The 2015 World Series is unfolding just as the 2000 World Series did, with the Mets losing the first game in extra innings and then falling behind 2-0 in the series.
Those similarities are not lost on Bobby Valentine, the last manager to win a World Series game for the Mets.
“I think this is a whole different scenario, though,” Valentine said. “I think this is a team with really a lot of talent (that has) come a long way this season, so hopefully it won’t be the same outcome. I think they have a comeback in them, and hopefully it’ll start (in Game 3) at Citi Field.”
In 2000, the Mets won Game 3 at Shea Stadium before dropping Games 4 and 5 to the Yankees by a combined three runs. In fact, three of the Mets’ losses in that series were by one run. It was a low-scoring series marked by great pitching and timely hitting.
The 2015 series has had a whole lot of timely hitting, mainly by the Royals, and a whole lot of great pitching – again, mainly by the Royals.
That’s a tad perplexing. The Mets’ starting rotation is the envy of just about every other ball club in the bigs, but Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom looked very human in Games 1 and 2, allowing a combined seven runs in 12 innings. Total strikeouts? Four.
Harvey had 16 strikeouts in his previous two postseason outings; deGrom had 27 in his previous three.
Valentine can’t recall seeing this much young talent on one pitching staff, but it’s possible the Mets are giving the contact-hitting Royals a little too much credit.
“I think that they haven’t used their fastball as much as they should in the first two games, and I hope (Noah) Syndergaard uses his fast ball (in Game 3),” Valentine said. “I don’t mean just trying to blow it by people because when guys are swinging early in the count and putting balls in play, if you put it down the middle, they’re more likely to find a hole or a gap. I think you can pitch a lot more with the fastball than they have. I thought deGrom could have used the high fast ball a lot more than he did, and he could have used it effectively. (He) said he went with other pitches, and I think he got burned because of it.”