Monday, October 26, 2015

World Series Preview: 1985 vs. 1986


The Royals last won the World Series in 1985. The Mets' latest championship came the following year. Now the two will meet in the Fall Classic, which begins with Game 1 at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday. The Mets boast a devastating rotation and are coming off a four-game sweep of the Cubs in the National League Championship Series. The Royals, who advanced with a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, sport a balanced, battle-tested club looking to finish what it started last season. "It was a driving force for all those guys coming into Spring Training, knowing we want to get back in that situation and get that one extra out, that one extra run," said Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, whose team came within 90 feet of a potential World Series title in 2014. "They've been doing it all year, this team, and we still have a long way to go." The Mets announced that they'll go with Matt Harvey for Game 1, with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz following in that order. The Royals haven't announced their rotation, but they'll likely turn to Edinson Volquez for Game 1, followed by Johnny Cueto in Game 2, Yordano Ventura in Game 3 and Chris Young in Game 4. The Royals have the home-field advantage by virtue of the AL's 6-3 win at the All-Star Game, meaning they'll host Games 1 and 2 and a potential 6 and 7. The two teams have never met in the World Series and haven't faced each other since the 2013 regular season, when the Royals took two of three at Citi Field. "Kansas City, they've got so much confidence that they're going to win," said Mets infielder Kelly Johnson, who was on the Orioles team that got swept by the Royals in last year's ALCS. "They've now done it two years in a row. That lineup is equally tough. They have some power, but they also don't give in. They're going to fight off pitches, make you work and try to just get guys on. And the next man up will try to get the job done." Boosted by a deep October run last fall, the Royals went for it all this year, acquiring Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist midseason and ultimately cruising to their first division title in 30 years. They won the AL Central by 12 games, won an AL-best 95 times, then beat the Astros in five AL Division Series games -- thanks largely to an epic comeback in the eighth inning of Game 4 -- and defeated the Blue Jays in six ALCS games. Now they'll face a Mets staff that threw harder, on average, than all but two teams this season -- with a lineup that made contact more frequently than anybody else. "They're very good," Zobrist said of the Mets. "They throw the ball really hard, they have a great staff all the way around. But we believe that we're capable of hitting anybody. We're going to come ready." The Mets entered the season with high hopes thanks to their young, talented rotation. The Mets were mediocre through the first four months, then acquired Yoenis Cespedes before the non-waiver Trade Deadline and took off, winning 20 of 28 games in August to finish with 90 wins -- 11 more than the prior season -- and run away from the Nats in the NL East. In their first postseason series in nine years, the Mets outlasted the Dodgers in a five-game NLDS, then stormed past the Cubs thanks in large part to Daniel Murphy, who has homered in a record six consecutive postseason games. They'll enter the World Series with five days off, hoping the long layoff does nothing to halt their momentum. "This team is kind of a combination of the 'Miracle Mets' and 'Ya Gotta Believe, '69, '86, 2000,'" said Mets third baseman David Wright, his team back in the World Series for the first time since 20000. "To be able to be mentioned in the same breath as those teams, we're going to go down in Mets history as one of the greatest Mets teams ever assembled. And I'm proud of that."

Three things to know about this game:
  • Cespedes received a cortisone injection for his sore left shoulder Friday was expected to take batting practice on Sunday. He expects to be ready for Game 1. The long layoff has allowed Cespedes to get some rest, while letting Mets manager Terry Collins align his rotation.
  • Murphy has the most experience against Volquez and has hit him well, going 6-for-15 with a double and two walks. Wright, meanwhile, is only 2-for-13 lifetime. Alex Rios (1-for-3) is the only Royals player who has faced Harvey, and backup catcher Drew Butera (0-for-3) is the only one who has faced deGrom.
  • Here's a safe bet for the World Series: At one point or another, Alcides Escobar will probably swing at the first pitch. The Royals' leadoff hitter, fresh off being named the Most Valuable Player of the ALCS, has swung at the game's first pitch in nine of 11 postseason games. That approach, Escobar said, gives him the aggressive mindset that helps him thrive.


World Series
New York at Kansas City
Game 1: Tuesday, October 27, at 8:00 PM

More rumors... no news but interesting reading. 

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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