The Kansas City Royals picked up right where they left off; breaking the Mets' hearts, that is.
On ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, KC jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the New York Mets, and held on in the end to win their first game of the regular season.
In 2015, the Royals beat the Mets in the World Series in 5 games, and Sunday night marks the first time there has been a rematch of the World Series on Opening Day.
In October, the Royals revealed the Mets' weaknesses, which included overall defense. Yet, while their middle infield was stronger tonight, the outfield's defensive woes rolled over from the World Series. In the 1st inning, Yoenis Cespedes couldn't squeeze the glove on a Mike Moustakas can of corn. Instead of two on, no out, Moustakas reached base, and eventually scored on an Eric Hosmer RBI single.
Additionly, Travis d'Arnaud had a passed ball, and the Mets were shifted over on Hosmer's single, which dribbled right through the usual shortsop position and into the outfield. The Royals whacked hits like that all night long, just like in October. They hit the ball hard, and time after time they managed to fine even the smallest of holes.
Sunday night also had the same pitching matchup as Games 1 and 5 of the World Series: Matt Harvey vs. Edinson Volquez. Here are their final lines:
Harvey: 5 2/3 IP 8H 4R 3ER 2BB 2K 83 Pitches
Volquez: 6IP 2H 0R 0ER 3BB 5K 106 Pitches
Volquez was occasionally wild, although largely unhittable for most of his outing. Harvey, meanwhile, struggled at times, but put in a gritty performance to keep the Mets in the game. His defense let him down a few times though, resulting in RBIs from Hosmer, Kendrys Morales, Alex Gordon, and Omar Infante. Either way, both Volquez and Harvey should be ready for solid seasons in 2016, though Volquez got the better of his counterpart on Opening Night.
Queens Comeback Falls Short
After the bullpen took over, the game seemed over with. After all, the Royals' back three relievers are the best in the business, and are a huge reason they raised a World Series banner tonight. But the Mets, unlike in the World Series, fought back.
In the eighth inning, New York tacked on three runs against reliever Joakim Soria. The Mets loaded the bases with one out. Then, Lucas Duda jammed a 2-run single to left, and new Met Neil Walker ran out a groundball for an RBI Fielder's Choice.
Next inning, down one against Wade Davis, the Royals' almost unhittable closer, the Mets refused to quit. With a runner on first, one out, and two strikes, Curtis Granderson lined a sinking fastball to center, and the Mets had runners at the corners and one out.
But, Davis, who had a sub-1.00 ERA last year, prevailed. He struck out David Wright on three pitches, and then struck out Yoenis Cespedes after an 8-pitch battle. The Mets' comeback fell just short, and the Royals had once again broken their hearts.
Uniform Notes: Sunday, the Royals wore their regular white home jerseys with a special golden writing in honor of their World Series title. Additionally, the Royals cap logo was golden instead of white. Edinson Volquez pitched the whole 1st inning with the wrong hat. He wore KC's spring training hat -- a white KC logo with a yellow crown above on an all-blue cap -- instead.
Player Notes: Eric Hosmer went 3-for-4 with 1 RBI, including an infield single on which he slid safely into first. Omar Infante went 2-for-3 with 1 RBI. Michael Conforto, the youngest hitter in the Mets' lineup, went 2-for-2 with 2 walks. The Mets struck out 9 times, while the Royals only struck out 3 times.
Up Next: The reigning AL and NL Champions each get a day off tomorrow, and they finish their 2-game series on Tuesday at 4pm, where the Royals will receive their rings. Noah Syndergaard (NYM) will face off against Chris Young (KC).