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Royals can clinch title in World Series Game 5

Nov 1, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT

USA Today


Series: Royals lead 3-1
Where: Citi Field, New York
Gametime: 8:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 62 degrees, wind 6 mph
Starting pitchers: KCR RHP Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55 ERA) / NYM RHP Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71 ERA)

The 2015 MLB season could come to an end on Sunday night, as the Kansas City Royals aim to clinch their first World Series title since 1985. They have the opportunity to do so on the road at the Mets with Game 5 being the final game of the series in New York.

Matt Harvey will try to keep the Mets’ season alive in his second appearance of this World Series. He pitched Game 1, which the Mets lost despite him putting in a quality start. He has a 3.38 ERA in the playoffs so far through three starts.

Edinson Volquez, who also started Game 1, will get the ball for Kansas City tonight. You probably remember his impressive outing in that game despite not knowing his father had passed just hours before. Now he will go out to the mound again just days after suffering a tragic loss.

Volquez was good in that game, but he’s been inconsistent overall in the playoffs. He has a 6.14 career postseason ERA through six total games.

The Royals have looked like the superior team through this series and are certainly have the advantage at 3-1 now. Is tonight the night?

  1. natsred4dndc - Nov 1, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Two things after watching the 8th inning of WS game 4:
    1. THAT is why Daniel Murphy is a definite “NO” among upcoming FAs: all hit, no field.
    2. Somewhere, Mike Rizzo is resting a little easier. He wouldn’t ever say it, so I’ll do the honors: that trade of one year of Tyler Clippard for three years of Yunel Escobar was so well timed–another clear “win” for Rizzo.

  2. natsfan1a - Nov 1, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Was grocery shopping on Friday and saw that Murphy was on the front of this week’s Sports Illustrated. Well played, SI. Well played.

    You know what to do, Royals. Let’s keep those Rally ShamWows dormant.

  3. unkyd59 - Nov 1, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    Hmmmm…. It must have been a dream I had, about Bryce capturing some Major Award… Because if he had won a Major Award, Mark or Chase would have covered it…right?

    (I guess it’s just as well… Somebody would prolly have griped about him putting it in the front window, anyway…)

  4. Susanfaulkner - Nov 2, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    Matt Harvey has blown it for his team.Collins should have did what he wanted and not let him go out for the ninth. Hope Harvey pats himself on the back.

  5. breakbad1 - Nov 2, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    Just delighted to see the Mets lose. An absolute clown show of choking defense and hubristic pitchers (Harvey cartoons and pretty boy Thor.) It will be so much fun to remind Murphy of his stellar defense at Nats Park next year. The rental Cespedes got hot and they rode him, but he finally showed his suckage in the big show. So glad the crappy Mets lost.

    • NatsLady - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:03 AM

      They all have hubris. Cespedes insisted on finishing his at-bat when he was injured (he popped up with the bases loaded).

    • natsfan1a - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:08 AM

      Nice to get a break from all the Dark Knight and Thor blathering, and the plastic Viking helmets and hammers. At least until next season. Oh, and from Joe Buck and Harold Reynolds. Thanks ever so, Royals. My mute button was getting worn out.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Nov 2, 2015 at 7:04 AM

    It was more than Collins/Harvey that cost them the title. Agreed, that first off, KC was the better team, and throughout the series the Mets made crucial errors, pitchers couldn’t get key outs, catchers couldn’t prevent stolen bases, hitters didn’t come through. The Royals seemed to take advantage of every mistake.

    • NatsLady - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:09 AM

      The Royals made mistakes. Example, Rios forgot how many outs there were. The Mets just couldn’t seem to take advantage, or enough advantage.

      Collins uttered the famous Matt Williams formula (“That’s the way we got here/those are the guys who got us here”), yet when he had a plan (Harvey for eight innings, then Familia), and the plan worked, he didn’t stick with it.

      Before that, he let Familia talk him into using him with a six-run lead, then was fearful of using him to get six outs (“because we have another game tomorrow”) and put in Clipp. The pitchers let themselves be goosed by the hitters and the scouting reports. In the end, the better team won, and it wasn’t a fluke.

  7. section105a - Nov 2, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Yes, definitely KC was the better team. But will nobody point out that Jeurys Familia blew 3 saves in the World Series? Isn’t it all his fault? Shouldn’t he be run out of the city?

    Or is perfection for closers only a standard applied to Drew Storen?

    • NatsLady - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:02 AM

      The last pitcher to blow three saves in the postseason was Mariano Rivero in 2004.

    • jfmii - Nov 2, 2015 at 12:48 PM

      I might have agreed with your line of thinking before last August/September’s meltdown

    • natsred4dndc - Nov 2, 2015 at 1:05 PM


    • Section 222 - Nov 2, 2015 at 3:57 PM

      If I were a Mets fan I’d have serious doubt about Familia’s ability to be a reliable closer in the playoffs. His performance doesn’t change anything about my view of Drew Storen. Why should it? It’s not news that closers sometimes blow saves.

  8. natsfan1a - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    Went to bed after the 6th again. Nice to wake up to news of the new world champ (congrats to the Royals) and watch the rest of the game via DVR. Luckily, my bracketing worked out this time, as it *only* went to 12 rather than 14. Did anyone else notice the following in the video montage when they came back from break for the bottom of the 12th: there was a group of KC fans (guys and gals) cheering and waving a rally towel. Then an orange-clad arm sweeps in from their left side and snatches the towel. Stay classy, Mets fans. I’ve been there, and I know it’s a frustrating situation, but daaang.

    • Susanfaulkner - Nov 2, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      It’s New York. Can’t help it rude. Sore losers. Harvey is their ace and the rookie Thor is only one that won a game for them. Go figure. Harvey telling Collins to keep him in the game Max was way cooler when he was on the mound telling MW I f****** want this!!

  9. Joe Seamhead - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    Not a good morning to be a New York sports fan. The Mets lost the World Series, the Giants lost a historical game, the Jets lost, and the Islanders lost. Can we strike up a chorus of the blues for NY? No? I didn’t think so.

  10. adcwonk - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    Two quick thoughts as I’m still getting the cobwebs out of my head:

    – The Mets lost last night for a number of reasons, but I’d put “lack of hitting” as the top reason. (Four hits in 12 innings — and a bases-loaded-no-out situation where just one run scored).

    – A lot of commentators here ripped Rizzo for not getting Cespedes, Clippard, etc., at the deadline. With some hindsight — any thoughts on that?

    • NatsLady - Nov 2, 2015 at 8:57 AM

      Well, Cespedes and Clippard did get them to the postseason. I don’t see any fault in not getting Cespedes, who is streaky, apparently not a “team” player and where would he have played in our outfield? Rizzo did try to get Clipp back at the deadline but was outbid. Clearly, in retrospect, he should have bid more or gone after another setup guy instead of Papelbon, but that’s 20-20 hindsight.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 2, 2015 at 4:36 PM

      any thoughts on that?

      Yeah, he’s getting ripped for what happened in the World Series. Matt Williams got fired for what didn’t.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Nov 2, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    I thought about a bunch of posts over the years here that always seemed to bemoan ultra aggressive base running. If Hosmer had got caught at the plate, he would’ve looked silly, but I am a huge believer in speed kills. It forces a ton of mistakes. It’s a great tool that can’t be taught and should be utilized. And as the Royals third base coach said when asked about Duda at first base, “Duda is a good bat.” The coach also said if Hosmer had been thrown out then they would do the same thing in game 6.

    Speaking of speed? That is Trey Turner’s truly exceptional gift. He’s going to be a ton of fun to watch.

  12. Susanfaulkner - Nov 2, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    Thanks Natslady for bringing up the Saints Giants game . I wish I could have been in the Dome for that one. Great!!!

  13. kkpp3 - Nov 2, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    KC was the better team, but it truly is a game of inches. Mets lost in five, but with a few things going differently could have won in five:

    Game one — blown save; Mets could be up 1-0, instead down 0-1
    Game two — convincing win by KC; Mets could be 1-1, instead down 0-2
    Game three — convincing win by Mets; they could be up 2-1, instead down 1-2
    Game four — blown save; Mets could be up 3-1, instead down 1-3
    Game five — another blown save; Mets could be WS winners, instead WS losers

    Familia gets those three saves instead of blowing them and the Mets are celebrating.

    That’s not meant to denigrate the Royals win. They deserved to win, but the baseball gods don’t always see things that way!

  14. natsred4dndc - Nov 2, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    [Apologies in advance for this long rant on unreasonable demands]
    So now we have the other side of the “Williams pulls JZimm” coin that so many local fans see as a huge mistake by MW. And it is as close as we ever going to get to an identical game situation:
    1. Going to the 9th inning of an absolutely critical playoff game against, as it turns out in both cases, the eventual champion (Mets lose the WS with a loss; Nats go down an almost insurmountable 0-2 with a loss).
    2. Looking back at the time of The Decision, we have eight (or a little more) dominating shutout innings by a staff ace.
    3. The fans are rabid to see their guy, the “he’s our horse” “he’s our ace” guy, finish it off.
    4. And then there’s the dreaded walk that potentially opens the door.
    What do you do?
    MW knows exactly what he wants and calls for the best reliever in the league, it doesn’t work out as the Nats lose in 18 innings. As a result, his version of The Decision is a factor in his losing the clubhouse and later his job.
    Terry Collins does exactly the opposite; he too knows what he wants but gets talked out of it and does not immediately call for his relief ace, leaving Harvey out there for another hitter (post game: “it doesn’t make sense to send him out there for just one hitter”), and that doesn’t work either: the Mets lose in 12 innings.
    Great analysis from Sam Miller at Baseball Prospectus in “One Inning, Two Decisions, One Champion”:
    “Matt Harvey wanted to win this game using his skills, so he agitated and fought and he got it. But he did it at the expense of Terry Collins, who, in what will likely be the defining game of his career, didn’t get to win this game using his skills. Collins forfeited his managerial decision-making to Harvey.” “Of course, if Collins had thought about it, he might have realized that Jeurys Familia wanted it, too. He might have realized that Familia was probably pretty disappointed, if not pissed off, truthfully. And there are probably 23 other Mets who, at this point, aren’t that happy either. You lose a clubhouse a lot of different ways.”
    All of this discussion leads to this point: armchair managers think these decisions are easy. They are not. In both cases, what gets left out of the commentary is that there’s a team on the other side–a really good team in fact–that has the ability and the desire to foul up The Plan. Williams and Collins will be defined by these decisions–diametrically opposed solutions to an almost identical problem–for no other reason than, in both cases, the results turned out bad.
    And that’s a shame.

    • kkpp3 - Nov 2, 2015 at 4:06 PM

      But I doubt any real fan thinks these decisions are easy. Nothing about baseball is easy. That’s why it’s so great. Williams went with his head, and failed. Collins went with his heart, and failed. Sometimes the magic works: I remember Lasorda going with his heart, sticking with Hershiser, and it worked. Lasorda was hailed as “a genius”. But sometimes the magic doesn’t work: Collins sticks with Harvey and is seen as “an idiot.”

      • natsred4dndc - Nov 2, 2015 at 5:26 PM

        If only it were true that there isn’t a vocal part of the fanbase that truly thinks all you need to know to evaluate a decision is whether or not it worked. When the day occurs that people stop using “and how did that work out” as an argument, I can confine my posts to on-the-field events. And eventually die happy.

    • adcwonk - Nov 3, 2015 at 11:37 AM

      Nice post. I completely agree with you. I said it at the time, and ever since then: MW’s decision to bring in Storen was very defensible.

      kkpp wrote: But I doubt any real fan thinks these decisions are easy.

      Oh? There are a lot of folks here who thought the easy decision was to keep JZ in and that MW was an idiot. And I think most of those critics think they are “real fans.”

      Perhaps give Harvey more rope because he had a two run lead. That means less rope for JZ. Bringing in a guy who was one of the best relievers, by stats, in baseball seems like an eminently reasonable thing to do.

  15. Section 222 - Nov 2, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    I honestly don’t think MW’s time with the Nats will be defined by his decision to pull JZnn. In fact, many fans either supported that decision or at least understood it, even in retrospect. And I would bet that virtually no one thinks that MW “lost the clubhouse” that night.

    Two other “decisions” loom larger in his ultimate failure as a manager:

    1. Not using Clip, Stras, or Storen with the score tied 2-2 in the 7th inning of Game 4 of that series, but instead entrusting Aaron Barrett with trying shut down the Giants after Matt Thornton allowed 2 hits.

    2. Not inquiring of his coaches or players what the heck happened down at the end of the dugout that caused Harper to storm to the clubhouse between the 8th and the 9th, and sending Papelbon back to the mound after he had attacked the team’s best player.

    • natsred4dndc - Nov 2, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      You and I might hope that the thinking fan would understand the “use your weapons” concept at some level, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read articles–not just comments, actual articles–that have that decision front and center among the reasons Matt was fired. And then there’s Mark deRosa, who has regularly intimated on MLBN that the process of losing the clubhouse may have started that night.





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