I watched this entire World Series with aging relatives in Florida that kept asking why do some players wear white uniforms while other where grey, yet, by the end of it all, they watched every single inning of every game, rooting for the Mets.
In sports, every team eventually goes home, but only one goes the winner. The Mets can take away from this the fact that they were better than the Cards, Cubs, Pirates, Giants, and Dodgers and are the 2015 National League champions.
This is normally the time of the year that we are waiting for Harold Reynolds to be on The Hot Stove. We no longer have to do that. The Mets will contend for years to come and we can look forward to the off-season as a place to add strength to a great nucleus rather than pick apart the waiver wire from other teams.
1. We all knew what Matt Harvey had to do in Game Five to send this series back to Kansas City and he did it. He gave the Mets eight scoreless innings on 102 pitches and the Mets had a 2-0 lead with Jeurys Familia ready in the pen. On paper, everything was in the Mets favor and the decision to take out Harvey looks like a textbook one.
2. I understand adrenaline. Every Mets fan in that stadium wanted a Ron Howard ending to this game… tell Harvey he’s coming out… watch him say ‘no way’ to the messenger pitching coach… charging Terry Collins and telling him he wasn’t coming out of the game while the fans chanted his name… running at top speed to the mound to bring home the bacon. The problem was that Harvey wasn’t Kevin Costner and the game wasn’t a movie.
3. I had no problem letting Harvey start the ninth inning, but I would have made it very clear to him that he would be out after the first sign that the game was in question. That would include a single or a walk. We all watched this series and saw firsthand the weakness of having Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate. Any batter that reaches first base eventually winds up on second base with d’Arnaud’s sub-par throwing arm. Leaving Harvey after the walk was a stupid decision. Period.
4. Equally stupid was allowing Yoenes Cespedes to stay in the game without taking a practice swing. What was TC and the Mets trainer thinking?
5. It doesn’t matter that the Mets led in four of the five World Series games… the important fact was they only had the ability to prevent Kansas City from winning only one of those games. The Royals proved throughout the playoffs that they had the offensive ability to score countless runs in late innings. You simply can’t assume everything is going to go your way against a team like this. You have to make things go your way.
Look, like I said earlier on a comment to the Morning Report, I thank this team for the wonderful season they have given us. Sandy Alderson made some organizational decisions that changed the team overnight, including a peek at two kids, Steven Matz and Michael Conforto, that will be members of the 25-man squad for many years to come.
The Mets got this far by being one of the top hitting teams in the second half of the season, something they didn’t duplicate in the playoffs. Sure, we will always remember Daniel Murphy’s home run derby, but did it make us forget his antics with a glove?
The starting rotation will guarantee the Mets the ability to remain one of the top teams in the National League, but changes must be made to improve both the internal defense and the vast majority of the bullpen. Everything in this game doesn’t translate as a 35 home run hitter joining your squad mid-season. It’s the little things like completing a play in the field and being six deep in the pen with top relief pitching. You know, like the Kansas City Royals.
I’m sure we’ll talk a lot about this in the off-season.
For now, heal your Mets wounds in the hot tub and… we’ll talk.