By: Glenn Brewer

Home Sweet Home


Panic has set in as we approach game three Friday at CitiField.   The game two performances by the Mets was hardly what anyone following this team expected.  Game one was just out of the grasp of victory, but game two finished in embarrassing fashion.  Despite having a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning, the Mets managed just two hits on Johnny Cueto, and the Royals battled back to knock Jacob DeGrom out of the game.  The Royals have proven to be a determined team after last year’s game seven World Series defeat to Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.  Most baseball experts expected the Royals to have less than average starting pitching, but great bullpen pitching.  In addition to the pitching, the Royals were expected to play solid defense and hit aggressively from one to nine in the order.  So far after two games of the series, the Royals have proven the experts right and then some with the quality starting pitching.  The impressive nature that the Royals have won is just that, impressive.  However, this is not the 1927 New York Yankees.

The Royals have set the tone for the series by battling back from three deficits and beating the Mets strength, starting pitching and Familia.  The hitting has not come around for the Mets lineup and many are calling for lineup changes.  It is painful to remember, but this Mets team was two outs away from winning six straight post season games and taking a 1-0 World Series lead.  Things have changed drastically at that point, but the series is far from over.  The Kansas City crowd and American League rules have changed the dynamic of this series.  Now the series turns to the friendly confines of Flushing, Queens.  The Mets will have the home crowd and the last chance to bat.  But more importantly, the Royals will have to be without their DH and fifth hitter, Kendrys Morales.  This alone is a big break for the Mets pitching staff, but the deep Royals lineup will become significantly weaker.  Morales presents the biggest power threat for the Royals, and he is replaced by a pitcher.  Suddenly the bottom of the Royals lineup does not appear to be a rally starter.

Winning game three is as close to a must win as it comes without facing elimination.  The Mets will be faced with a difficult task, but an achievable goal. It is a simple concept, but the concern must be on one game at a time.  The rotation and venue can be figured out later, now is the time to put one in the win column and refresh the series.  Yordano Ventura has the nod for the Royals in game three.  He will face Noah Syndergaard and the Mets.  Ventura has made the headlines this season with hitting batters more than striking them out.  He has made a lot of post season starts in the last two seasons, and has proven beatable.  Here are a few facts and stats on Ventura that may make the Mets fans sleep better tonight.

  • Ventura has a 4.30 ERA on the road this season compared to his 3.84 ERA at home.
  • On the road, Ventura has given up 9 homeruns and hitters are batting 21 points higher on the road against him.
  • Lefties are averaging a hit per inning and have hit 5 road homeruns against Ventura.
  • Righties are averaging over a hit per inning and have 4 road homeruns against Ventura.
  • With men on base, batters averages rise 51 points and Ventura has given up 8 homeruns, 5 of them with runners in scoring position.
  • Ventura does not have great command. The first pitch is a strike less than 50% of the time.  In addition, Ventura has given up 7 homeruns off 1-0 counts.
  • Ventura’s walks/9 innings is 3.31 vs. lefties.
  • Ventura has the lowest rate of softly hit batted balls in the MLB.
  • Hitters pull the ball more on Ventura despite his increased velocity. Ventura doesn’t miss bats & contact either.


The change I would make to the lineup is having Murphy put in the two spot.  He will be provided more at bats while having the ability to hit doubles with Granderson on base.  Wright seems to be lacking power at this point so sliding him back to five or six will allow men in scoring position to score on his singles.  Duda should slide back to the cleanup spot with Cespedes hitting three.

About Glenn Brewer

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