A lot of times when a series goes five games, there’s a major discrepancy between the two teams on the field.
That was certainly not the case this year, in fact this year's World Series will have Mets fans wondering, oh what could’ve been!
The Mets had a lead in every one of the five games and they had three leads in the eighth inning or later. However, the Mets were unable to win any of those three games.
Think about that for a minute. Three games, three leads in the 8th inning or later, two leads in the 9th inning and you fail to win any of those baseball games! That’s hard to do.
Alex Gordon’s homer, Eric Hosmer’s dash to home plate and Christian Colon’s single will haunt Mets fans throughout the winter.
Yes, the Mets were good enough to compete with the Kansas City Royals, there is no question about that, but when they needed to make the pivotal plays in crunch time to win, they were unable to do so.
Of course, we can discuss the failures of closer Jeyrus Familia, questionable managerial decisions by Terry Collins and, yes, the fielding blunders of Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda and David Wright.
All of the above can be questioned and criticized for what took place in this World Series, but I think it’s important to sit back and really appreciate what the Kansas City Royals were able to do.
They simply did a much better job executing when the games truly mattered the most.
The Royals never-say-die attitude was on full display in this series. They expected to come from behind in every close game and when the Mets made a mistake, they were ready to capitalize.
The same way the Royals were able to capitalize against the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League postseason.
In this postseason, Kansas City outscored their opponents 51-11 from the 7th inning on.
This is no secret to the rest of the baseball world, the Kansas City Royals have been this type of baseball team for the last two seasons.
They grind out at bats, they go first-to-third on the bases, they will steal, and most of all they will put pressure on any opponent. They will force you into mistakes and that’s exactly what they did against the Mets in this series.
In this World Series, the Royals had better at-bats, they ran the bases better, played much better defense and their bullpen was as good as it gets at the end of the game.
Like I said in last week’s column, the only real advantage the Mets had in this series was their dominant starting rotation and Kansas City did enough to neutralize that advantage.
The Mets had no answers for the pressure the Royals provided and instead of a World Series championship, it’s an offseason of what could’ve been.
There’s no debate, 2015 was a successful season out at Citi Field, but I recommend the Mets take a page out of the Royals playbook going into next season. I call the chapter “Unfinished Business.”
The Royals lost Game 7 of the World Series, brought back most of their team from the previous year and yet were predicted by many to be a sub-.500 baseball team that had all the makings of a fluke.
Kansas City finished the season with the best record in the American League and finished the job in 2016 with their first championship in 30 years.
The Mets have a bright future, their young pitching should be a factor for years to come, but doing a better job with the little things (base running, fielding, clutch hitting) would go a long way in helping the Mets end their 29-year championship drought.
Yet again, it’s wait till next year, this time thanks to the little things.
JJ’s Week 9 Unlocks of the Week
(Season Record: 18-20-2)
• Green Bay -2
• Atlanta -5.5
• St. Louis +2.5
• Buffalo -3
• Pittsburgh -4.5