KANSAS CITY — Game 1 had a little of everything. Game 2 is probably guaranteed to have less, if only we count the fact that several of the pitchers who played in the marathon that just ended won’t be available or quite as effective tonight. But after that epic opening act, anything is possible I suppose.
The Game: New York Mets vs. Kansas City Royals
The Time: 8:07 PM Eastern.
The Place: Kauffman Stadium
The Channel: Fox
The Starters: Jacob deGrom vs. Johnny Cueto
The Upshot: The Royals used six relievers over eight innings last night, including three from the guy who is, for lack of anyone better to fill that role, their long man, in Chris Young. The Mets used five relievers over seven innings and change, including their own long man in Bartolo Colon. That puts a lot on Johnny Cueto and Jacob deGrom’s shoulders in Game 2. Both have shown, of course, that they’re capable of being the sort of horses their teammates can ride to victory.
Cueto has been uneven to say the least, but he pitched eight innings in his ALDS performance against the Astros which shows that he hasn’t totally forgotten what the Royals expected him to be. deGrom is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three postseason outings, with a couple of seven inning starts. At least one of those came when he didn’t necessarily have his best stuff and he still managed to emerge victorious. Last night was a tight game as every game in this series will likely be, but tonight gives us our best shot at a true pitchers duel.
To ensure that, though, the defenses will have to be a bit tauter than the were last night. While there were gems on each side — Curtis Granderson, Mike Moustakas, Wilmer Flores and Alcides Escobar all came up big from time to time — Eric Hosmer‘s error at first base and Yoenis Cespedes‘ non-error error to allow Escobar’s inside-the-park home run were difference-makers.
If this one is half as good as the last one, we’re in for a treat.