Morning Report 10.24.15 | Royals vs Mets; Matt Harvey starting Game 1; Staying Sharp



And so it's the Royals! A matchup with little history, at least that I'm aware of, unlike the previous series against the Cubs and the Dodgers. Who is the favourite? Vegasinsider has the Mets opening as favourites, although there's not much in it. Some of the pundits seem to lightly prefer the Royals position-by-position matchup, and others just go back our pitching pitching pitching.  

This Series offers some great contrasts: the power pitching and power batting of the Mets, against a scrappy, speedy contact and fielding team. The Big Apple vs the Great Plains.

The Mets will finally be facing starters that are not in the Cy Young race, and this may help them to continue their new-found propensity to score early, which they will need to given the Royals' bullpen of steel. One key to the Series: the Mets will have to field well, and control the running game, to keep the speedy Royals from scoring. That wasn't as much of a factor against the Cubs and Dodgers.

How well do the Royals play against power pitching? It's unclear: SI says that in general, contact hitting has a relative advantage against power pitching, but Alec Nathan argues that the Royals have had more success on off-speed pitching rather than 95+ mph fastballs.

In the end, there isn't much in it, and I'm tempted to go with the opinion of Terry Collins, superstar manager: He predicts that "the best team that plays the best will win." Indeed, it will probably come down to a few high-pressure fielding or base-running plays in the late innings. 

Collins is less concerned with forecasts right now, and more into choosing the right rotation sequence. Whereas a few days ago most people were assuming deGrom would be the Game 1 Ace, with a view to possibly starting three games, it seems now that the Mets management is leaning towards Harvey playing that role. The thinking is that Harvey is better rested than deGrom. It's hard not to chuckle at this. 

Harvey did look very sharp in Game 1 vs the Cubs, but he was pitching on four days rest and as he has told us a thousand times, that is the only way he can perform. Harvey will be starting on 9 days rest come Tuesday and generally this year that has given him pretty poor command of his pitches. I'm a little nervous about starting the Series with a Bad Harvey Day. deGrom may not have looked sharp, but he gets the job done regardless of the situation, and if it comes to that, he could start on three-days rest for Game 4, and again in Game 7. Could Harvey? Really?

Granted, Harvey lives for this spotlight, so there's an argument he will forget about all that rest and just step up and dominate. Let's hope so.

Speaking of rest, how should the Mets keep sharp in the rest period until Tuesday? On the one hand, it's good that Yoenis Cespedes, Jeurys Familia and David Wright have some chance to rest. On the other, will Murphy still be homering hot when he re-emerges, and will Duda's timing, which was just clicking into place, survive the weekend? 

In the last ten post-seasons, six teams have had 5+ days of rest between winning the pennant and starting the World Series. Those six teams went 1-5, so we know the risks. 

There's no saying how it will affect them, but one thing I'm personally not so happy with is appearing on Jimmy Kimmel's show before you've won anything. That gives me a feeling of "bad karma", it feels premature to be on national TV, and it could even be construed as a little bit arrogant. 

But hey, why worry, our Mets are kind of above all of the usual laws of nature right now. Bring on the Royals, and Let's Go Mets!


Ernest Dove said...

I guess it does kinda suck that murph, Duda and grandy have to sit a week after being/getting hot but im also not buying the rest = negative stuff floating around on mets universe.......

Susan brennan said...

Mets in 6, baby.

Thomas Brennan said...

Is it just that I need new glasses, or has Terry Collins started to look more like Gil Hodges did in 1969?

Charles said...

i think the Mets easily win a short series. Any sweep or five game series would be a Mets victory.

If it goes six or seven, I'd then say it's slightly
In the Mets favor to win it all because it's damn tough to win 4 out of 7 from their pitching staff, but miracles happen and KC is a great team.

I just don't see a team without equal pitching beating the Mets. And the Mets offense is better or equal to KC as well. I just can't justify guaranteeing a Mets series win because KC is back two years in a row, and handled Toronto pretty damn easily. They're good.

The Mets are better. LGM.

Mack Ade said...

An excellent morning report, Mr. Han.

Hobie said...

This is the best team the Mets have faced all year IMO. So balanced offensively, so crisp in the field and their starters need only be effective 5-6. Mets are not going to steal many runs from OF misplays or infield brain farts.

Mets pitching must dominate to win, and of course it well could--hopefully sooner (4-5 at home) than later.

Hobie said...

And BTW who do you DH?
I'm thinking play 4 OF (Cespedes, Grandy, Lagares & Conforto) and DH one of them with Legares batting pre-leadoff (9).

Mack Ade said...

Hobie - I agree on your choices for DH. I would use Conforto exclusively.

Michael S. said...

Pitching has to dominate and we have to jump on their starters early. We're not going to squeeze out runs against that bullpen. Harvey on 9 days rest is worrisome, but it's 10 days if he pitches Game 2 and 12 if we save him for Game 3. Might as well get him in there.

Thomas Brennan said...

I ain't worried.

KC, like Cubs and LAD, has not seen starting pitching like ours. It will be a rude awakening.

Adam Smith said...

This is our toughest matchup, and will be far more difficult than Toronto would have been. These guys put the ball in play, and they have team speed. Our defense will be tested, and to be honest, that's not our strength. This will come down to how well we can get to their starters early, where we should definitely have some success.

Mack's Mets © 2012