Thursday, October 29, 2015

Will The Real Johnny Cueto Please Stand Up!

When the Royals traded for Johnny Cueto just before the deadline in July, this is the pitcher that they were hoping to see take the mound. After a close contest on Tuesday night, the Mets looked out of place in game 2 heading back to Queens in a 2-0 deficit. However, Mets fans should take note that their team has been here before having lost game 1 by one run and game 2 by six runs back in 1986 before eventually capturing the title. With that said, Cueto looks to be performing like Bret Saberhagen did in the 1985 World Series and Royals fans know what that means. So, basically, while the Royals have the advantage the series is still up in the air.  

Royals Dominate Mets 7-1

Now that's the Johnny Cueto who Royals fans have come to love, at least the one who pitches like an unhittable demon at Kauffman Stadium. Cueto certainly was Johnny B. Goode, two-hitting the Mets over nine innings as the Royals roared to a 7-1 win on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series. His complete game was the first by an American League pitcher in the Fall Classic since Jack Morris went 10 innings for the Twins in Game 7 in 1991, and the first by a Royal in the World Series since Bret Saberhagen in Game 7 in '85. Much like Cueto overwhelmed the Astros at Kauffman Stadium in Game 5 of the AL Division Series, when he retired the last 19 batters he faced, the right-hander dominated the Mets while retiring 16 of the last 17. "I want to thank God for this opportunity and this outcome," said Cueto, the first pitcher from the Dominican Republic to throw a complete game in the World Series. "And it's a lot of pride being able to do what I did out there today and to do it for all of the Dominican." "Tonight was everything we expected Johnny to be," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was on the attack. He kept the ball down. He changed speeds. It was just a spectacular performance by him." Cueto gave up two softly hit singles to Lucas Duda while going the distance, walking three and striking out four. Kansas City is just two wins from its first World Series title in 30 years. "He's been good here at home, but you could tell he was locked in those first couple innings," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said of Cueto. "When he was missing spots, he wasn't out over over the plate. It was either a hair off in or out. He was electric tonight." Hosmer, who won Tuesday's 14-inning Game 1 showdown with a sacrifice fly, again delivered the knockout punch, a two-run single in the fifth that put the Royals up for good at 3-1. Red-hot Alcides Escobar, who had an inside-the-park-homer in Game 1, had two more hits, including an RBI triple. "He wasn't going to go back out there in the ninth until we got three runs in the eighth," said Yost of Cueto. "We were glad we put up those runs so he could back and finish the job." The Series now shifts to New York for three games starting Friday. Teams up 2-0 in the World Series have gone on to win it 42 of 53 times (79.2 percent). Teams that have won the first two games of a World Series at home have gone on to win 31 of 38 times (81.6 percent). Of the 13 teams (20.8 percent) that overcame a 2-0 deficit to win the Series, 10 lost Games 1 and 2 on the road. "We know it's going to be loud in New York," Royals outfielder Alex Rios said. "But it was loud in Toronto, and it was loud in Houston. It's going to be loud no matter where we go." Jacob deGrom started for the Mets and breezed through three no-hit innings. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but got hit around in Kansas City's four-run fifth. The right-hander exited after five innings having given up four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out two. "They did exactly what people said, and they put the ball in play," Mets manager Terry Collins said of the Royals, who finished with 10 hits. "I told Jake, 'Not everything has to be a strike. You've got to move it around. You've got to change speeds, give them something to look at. If you continue to pound the strike zone, they're going to put it in play.' And that's what they did." "He's a great pitcher," Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said of deGrom. "We're putting the ball in play all night and just weren't catching any breaks. We kept battling throughout the game, and then caught a break."


World Series
Kansas City leads Series 2-0
Kansas City at New York
Game 3: Friday, October 30, at 8:00 PM


Was There Even A Question? – After an epic, 14-inning Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, to say that the Mets and Royals are evenly matched would be an understatement. Both teams notched 11 hits and committed one error in the game, which the Royals won, 5-4, on Eric Hosmer's walk-off sacrifice fly. And if that wasn't enough to prove just how perfectly these teams match up, here comes a report that mascots representing both franchises were named to "Good Morning America's" list of the best mascots in baseball. Host Lara Spencer and Co. braved the cold in New York on Tuesday to reveal the list of baseball's best mascots on Tuesday. Holding down the No. 5 spot was Mrs. Met, who was on hand for the presentation of the list. Royals' mascot Sluggerrr came in at No. 4, but the top mascot in all the land according to "Good Morning America" is... The Phillie Phanatic. And it's easy to see why when all the Phanatic does is dress like he's in GQ, dance like no one's watching, and give back to the community. On Tuesday afternoon, the Phanatic got all dressed up and made an appearance at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to host a Halloween party for kids battling cancer and other serious illnesses. 

Giving Back In The Off Season – Not all children have the opportunity to dress up and go trick-or-treating on Halloween, especially those receiving treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. For the past 23 years, the Phillies and Embassy Suites Hotel have been teaming up to bring an early Halloween treat to the patients and, this year, a new meaning to Halloween for one of their families. On Oct. 25, nearly 160 CHOP patients and their families were treated to a special Phillie Phanatic Ghostbusters-themed Halloween Bash. For mother Jaclyn Savery, who was waiting in line for balloon creations with her sons Grayson, 5, and Aydan, 6, this event was extra special. "Grayson was actually diagnosed on Halloween 2012," Savery said. "So Halloween for us, historically, isn't a very good date, and something like this, where we can add fun and excitement, adds a positive twist to a very dark day for us." Fun for the kids could be found all around the room. As families entered the Liberty Ballroom at the Embassy Suites Philadelphia Airport, they were greeted with music and dancing, clowns, face painting, arts and crafts, and later in the afternoon, a special Ghostbusters dance performance. Former Phillies pitcher Tommy Greene and broadcaster Scott Franzke attended the party, signing autographs and taking pictures with young fans, while the Phillie Phanatic, along with his mom Phoebe and Phillies Ballgirls, danced the day away with the kids. Sweet treats were available everywhere the children went, including fully-stocked candy for trick-or-treating, mini cakes and assorted goodies, and a life-like Phanatic cake, complete with a Ghostbusters suit and proton pack. Also available were kid-friendly snacks like chicken fingers, pizza, and smiley fries. Grayson and Aydan, dressed as green and red ninjas, respectively, enjoyed all of the perks of the party. They decorated pumpkins, raided the candy table, made balloon creations (a skeleton for Grayson and ninja swords for Aydan), and loved the Phanatic. "This is the first year he is not in treatment, so we were like, 'Let's live again, let's make Halloween fun,'" Savery added. "This event means so much for these kids. There's no chemo, no treatment, no hospital; they can just be a normal, typical child, and that's priceless." Maureen Mason, director of event fundraising and community partnerships at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, shared a similar sentiment on the Halloween Bash. "The whole family gets to come and do something that doesn't have to do with getting chemotherapy or radiation," Mason said. "When cancer affects a child, it really affects the entire family. It's great for the family to do something where the main focus is fun." Mason has been a part of planning this event for a long time alongside Phillies community outreach coordinator Kelly Yurgin, who has been involved with the Halloween Bash since 1994. The event, which originated as a player initiative with former Phillies second baseman Mickey Morandini called "Mickey's MVPs," has since grown tremendously. "No matter what, it has always been such a great party in the end," Yurgin said. "Whether it is for 80 people or close to 200, when it's all said and done, all that matters is seeing the patients in treatment have a day of normalcy -- to just have fun and be kids."

The Phillies finally put an end to the season finishing in last place in the NL East with a record of 63-99. Given the departures, aging stars, injuries, and bipolar performances, this has ended up being one of the worst seasons in franchise history! However, there are some former Phillies still making headlines in the playoffs this year.

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