clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Relentless Royals ransack Mets 7-1, go up 2-0

New, 373 comments

Johnny Cueto threw the first World Series complete game by an AL pitcher since Jack Morris in 1991 according to the broadcast.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Where do you start with a game like this? Looking at the final score, the game seems like it lacked the drama of last night's contest. No extra innings. Not particularly close. That, of course, misses some nuance. That misses Johnny Cueto and his quest to redeem himself after his last start.

I feel like I write the same things over and over sometimes. It is a long season, and things are bound to happen multiple times. However, this is the second time I will be writing about a Johnny Cueto playoff start in which he was rather squeezed. It will also be the second time I will be writing about a masterful piece of work by Cueto. The early innings featured a very tight strike zone that appeared to favor Jacob deGrom over Johnny Cueto, but Cueto worked around it to throw another gem (looking at the charts after the game, the Mets were squeezed as well, but Cueto bore the brunt). Despite the squeezed zone, Cueto kept attacking the corners and staying out of the middle. It worked very well.

Cueto pitched a complete game in which he gave up only two hits, both of which were not hard-hit balls. His final line: a beautiful, glorious nine innings, two hits, one run, three walks, and four strikeouts.

Cueto's dealing was slightly interrupted in the fourth inning. Curtis Granderson walked (seriously that guy almost never swings), and Daniel Murphy later walked. Yoenis Cespedes hit a grounder straight to Mike Moustakas, who stepped on third for the force and threw to first for the double play. However, the throw was off target and drew Hosmer's foot off the bag ever so slightly. Replays made it seem to me like his foot was still on the bag, but Ned Yost did not challenge the play. Someone on the radio broadcast said that there was an angle showing Hosmer's foot definitively off the bag. Unfortunately, Lucas Duda followed with another shift-busting bloop single to score the lone run of the fourth inning and the lone run for the Mets.

To ignore the Royals offense would be a travesty. They had a clear strategy, as is their wont. Attack the pitcher. Swing. Attack. Swing. Attack. They pounded the Mets pitchers with ball in play after ball in play.

Thusly, the Royals scored in a way that is quite familiar. The singles train. The fourth inning saw the Royals load the bases, but they got nothing from it. In the fifth inning, the singles train whistled loudly and left the station. Alex Gordon led off the inning with a walk, after which Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar singled, scoring a run.

They just kept swinging.

Ben Zobrist grounded out to move the runners to second and third before Lorenzo Cain hit a shallow fly ball that was not long enough to be a sacrifice fly. With two outs, three straight singles brought in three more runs - Hosmer, Kendrys Morales, and Moustakas each singled.

The Royals pressured the Mets further in the eighth inning. Moustakas singled through the right side as Duda's glove barely missed the ball. Salvador Perez then smashed a double down the left field line.

They just kept swinging.

Gordon followed with a somewhat weak grounder that squirted its way through the shallow infield, which allowed Moustakas to score. Gordon hustled his way to second after the deflected grounder stopped in shallow left field. Paulo Orlando then hit a deep liner to left field, but Cespedes made the catch. It was deep enough to score Perez and move Gordon to third.

They just kept swinging.

Escobar crushed a deep fly to center field; Juan Lagares looked like he was a bit shallow, so it was a long run for him to try to catch the ball. He did not catch it, and Escobar made his way to third base for a triple. The Mets brought in Sean Gilmartin to stop the singles train; he managed to induce the necessary outs to end the inning.

Cueto threw 122 pitches, but he got 27 outs and gave the bullpen a much needed rest after last night's marathon. He also redeemed himself after his poor start against Toronto. Two more wins for World Series victory. On to New York!