Jeurys Familia blew a ninth inning lead and David Wright committed a costly error in the 14th inning as the Mets drop Game 1 of the World Series.
On the very first pitch by Matt Harvey in the bottom of the first, ALCS MVP Alcides Escobar hit a fly ball to deep center. Yoenis Cespedes got a bad break but seem to track it down. But then he let up, perhaps fearful of a collision with left fielder Michael Conforto. It hit off Cespedes’s leg and it bounced away. Meantime Escobar was flying around the bases, turning it into an inside the park home run and an instant Royals lead.
The Mets tied the score in the fourth. The Mets own LCS MVP, Daniel Murphy, led off the fourth with a single, the first Mets hit of the game. With one out Lucas Duda singled through the shift. Murphy never stopped running and made it to third; another great decision by Murphy on the basepaths. Travis d’Arnaud hit a hit smash to third. Mike Moustakas stopped it from going into the outfield but Murphy scored to make it 1-1 on the single. Edinson Volquez got the last two outs to limit the damage to the one run.
In the bottom of the fourth, FOX Sports lost power to its truck. The broadcast went down and that delayed the game for several minutes because it meant the replay system was down.
Curtis Granderson broke the tie in the fifth with a solo home run into the Mets bullpen in right to give the Mets their first lead of the night, 2-1.
Cespedes led off the sixth with a single. Once again, Duda singled through the shift and like Murphy before him, Cespedes smartly went to third. d’Arnaud struck out for the first out. Conforto lofted a fly ball to left. It was not particularly deep but Cespedes went anyway; he beat the throw to score and make it 3-1. Wilmer Flores hit a hot shot to third and Moustakas made a great play to save a run and end the inning.
Ben Zobrist led off the bottom of the sixth with a double down the right field line. Lorenzo Cain followed with a single to right. Zobrist held at third. Eric Hosmer hit a fly ball to center (where Juan Lagares, who replaced Cespedes, who moved to left with Conforto out of the game, caught it) to score Zobrist and cut the lead to 3-2. Cain stole second. Harvey got Kendrys Morales on a comebacker for the second out, with Cain holding at second. But Moustakas singled to plate Cain to tie the score at three. A fly ball to center ended the inning.
Volquez was lifted for the top of the seventh, replaced by Danny Duffy, as the Mets got their first look at the Royals vaunted bullpen. He got two outs; Kelvin Herrera came on and David Wright singled to left. Murphy continued his post-season hitting with a single to center. But Cespedes flied out to end the inning.
Volquez learned after he was removed that his father passed away in the Dominican Republic before the game. His wife asked that he not be told until afterwards, so he could pitch with a clear mind.
Harvey’s night was over after six innings and 80 pitches. He allowed three runs on five hits, with a pair each of strikeouts and walks.
Addison Reed pitched a perfect seventh.
Lagares battled Herrera in a long at bat, singling with two outs in the eighth. He promptly stole second. The steal was huge because Flores hit a hopper to first that Hosmer could not handle. It bounced over his glove and into right field. Lagares scored on the error to the Mets a 4-3 lead.
The struggling Tyler Clippard came on for the eighth. And just like two innings prior, Zobrist led off the eighth with a double. Cain struck out for the first out and Hosmer followed suit for out number two. When Zobrist went to third on a wild pitch and Morales walked, Collins had seen enough of Clippard and called on Jeurys Familia for the four-out save. With the tying run 90 feet away, he got the the first one by getting Moustakas to ground out to end the inning.
So it was Familia protecting a one run lead in the ninth. He got the first out of the inning on a grounder to short. But then Alex Gordon hit a shot that cleared the wall in dead center field to tie the game at four. He got the final two outs, and it was on to extra innings.
Jonathon Niese retired the Royals in order in the tenth.
Lagares laid down a perfect bunt for a base hit to lead off the 11th. Flores sacrificed him to second. Michael Cuddyer, who took over as DH earlier, struck out for the third time in the game. Granderson walked. It was up to Wright, with two hits in his last two at bats. But he struck out to end the inning.
Niese was back on the mound in the bottom of the 11th. Jarrod Dyson drove his first pitch to deep right; Granderson made an incredible leaping catch for the first out. With two outs, Salvador Perez singled off the third base bag. Niese struck out Gordon for the third out.
Chris Young and his 40 mile an hour fastball managed to strike out the side in the 12th.
Bartolo Colon came on for the bottom of the 12th. Niese had only thrown 21 pitches in two innings. A starter, he could have gone longer. In any case, Paulo Orlando legged out an infield hit to start the inning. He was sacrificed to second. Zobrist was intentionally walked. Colon got a grounder to first for the second out, but the runners advanced to second and third. Hosmer was intentionally walked to load the bases. Dyson flied out to center to end the inning.
Young struck out the first two Mets he faced in the 13th, but then Flores walked. Kirk Nieuwenhuis fouled out for the third out.
With Colon still on the mound in the 14th, Escobar led off with a hard grounder to Wright. He bobbled it but still had time to get him at first. But Wright’s sidearm throw sailed and pulled Duda off the base for an error. Zobrist singled to put runners on first and third. Cain was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs. Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly to win the game.
Mets lose a heartbreaking Game 1 of the World Series 5-4.