The New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals both sent their aces to the hill in Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium following a marathon Game 1 that took 14 innings.
The Mets were looking to rebound after a heartbreaking extra innings loss, while the Royals wanted to send the series to New York with a 2-0 lead. Something had to give, and on this night the Royals jumped all over the Mets.
The game went as expected with both aces trading zeros and that's how it went through the first three innings. It wasn't until the fourth inning when the scoring got going.
The Mets were the first to crack the scoreboard as Lucas Duda singled to left scoring Daniel Murphy and New York was out in front. After that, Johnny Cueto settled in very nicely and the Mets couldn't get anything going.
We weren't quite sure what Johnny Cueto we were going to see in this one after two opposite starts in the ALDS and ALCS. Wednesday night, however, was good Cueto. He threw a complete game giving up one run on two hits while striking out four and walking three. Cueto was the first AL pitcher to throw a complete game in a World Series since Jack Morris in 1991, and he threw the first World Series complete game two-hitter since Greg Maddux in 1995.
As for the Royals offense, they got things going in the fifth inning as they posted four runs. It started off with an Alcides Escobar single to center to open the scoring for the Royals. That was followed by an Eric Hosmer two RBI single and a Mike Moustakas RBI single which had Kansas City up 4-1 after five. It was quite the shock to the system of Jacob deGrom and the Mets.
That fifth inning was the end of deGrom's night as his pitch count spiked to 94. The Royals, one of the best fastball hitting teams in the majors, had a pretty solid night against one of the best fastball pitchers in the majors. He lasted just five innings giving up four runs on six hits while striking out two and walking four. It was not the deGrom we have seen in his prior postseason starts.
Jacob deGrom is know for getting a ton of swings and misses and against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs he was able to tally 58 swings and misses. Tonight against the Royals, deGrom only tallied three swings and misses, which is a career-low. Kansas City was resilient at the plate and didn't make things easy for deGrom as they racked up 23 total foul balls.
The Mets had a tough time at the plate as they could only tally two hits and had just four at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Royals kept the foot on the pedal and put together a nice three run eighth inning to put the game out of reach. Alex Gordon started it off with an RBI double which was followed by a sac-fly by Paulo Orlando. Then, Alcides Escobar really put the icing on the cake with an RBI triple to give Kansas City a 7-1 lead heading to the ninth.
Cueto stayed on for the ninth and went 1-2-3 to preserve the 7-1 win and lock down his complete game. After Duda's RBI single in the fourth, Cueto retired 15 straight batters until a walk to Daniel Murphy in the ninth.
After the 14-inning marathon in Game 1, the bullpens were exhausted, but Cueto really helped his team out going the distance. On the Mets side, they used five pitchers, but will definitely use the travel day Thursday to recuperate.
Game 3 of the World Series is Friday at 8:00 p.m. EST on FOX as the Royals will send Yordano Ventura to the hill to face Noah Syndergaard of the Mets as the series shifts to Citi Field. The Mets will hope to avoid going down 3-0 as the Royals currently hold a 2-0 lead in the series.
Of the 51 teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in the World Series, 41 of them have gone on to win the whole. That last team to lose a series up 2-0 was the 1996 Atlanta Braves who crumbled against the New York Yankees.
WP: Johnny Cueto
LP: Jacob deGrom