The Kansas City Royals have won the 2015 World Series, beating the New York Mets in five games. The Royals have not taken home the title since 1985.
The Royals won the series in game five on the road Sunday at Citi Field in Queens. After being down for most of the game, the Royals came back in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game 2-2. The game went into extra innings, where the Royals scored five runs in the top of the twelfth, a deficit the Mets could not come back from. These long twelve innings were not even the longest of the series; game one went into fourteen innings, a game the Royals also went on the win.
Criticism was largely placed on Mets manager Terry Collins and Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey for the loss. Harvey insisted he be kept in the game for the ninth inning, at which point the Mets were up 2-0. Collins agreed, and Harvey walked the first batter, Lorenzo Cain. Collins still did not take Harvey out of the game, despite closer Jeurys Familia’s impressive record in save situations. Harvey then gave up a double to Eric Hosmer, scoring Cain. Familia came in with Hosmer on second and a blown save already under his belt in this World Series. Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas hit a groundout that advanced Hosmer to third. Series MVP Salvador Perez hit another groundout to third baseman David Wright, but a bad throw to home by first baseman Lucas Duda and daring baserunning by Hosmer scored the tying run. The Mets failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to extra innings.
Collins’ decision to send Harvey– who had a strict pitch and inning count throughout the season due to offseason Tommy John surgery– was initially applauded by fans in Citi Field, as Harvey had thrown eight shutout innings and is a fan favorite in New York. But the decision proved costly and Collins was further criticized for leaving Harvey in the game after Cain’s walk. In the end, it is near impossible to pinpoint one cause for the fateful inning, given the variables involved in Familia’s outs and the questionable throw by Duda.
All in all, it was an ending to the Series that fans who followed the teams throughout the season could have seen coming. The Mets’ saving grace has been their starting pitching, which certainly did its job throughout the postseason. By contrast, the Royals have had an excellent bullpen and one of the best hitting teams in baseball. The Mets’ subpar bullpen was simply no match for the Royals’ bats, especially when the Mets’ hit-or-miss lineup did not perform. An extra innings game is much better suited to the Royals than to the Mets and, in the end, the better team won.
This is the first World Series title for Kansas City in thirty years, and only their second win ever. The Royals did not even qualify for the playoffs for 28 consecutive seasons, one of the longest droughts in baseball history.