In classic New York Mets style, Billy Joel sang the National Anthem & former Met; Mike Piazza threw out the ceremonial first pitch. A full house roared as the Mets took the field for the first time in a World Series game at Citi Field. The Mets entered the game down two games to none in this world series.
Mets Manager Terry Collins sent Noah Syndergaard (9-7 / 3.24 ERA / 166 Ks) known in New York as Thor, to the mound against Ned Yost's Royals hurler; Yordano Ventura (13-8 / 4.08 ERA / 156 Ks). The Mets needed a bog night from Thor to get back into the series & the 23 year old super hero delivered.
Thor started out the game by throwing a high tight one, sending Royals lead off hitter Alcides Escobar to the dirt. He also sent a message, you guys ain't in Kansas no more!
His fastball was working well & the crowd presence was known. But the Royals are tough, a Ben Zobrist double & a Lorenzo Cain infield hit led to a run as Eric Hosmer grounded into a force.
In the 2nd the Royals scrapped up two more runs, there was a bad call that didn't go Thor's way that should have been a strike out but wasn't. Singles by Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon & Alex Rios led to a run. Then a passed ball gave KC the 3-2 lead.
From there Thor settled down & put the hammer down. He retired 12 in a row getting through six innings. He would allow three runs on seven hits, six strike outs & two walks, giving the Mets just what they needed.
Tonight the offense helped him out as well. In the home 3rd, Syndergaard helped his own cause by driving a base hit to right field. Then "The Grandyman" delivered once again as he lined a HR just over the right field wall down the line just fair. This was one of the reasons they brought in the fences right!! The Mets took a 4-3 lead and never looked back.
Trivia: Granderson has reached base in nine of 12 post season games this year & has hit two World Series HRs. He also ended the 5th inning with another fantastic fielding play saving a double to end the inning.
In the 4th Lucas Duda doubled to lead off & Travis d'Arnaud doubled putting runners on the corners with no one out. Michael Conforto then collected an infield single bringing in Duda making it 5-3 Mets.
The Royals attempted a come back in the 5th inning, but Syndergaard got out of trouble with the bases loaded & killed their momentum.
After the game the Royals complained about Thor's opening pitch which certainly sent a message to them & got them a bit uneasy.
Quotes: Syndergaard said "It's my plate out there not theirs." " I certainly wasn't trying to hit the guy, I just didn't want him getting too comfortable. If they got a problem with it they can meet me sixty feet six inches from the plate I have no problem with that."
As Thor exited, the Mets added to their lead with a big 6th inning. With one out, Juan Lagares came through with a pinch hit single & then Wilmer Flores was then hit by a pitch.
Next up Juan Uribe, making his first post season appearance since getting injured at the end of the regular season, came through with a pinch hit single bringing in Lagares making it 6-3 New York.
The next play was a grounder to the pitcher; Franklin Morales. Morales didn't know what to do with the ball, first he wanted to throw home but Wilmer Flores scampered back to third, he then threw late to second & the ball got away, everyone was safe, bases loaded.
Next up, Captain David Wright came through again with a two run base hit to center field. Flores & Uribe both scored, making it 8-3.
Trivia: David Wright became the first Met to drive in four runs in a World Series game since Rusty Staub had five in Game #4 of the 1973 World Series against the Oakland A's.
The 6th inning continued as Daniel Murphy walked & Yoenis Cespedes hit sac fly to leftfield, Granderson scored & made it 9-3.
The Mets got great relief from Addison Reed as threw a perfect 7th inning. Reed has now appeared in six post season games (4.2 innings) allowing one run on two hits with two Ks.
After a great rendition from the Citi Field crowd singing Piano Man with Mr. Billy Joel standing there live watching. The Mets went to work as Tyler Clippard pitched a perfect 8th inning as well.
In the 9th, Collins brought on Familia to get some work in & get the taste of the Game #1 HR out of his mouth.
The first out came on a sparkling play by short stop Wilmer Flores, going up the middle throwing out Salvador Perez. Familia then struck out Alex Gordon & pinch hitter Kendrys Morales fittingly ended the game grounding out to David Wright.
Trivia: Noah Syndergaard is the second youngest Mets pitcher to earn a win in a World Series game. Gary Gentry is still the youngest, winning game #3 at Shea in 1969 against the Baltimore Orioles.