They said the 2015 World Series between the Mets and Royals would be a close one heading in. Few could have expected just how close it would be in a wild, 14-inning Game 1 won by the Royals, 5-4.
Eric Hosmer's game-winning sacrifice fly at 1:18 a.m. EDT off of Bartolo Colon put Kansas City up, 1-0 in the best-of-seven series. Alcides Escobar crossed the plate last, five hours after he scored the first run. Escobar got on base in the 14th on a throwing error by third baseman David Wright.
The Mets taxed their pitching staff in Game 1 as Colon had to throw 50 pitches. Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, Jeurys Familia and Jonathon Niese also saw significant work.
The Royals pushed the game to extra innings when Alex Gordon belted a ninth inning homer off of the previously unflappable Familia.
Earlier in the classic, Hosmer couldn’t handle a hard-hit, but playable, chopper by Wilmer Flores in the eighth and it allowed Juan Lagares to score from second. The play was ruled an error by Hosmer and broke a 3-3 tie.
As was expected, the Mets and Royals played nip and tuck throughout with the Royals holding a 1-0 lead early, the Mets holding a 3-1 lead at one point, and the Royals coming back to tie it in the sixth inning.
New York scored in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning prior to the Hosmer gaffe. The Mets knotted things up, 1-1, in the top of the fourth when Travis d’Arnaud scorched a one-hopper to third that plated Daniel Murphy. Murphy got on base thanks to a single to center and Lucas Duda moved Murphy to third on a single of his own. Curtis Granderson would score the Mets’ second run of the night when he blasted a 375-foot solo homer to right and Michael Conforto plated Cespedes on a sac fly to left to put Mets run No. 3 across.
The Royals threw the first punch of the Fall Classic as Escobar hit an inside-the-park home run on the first pitch that Mets starter Matt Harvey threw. Escobar belted one to deep left-center field on a ball that was severely misplayed by Cespedes. Cespedes attempted to backhand the ball and the play could have easily been ruled an error.
Harvey would show tremendous poise thereafter, pitching six full innings while allowing three earned runs on five hits. “The Dark Knight” struck out two and walked two on 80 pitches.
Royals starter Edinson Volquez also pitched well, allowing three earned runs on six hits in six innings. It was reported during the game that Volquez’s father had actually passed away because of a heart condition prior to the game in the Dominican Republic, but that Volquez was not told during the game due to a request from his family.
Another off-field issue that bled into the on-field storyline of Game 1 was that during the fourth inning, FOX Sports’ TV feed went out due to power being lost in the truck carrying the signal of the game. MLB officials, including former manager and current MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre, talked about whether or not to resume the game. Actual play on the field was halted for a few minutes because of FOX’s broadcast issues and the fact that instant replay was not available. Mets manager Terry Collins was concerned that Harvey’s momentum would be halted if the delay was too long but play soon resumed with FOX picking up MLB’s international feed for 15 minutes.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Kansas City (8:07 p.m., FOX) with Game 3 set for Friday night in Queens.