24 hours ago, many Mets fans were worried about the possibility of a World Series sweep. Things have changed in a hurry. The Mets’ bats finally woke up last night as they took Game 3 from the Royals by the score of 9-3. New York now has a chance to even up the series on Halloween night. Game 4 should be quite the atmosphere in Queens.
The Game: Kansas City Royals vs. New York Mets
The Time: 8:07 p.m. ET
The Place: Citi Field
The Channel: Fox
The Starters: Steven Matz vs. Chris Young
The Upshot: You don’t need much help to find the narrative in this one. Matz, who grew up as a Mets fan on Long Island, will have a chance to even up the World Series in front of his home crowd. It’s a compelling angle, but this looks like a game where the bullpen will play a significant role for both sides.
Young, who pitched for the Mets in 2011 and 2012, threw three scoreless innings in relief and got the win back in Game 1. The veteran right-hander has posted a 2.31 ERA with 15 strikeouts over 11 2/3 innings this postseason. He’s certainly capable of shutting the Mets down the first time through the order, but he’s generally not someone who pitches deep into games. One wonders if getting a look at him back in Game 1 will prove beneficial for the Mets.
The Royals are angry about Noah Syndergaard‘s up and in pitch to Alcides Escobar to begin Game 3, but it’s unlikely we’ll see any retribution from Young in this one. These games are too important and you don’t want to be giving free baserunners. The Royals have the lead in this series and shouldn’t let nonsense distract them.
As for Matz, he owns a 3.72 ERA over two starts this postseason. The rookie southpaw hasn’t pitched past the fifth inning in either of them. This will be just his ninth MLB start. Some nerves would be understandable. If Matz can shut down the pesky Royals offense and the Mets can get to Young in the early innings, New York could be sitting pretty in this one. But if this game is close in the middle innings and both starters are out of the game, Kansas City has the advantage.
Just for fun here: In case you haven’t heard by now, this series is strangely mirroring the 1986 World Series through the first three games. If that trend was to continue, we’d be looking at the Mets winning by four runs tonight.