In 2014, just like Wednesday night, the opponents–not Kansas City–were the first to put a number up on the board. The biggest difference was last year Gregor Blanco led off in the first inning by knocking a line drive out of the park, giving the Giants a one-run lead. The Mets didn’t put a number on the board until the fourth, but their loss had nothing to do with how late in the game scored, it was all about how many runs they scored. Or rather, didn’t score.
The Giants had the same problem last year. As they say on the streets “we feel ya, Mets.” The Royals took Game 2 in 2014 with a score of 7-2, no doubt feeling the sting of the 7-1 trouncing they received from the Giants in Game 1. They were hyper-motivated.
The Royals were probably pretty motivated Wednesday night after the Mets had them on the ropes through most of Game 1, until the Royals demonstrated the real advantage of the home field advantage: last ups. They shut the Mets down after 14 innings of one-run leads and tied scores with a sac fly that scored the go-ahead, make that walk-off, run.
But that wasn’t necessary in Game 2. The Royals didn’t even have to take their at bats in the 9th—they were clearly the winners with a score of 7-1 after the Mets took their turn at the plate in the 9th.
After the Mets scored their one run in the fourth, the Royals put up four runs in the fifth and three in the eighth. Jacob deGrom was the starting pitcher for the Mets and he pitched five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out two. Reliever Jon Niese pitched the eighth inning and he gave up three runs on three hits and one walk. He struck out one hitter.
Johnny Cueto was on the mound for the Royals and he gave top-of-the-rotation caliber performance. He pitched all nine innings, allowing only one run on two hits and three walks while striking out four. The final score was: Royals 7, Mets 1
There was no game last night while the teams were winging their way to Queens, giving the Mets home field advantage at Citi Field for the next three games. That is, if they play three more games. The Mets need to win tonight or tomorrow if they want to play on Sunday.
In 2014 the teams left Kansas City with one win each. Kansas City won Game 3 in San Francisco, 3-2, but the Giants took Game 4 with a score of 11-4 and shut out the Royals in Game 5, 5-0. Kansas City returned home and returned the favor in Game 6, shutting out the Giants 10-0, forcing Game 7. Who could forget Game 7? Every Giants fan I know is still suffering post-game stress disorder from that one. Gregor Blanco probably still wakes up in a cold sweat with nightmares of what might have been.
But the best moment of the entire series came in Game 7–when those bullpen gates opened in the bottom of the fifth inning and Madison Bumgarner came striding out to the mound like he owned that piece of Kauffman Stadium. And you know what? That night he did. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
The point is the Royals had home field advantage in 2014 and it still didn’t do them any good because we beat them anyway. Even after the Royals had three wins over our one win. And we won it in their yard. But then again…