The 2015 World Series featured two teams who had not seen the World Series for over three decades. The New York Mets last appeared in a World Series in 1986 and the Kansas City Royals last appeared in a World Series in 1985. After narrowly missing out on a title in 2014, the Royals took care of business in five games this time, launching another breathtaking rally to tie the Mets in the ninth inning and then dispose of them with a five-run outburst in the 12th to secure a 7-2 win in Game 5 on Sunday night at Citi Field. Going into the 2015 World Series there were clear differences between how each team won their respective pennants. The Mets rode to their NL Pennant behind the 95+ fastballs of their four young stud pitchers, the best closer in 2015, their second half power numbers, and their late season acquisitions. The concern of Mets fans was their defense. The Royals entered the series with the best swing and not miss statistic in baseball, good starting pitching, the best bullpen in baseball, a great defense, and the ability to steal bases. The Royals fans, unlike Mets fans, had no weakness concerns.
The Mets defense faltered causing the Mets to blow three games when they were leading the Royals and within two outs, five outs, and three outs from winning respectively Game 1, Game 4, and Game 5. There were four key Mets mistakes that opened the doors leading to Royal wins in these three games.
Game 1 had the first two Mets mistakes. Mets mistake 1 was by their closer Jeury Familia. With the Mets leading 4-3 in the ninth and two outs away from victory, in attempting to quick pitch Alex Gordon, Familia grooved a sinker leading to Gordon’s 438-foot home run. This represented his first blown save since July 30. The blown save led to extra innings and in inning 14 mistake 2 occurred when a David Wright error on a routine ground ball hit by Alcides Escobar led to Escobar eventually scoring the winning run on a sacrifice fly.
The Mets were leading 3-2 in Game 4 and five outs away from evening up the series at two games apiece when Mets mistake 3 occurred. Familia — who arguably should have opened the eighth to get a crack at a clean inning (Collins had needlessly used him for an inning in a blowout win the night before, so he was reluctant to put him in for the six-out save opportunity) — replaced Tyler Clippard, who had given up consecutive walks. Familia did his job by getting Hosmer to roll over on a sinker, but the slow grounder skipped under the glove of a charging Murphy causing the tying run to score. The Royals followed Murphy’s error scoring two more runs and winning Game 4 by a score of 5-3.
This brings us to Game 5 a do or die situation for the Mets. Matt Harvey was given the ball by his manager Terry Collins and for eight innings he was unhittable. With the Mets leading 2-0, Collins wanted to take the ball away from him and give it his closer Familia for the ninth inning. Harvey convinced Collins to let him face the Royals in the ninth. Was this a mistake by Collins? My answer to this question is no. Yes, the result ended badly and it is easy to second guess a manager but this was not mistake 4. If Collins replaced Harvey and Familia blew the save the same critics would have loudly criticized this decision. The only way Collins could win was if the Mets won the game. So what was mistake 4? With Hosmer on third base and two outs Duda, after receiving Wright’s throw threw wildly to home allowing the tying run to score. As the replay showed Hosmer would have been out by 10 feet with a good throw. The Royals went on to score five runs in the 12th inning. End of game end of series, the Royals are the 2015 World Series Champions.
With both teams possessing young talent, excellent managers, and general managers it is not unreasonable to expect these two teams to compete again in the 2016 World Series.