his defense. In a move that will be debated in Queens for a long time, he had Tyler Clippard start the inning instead of closer Jeurys Familia.
Escobar started the inning off with a groundout to Clippard. Zobrist and Cain then walked and Collins finally brought in Familia. Hosmer hit a slow roller to Murphy at second who booted it, allowing Zobrist to score and Cain to advance to third. Game tied at 3.
With runners on first and third and one out, Moustakas hit a single to right that scored Cain and moved Hosmer to third. Salvador Perez comes to the plate and hit another single to right, scoring Hosmer to give the Royals a 5-3 lead. Gordon then hits into a double play to end the inning.
Wade Davis came in to the game to try to close it out for the Royals and put the Mets down in order in the bottom of the eighth
In the bottom of the eighth, Collins had pinch hit Kelly Johnson for Lagares, so Kirk Nieuwenhuis replaced Lagares in center and Hansel Robles replaced Familia on the mound leaving Familia to live to fight another day. Robles set the Royals down in order.
Wade Davis came back to try get the final three outs of the game, which would give the Royals a 3-1 lead going into Game 5. After a Wright strike out, Yost put the shift on for Murphy. He hit the ball to Moustakas who was positioned in the 6 hole. Moustakas showed the world why he plays third as the ball bounced off his glove into the outfield for a “base hit”. Cespedes advanced Murphy to second on a single to right. Duda then came up and smashed a line drive to third. Moustakas makes up for his earlier miscue by snagging the ball and quickly throwing across the diamond to double Cespedes off first. Game over.
Game 5 is tonight at Citi Field with the first pitch scheduled for 8:15. Game 1 starters Matt Harvey and Edinson Volquez will be on the mound. The main question is if Volquez will be both mentally and physically ready to pitch after arriving in New York yesterday from the Dominican Republic.
Game 5 Starters
In his first postseason start Matt Harvey went five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks. The young righty only had one bad inning, giving up all three runs in the second. Harvey then took the mound in Game 1 of the NLCS and pitched 7 ⅔ innings giving up just two runs while striking out nine.
Harvey went six innings in Game 1, giving up three earned runs on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.
Harvey missed all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery and made 29 starts this year with a 13-8 record. In 189 ⅓ innings of work, Harvey put up a 2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP, and 3.24 xFIP. The four-seam fastball (54.24%) is his weapon of choice, and he mixes in a slider (14.21%), curve (12.80%), change (12.21%) and sinker (6.55%). Harvey’s fastball clocks in at 96-mph while his slider, curve and changeup are thrown at 90-, 84- and 89-mph.
Edinson Volquez started 33 games, posting a 13-9 record with a 3.55 ERA, a 3.82 FIP, and a 4.26 xFIP. In 200 ⅓ innings he had a K/9 of 6.96 and a BB/9 of 3.23, with a WHIP of 1.31 and a BAA of 2.47.
He’s started three games in the postseason and has a 1-2 record with an ERA of 4.32 and a BAA of .179 in 16 ⅔ innings.
In Game 1 of the World Series Volquez also gave up three runs in six innings. He allowed six hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
He features a sinker (44%) that he throws at 94-mph, a change (25%) – with about 9-mph of separation between the two – a curve (24%) and a four seam FB (7%) that comes in around 95-mph.