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. Continue reading
Posted in 2015 Playoffs, Baseball, Baseball Blogs, David Wright, Home Runs, Kansas City Royals, N.Y. Mets, New York Mets, noah Syndegaard, Overturned Replay, Steven Matz, World Series
Tagged 2015 Playoffs, baseball, Baseball Blogs, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Home Runs, Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Noah Syndegaard, Overturned Call, Steven Matz, World Series
Oops, the Toronto vs Kansas City series hasn’t even concluded yet. But, believe me it’s over. At home, there is no way the Royals lose two straight, even with David Price (who has not exactly been Mr. Reliable in playoffs no matter where he has pitched) starting tonight for the Blue Jays.
So let’s get on with it. And let’s start with the probability that this will be a very entertaining World Series. On the one hand, you have the Royals with last year’s experience to build on facing the Mets with maybe one or two exceptions I can’t think of playing on Center Stage in baseball’s Fall Classic. for the first time.
Last year, the Royals met Mr. Bumgartner and the Giants. No doubt, “Bum” tore the Royals up. This year, they’ll be facing not one – but four prominent starters the Mets throw out there – each with 97-100 mph fastballs along with a litany of polished and tantalizing breaking balls. Plus, the Mets have that guy Familia (did anyone know his name in April) who appeared out of nowhere and continues to dominate.
On the Royals side, you have the patient and clutch presence of guys like Eric Hosmer (left) and Alex Gordon (below) who “get it done”. Meanwhile, “something” appears to be wrong with Johnny Cueto and he and the Royals need to figure that out soon. But, to counterstrike their deference to the Mets in starting pitching, they have the knockout punch of a bullpen if the game is close.
And therein lies the key. The Mets were able to never let the Cubs even reach the door, much less enter it. The Royals however are a different brand right now. They do come back with a string of singles and doubles when they have fallen behind. Thus, the question is really how far the Mets starters can go into the game to prevent such an attack in the middle innings. In this regard, the whole question of innings pitched to date (and it’s getting way up there) raises its ugly head again for the Mets. How far do you let these young arms go?
In sum, we are not only going to be entertained by this Series, but we will be talking about it throughout the Hot Stove season. If I were a betting man, I’d stay away from this one. Meanwhile, we can just sit back and enjoy it as baseball fans.
Posted in 2015 Playoffs, Alex Gordon, Baseball, Baseball Blogs, Bullpens, David Price, David Wright, Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, World Championships, World Series
Tagged 2015 Playoffs, Alex Gordon, baseball, Baseball Blogs, Bullpens, David Wright, Eric Hosmer, Fall Classic, Kansas City Royals, Lucas Duda, New York Mets, pitching, starting pitchers, World Series, World Series odds
When Terry Collins walked across the field at the conclusion of last night’s contest to shake hands with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, (right) he had just completed his 1680 th game as a major league manager. The final chapter of a man’s baseball life had been written and you could just sense the relief and gratification that only comes from a long uphill climb that led his team (or family as he calls them) to victory and a chance to compete for a spot in this year’s World Series.
In the 1970’s, Terry Collins was a minor league shortstop playing first in the Pirates organization and then later with the Dodgers. He never had a major league at bat. However, a turning point in his career came when Peter O’Malley, then the owner of the Dodgers offered him a chance to manage.
Back then, the Dodgers were not the mega corporation they are today and O’Malley (left) emphasized the family culture that surrounded his teams. For example, when the Dodgers won the World Series in 1988, he took not only the team but virtually the entire staff, including the groundskeepers, to Hawaii for a vacation. At the time, Collins was on another assignment for the Dodgers. When he returned home, he was welcomed with a trip to Italy replacing the one he missed for his entire family. Terry Collins never forgot the way the Dodgers treated him. More importantly, he picked up on those values and voice as the manager of the New York Mets stressing the nature of team building and family.
No doubt, last night was a bittersweet moment for a man who beat the parents who raised him (so to speak). To a man, the Mets reflect the character of their leader in the dugout. But, this didn’t happen overnight. Actually, it began before the first game of the season when Sandy Alderson, the Mets General Manager, stunned the Mets fanbase by declaring that the Mets would win 90 games this year. With a team of young talent, Collins tried to downplay the whole thing while the media pressured him every day. But inside the clubhouse, Collins was already building the structure of his team – one that would accent a quiet confidence.
Well, we know the end result. The Mets did, in fact, win 90 games. But it was Collins’s leadership that brought them together and through the tough times – like losing their captain David Wright (right) for several months, as well as Lucas Duda – their only bona fide power hitter until Cespedes came along. And then of course, there was the ongoing saga of Matt The Brat Harvey who on more than one occasion caused a disruption off the field as well as in the clubhouse. Collins, known for having a temper, never lost it. More importantly, he never lost his players.
His is one of those stories you only find in baseball. One thousand six hundred and eighty games – and finally he is a winner.
Posted in 2015 Playoffs, a baseball life, Baseball, Baseball Blogs, David Wright, Don Mattingly, Los Angeles Dodgers, Manager of the Year, Matt Harvey, N.Y. Mets, New York Mets, Peter O'MALLEY, Terry Collins
Tagged 2015 Playoffs, baseball, Baseball Blogs, Baseball life, Don Mattingly, los Angeles Dodgers, Manager of the Year, Matt Harvey, Minor League, New York Mets, Peter O'MALLEY, Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins