What a start to the 2015 World Series, as the Kansas City Royals top the New York Mets 5-4 in 14 innings to take the 1-0 lead.
The Royals pick up the win thanks to a number of things. The obvious? Alex Gordon hitting a ninth inning home run off of Jeurys Familia (who blew the save) with one out to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The winning touch came from Eric Hosmer against Bartolo Colon, with a sacrifice fly that scored Alcides Escobar and won the game.
Besides the obvious heroes, there’s the bullpen that took care of business after Edinson Volquez and Kelvin Herrera messed up. Bullpen and consistent hitting make the difference in the playoffs and it was the Royals bullpen that made less mistakes. Matt Harvey didn’t have the best of starts as well, allowing five hits and three runs in six innings, just like Volquez.
Chris Young picked up the win for the Royals with a masterful three-inning finish, striking out four batters and walking just one while not allowing a single hit. The Mets couldn’t get it together after Familia blew the save, with Jonathon Niese struggling to get through his stretch on the mound and Colon walking three and allowing three hits in 2.1 innings, including the crucial hit that gave the Royals the win.
Two things you don’t want in Game 1 of the World Series: One is to go 14 innings and the other is to lose. To find a way to grind that way out against a great team, both teams were matching pitch for pitch.
The Mets already head a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning with a Michael Conforto sac fly to put them up by two runs, but the Royals stormed back with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Wilmer Flores made the most of an error by Hosmer to give the Mets a 4-3 lead, but Gordon saved Hosmer from costing his team the game, and Hosmer himself delivered victory with his own bat.
Bonus fact (via ESPN): This is the Mets’ fifth time in the World Series, and they’ve lost Game 1 all five times. They wound up winning the title in 1969 and 1986 and lost in 1973 and 2000. The Mets have gone to extra innings at least once every year they’ve reached the Series.