World Series 2015

Congrats to the Kansas City Royals, winners of the 2015 World Series!

World Series 2015

They beat the New York Mets in just five games and completed the unfinished business from last year when they lost the 2014 WS in the final out of the final inning of the final game.

Go Royals!

I gotta say, letting starting pitcher Matt Harvey go out an pitch the ninth was a mistake, and I don’t say that in retrospect. I knew it at the time, and I really did think it could cost them the game.

Which it arguably did.

Terry Collins

Terry Collins

Mets Manager Terry Collins knew it, too. He said he went with his “heart” rather than his “gut” — and didn’t go with his predetermined game plan, either.

Think about the logic! The Mets are down 1-3 — lose this game and it’s all over. You have to win this game.

You’ve had eight good innings from Harvey. Your plan all along was for him to get you through nine and then turn it over to closer Jeurys Familia.

The choice is to hand your closer a clean three-out inning, a much better situation for your closer, or bring him in if the starter gets in trouble.

Admittedly, Harvey had pitched a great game — keeping the Royals scoreless through eight — and Familia had blown some saves.

Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey

And Harvey is demanding to be allowed back in to pitch the ninth.

Still, it was a mistake going in.

The Royals are infamous as a come-back team. (They’d done it to the Mets once already.)

They’ve scored 45 runs in innings 7–9 during the post-season! (Compared to 39 runs in innings 1–6!)

Thinking a pitcher with more than 100 pitches is going to hold down the Royals with the entire series on the line… just wasn’t a good choice.

Oh, well, better luck next year. It’s been a great season!

It ended well from my perspective, at least on the National League side.

I wanted to see the Mets and Cubs take out the Dodgers and Cardinals, respectively. (I’d have been okay with the Dodgers, but they’re a dynasty club, and I lean towards smaller underdog clubs.)

Royals Win 2I’d actually have preferred the Cubs in the WS, but the Mets were such a close second favorite, I was happy to see them there.

Things worked less well for me on the American League side. Rangers lost (that was the worst; they’re our sister team).

The Astros lost (I’d been hoping for an all-Texas ALCS). On the other hand, the Yankees lost!

I was okay with the Toronto Blue Jays until their fans acted like assholes during that Texas game. They fell from my favor completely then. (You don’t treat my sister like that!)

I’d been put off by the chip-on-shoulder attitude of the Royals all season. (Plus they were so good that the Twins’ very good season was totally over-shadowed. So, yeah, some of it is resentment.)

But I let go of that and have been cheering on the fellow AL-Central team. (That became a bit solidified by Syndergaard’s first “chin music” pitch to Escobar in game three. Beating them in their home park almost seems like karma after that.)

Way to go Kansas City! Way to go!

Royals Win

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

6 responses to “World Series 2015

  • keithosaunders

    Harvey showed no signs of weakening adn was unhittable for 8 innings. Familia had been underwhelming in the Series. Collins did the right thing. If Duda makes a decent throw the game is over.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      If it was the right thing, why did I know it was the wrong thing when he did it? Why did I know that giving in to hubris and pride would end in disaster? Listen to Collins in the post-game; he knew it was wrong.

      Sure Harvey had done well, and sure Familia had problems. With the entire series on the line, against a team that has been phenomenal with late-game comebacks, Collins — as he said himself — went with his heart rather than his gut. That was a mistake.

      • keithosaunders

        That’s a second guess. Harvey was dominant. You wouldn’t take Oral Hershiser out of those 1988 games and you wouldn’t take Bumgarner out of last year’s games. Familia had looked hittable and the Royals were not intimidated by him. Mariano he aint. He’s not even Wade Davis.

        Finally a manager (and pitcher) showed some guts. Enough of this over-managing, pussy baseball. The Royals can do it because they have a talented bullpen. Collins is protecting his player by owning the move. That’s admirable, but he did nothing wrong. He left a great pitcher who had shown zero signs of tiring in the game.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        My point is it wasn’t a second guess. It was my first guess at the time. I yelled at the TV when they showed Harvey talking Collins into letting him go out in the ninth. I yelled again when they talked about the fans demanding Harvey in the ninth. I yelled yet again when Harvey actually came out, and I realized then that giving in to pride with the series on the line was very likely a fatal mistake.

        Something to consider. Harvey, up to that point in post-season, had an ERA of 3.38 and batters were hitting .229 off him. Familia, in the LDS and LCS had a 0.00 ERA with batters hitting .065 off him. Even if you look just at the four games he worked in the WS against the Royals, he still had a 1.80 ERA and a .167 BA.

        (Overall in the post-season, Harvey had a 3.04 ERA to Familia’s 0.61, and a 1.088 WHIP to Familia’s 0.477. Familia’s season stats are better than Harvey’s as well.)

        Consider also that, in post-season, Harvey had gone, respectively, 5.0, 7.2, and 6.0 innings in the three games so far. He’d given up at least two ER in all three (three in one). His ERA is 3.38 and opponents are hitting .229 off him.

        He’s had a great game — a stellar cap to his post-season, a shut-out through 8 innings, and the “Dark Knight Saves Gotham” headline writes itself. The WS is on the line. He’s pitched his ass off — better than all post-season. But given his first three games, it’s an accident waiting to happen.

        With that much at stake it was a terrible gamble. Truly, as Collins said, letting your heart override your gut. (He actually did throw Harvey under the bus just a little when he said he “trusted” him. He’s putting it back on Harvey (just a little), although — as a good manager — he fully owned up to the final decision.)

        BTW: No, I would not have taken Bumgarner out. He was awesome throughout the 2014 post-season, had a 1.03 ERA, and batters were only hitting .153 off him. It was also Bumgarner’s third WS. Harvey is excellent, but he’s no Bumgarner.

      • keithosaunders

        If you want to argue that he shouldn’t come out after walking the leadoff batter, OK. But based on his 8th inning I’m letting him pitch the 9th. It’s not a given that Familia is getting those outs. Even Mariano faltered in 2001 as did Eckersly in 1988. They’re a Duda error away from playing in a game 6.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Fair enough. There were certainly a lot of factors pushing for him to come back out. We can disagree. You would have let him back out; I would have said no. And we’ll never know what might have happened, true enough. (Damn it, I really wanted more games.)

        I do absolutely think he needed to be pulled after the walk. He had to face Hosmer who has been unworldly with men on base. That’s the moment Collins should have recognized he’d made an awful mistake.

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