The Royals are just one game away from their first World Championship in 30 years, and I can’t think of a more deserving fan base. But before we get to what might be, it’s worth noting what happened last night. The fickle game of baseball and their (maybe?) fictitious ‘baseball gods’ exacted their pound of flesh from NLCS superhero Daniel Murphy. Forget that his bat has cooled off; that is to be expected after putting together a run that gets you mentioned in sentences with Babe Ruth. But the error last night was likely the definitive moment in the pivotal loss that could cost them the World Series. Baseball is a sport of minimizing imperfection as opposed to ‘being perfect.’ You don’t get to succeed every time in baseball. You just try to not fail three out of ten times.
The regression to the mean was inevitable for Murphy, but I just hope the errors doesn’t become the definitive moment of the Series…
So can the Mets pick up Murph and at least get the series back to Kansas City? Because as I (stubbornly) wrote before Game Three, this series STILL isn’t over. IF Harvey can get them back to KC, they have deGrom and Syndergaard locked and loaded… but first things first.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Kansas City Royals +130 at New York Mets -135
Edinson Volquez vs. Matt Harvey
The Dark Knight of Gotham will attempt to live up to his Super Hero moniker tonight, tasked with the simple feat of saving the city from impending doom. He will have his work cut out for him facing a lineup of stubborn grinders who refuse to swing and miss, something that has been a hallmark of Harvey’s success. He pitched well enough in Game One but was unable to pitch his team to the win, allowing three runs in six innings in a no-decision. He will need to give them at least another quality start tonight, and preferably a better one than in Game One.
Opposing him is Edinson Volquez. Making any prediction as to the mental state and focus of Volquez tonight after the sad passing of his father feels a bit reckless. But it certainly has been a whirlwind of a week than included a trip to and from the Dominican. He was excellent in Game One and will try to replicate that performance on the road.
The Mets pitchers have been far better at home this season and I expect a big money performance tonight from Harvey and the pen. Maybe I am just being stubborn at this point, but the basic tenant of “better starting pitcher and home field advantage” still posits true for tonight’s game. Forget all the emotional “must win” stuff. I’m sticking with the fundamentals that helped provide a big winning season. Give the Mets tonight at home.