By: Glenn Brewer

Game One Take & Adjustments


Last night was a tough one to swallow, no way around it.  Many Mets personnel and fans have lost a lot of sleep, but today is a new day.  The great thing about sports and baseball specifically is the chance to get right back on the field and find redemption.  The loss has settled into all our brains and it is time to assess the damage and correct the mistakes.  All in all, last night’s game had the usual winning formula for the Mets, but the Royals are a different type of team than what the Mets have faced this post season.

It is no easy task to advance to the World Series two years in a row.  The Royals have done this with a great bullpen and deep lineup.  As close as the Royals were to winning the World Series last year, this team is better in 2015.  The quality hitters up and down the lineup result in more tiring innings for the starters, despite Harvey throwing only 80 pitches.  This task is more difficult in the American League ballpark with the designated hitter.  On many occasions this post season, Terry Collins has decided to walk the eighth batter to advance to the pitcher for an inning ending out.  That luxury was gone last night and will be tonight.  However, the free swinging Royals off-set some of the tiring innings with first pitch outs.  With that said, each hitter is talented enough to succeed on the first pitch.

Despite blowing two leads in the game, the Mets had the Royals down to their last two outs.  Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain displayed the tendency of chasing pitches out of the zone while behind in the count.  Ben Zobrist seems to be the hottest hitter in the Royals lineup, but only has proven this from the left side of the plate.  It will be interesting to see if Niese will be available to pitch tonight, or if Gilmartin plays a bigger part in turning Zobrist to the right side.  Moustakas continued his post season success last night with two hits and a game tying RBI.  Moustakas will present a difficult task for the Met’s pitchers because he can throw his bat to any pitch location for solid contact.  Although Escobar was credited with an inside the park homerun, the staff held him in check for the most part.  Rios, Morales and Perez are all dangerous when it comes to the long ball, but the game plan seems to be working thus far.   Gordon is a gritty player, but he will not be getting an irresponsible pitch up in the zone again.

Familia has been the rock of the bullpen all season.  Blame is hard to fall on a guy that has been so superb in the prior two post season series.  The one concern I have with Familia is one that I have had all year, his over use of the quick pitch.  Familia has the intimidation and stuff to take down the best hitters in the league.  The quick pitch is unnecessary for a pitcher of his stature.  Not only did he quick pitch a meat ball for Gordon to hit, but he over used the quick pitch in the prior at bat against Perez.  This has continued to burn Familia more than it succeeds.

I consider it a positive that the Mets were able to face all the Royals bullpen, and have minimal success.  The Royals bullpen is phenomenal, but the approach the Met’s hitters had last night was concerning.  This team is not going to win with the long ball exclusively.  The hitters consistently opened their hips early, attempting to pull the ball with authority.  The Royals pitched the ball on the outer half of the plate with precision and command.  The approach will need to be adjusted to contact and spoil good pitches on the outside corner.  It is no secret that the pitcher is more comfortable throwing with no men on base.  Chris Young was able to pitch from the wind up all night besides a Juan Lagares bunt single.

Other than the approach at the plate, some positives can be taken from Lagares and Granderson.  Cuddyer is struggling greatly at this point, and needs to take a seat at the end of the dugout.  Juan Uribe is on the roster and will need to make his way into the pinch hitting rotation.  Despite Wright’s struggle, this team is better off with him in the lineup.  That being said, I do feel that Wright should be moved out of the two hole tonight.  It is a good opportunity to give D’Arnaud a chance at the two spot or even Juan Lagares.  Lagares has had a quietly productive post season and would provide some speed to the top of the lineup.  Terry needs to take his approach of not only playing the hot players, but putting them in spots to succeed.

About Glenn Brewer

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