Just when it looked like the Royals had their gears in synced motion and their lineup was ready to quiet the raucous crowd at City Field with one of those keep the line moving rallies that has become their signature in this year’s Playoffs, the game turned on a dime in the second inning when a call at third base was overturned by replay.
The play (shown here in this MLB video) occurred when David Wright took a throw from left fielder Michael Conforto and the runner, Alex Gordon, was called safe on a very close play putting runners on first and third with one run in and nobody out.. However, Wright immediately raised his hand signalling to the dugout and Terry Collins pleading for a replay. Collins acknowledged his Captain and Gordon was ruled out by the replay umpire – resulting in runners on first and second with one out. Not necessarily a game turner but the play certainly swung the momentum back to the Mets and they never looked back from there.
But actually, I thought the momentum of the game was significantly altered on the first pitch of the game from Noah Syndegaard when he let go on a 98mph fastball giving Escobar, a notorious and successful first pitch hitter, what old timers used to call some “chin music” to dance to. Stunned, the Royals shortstop sat there at home plate in one of those “I don’t believe what I just saw” moments. Later, the Royals of course fumed about it. Translated though, what they were actually saying is “Man, this kid (Syndegaard) really has some balls”.
This game also turned on the power demonstrated by the Mets. The bats came to life when they needed to. David Wright’s first inning two run home run deep into center field could not have been bigger. Later, Curtis Granderson hit a laser down the right field line to cement the victory. Both of these players represent the veteran balance that is needed at this time of the year, especially with the presence of the Mets young staff.
Speaking of which, Stephen Matz, the kid from Long Island starts tonight in a battle with the veteran Chris Young. I’m looking for a synonym for electric which is becoming overused (his stuff is electric, the crowd is electric, etc.), but I can’t so suffice to say……..I’m “plugged in” though and ready for another great game tonight.