The Kansas City Royals are your 2015 World Series Champions!
But that means that there is a loser…well, really there are 29 other losers, but one ultimate one.
The New York Mets’ incredible season came to an end last night as the Royals took home the trophy. But is it because of Matt Harvey’s decision to force himself out to the mound in the 9th inning?
Terry Collins blamed himself for letting his ace, “The Dark Knight,” go out for another inning with a 2-0 lead but ultimately, the series shouldn’t have even come down to that.
With a talented young team, the Mets just weren’t prepared entering the series. They didn’t know what to expect, when the Royals came out strong, knowing just what the World Series environment was like.
Games came down to costly errors by the young Mets players and unfortunately, the magic of their 2015 regular season faded when they needed it most.
But this Game 5 brought about the age-old question that fans often ask: should the manager take out a pitcher who is on fire or let him finish off the game?
Things just got far more difficult as the game was a must-win for the offensively-struggling Mets.
While Harvey was pitching a gem, he went into the 9th inning with 102 pitches. And earlier in the season, Collins instituted an inning cap on Harvey to preserve him for the playoffs.
With a 2-0 lead and a solid bullpen, the 9th inning was the time for Harvey to realize he did everything he could and listen to his manager. Yes, he wanted the game and he wanted to finish the game, but what was more important…him or the team?
Harvey fared well in his first eight innings, but the danger for a starting pitcher comes late in the game. The lineup has seen him at least three times, allowing them to adjust to his delivery and pitches…which is why the Royals immediately started their comeback.
Also, the Royals proved all season long that they are a late-inning squad, as expressed by their impressive 40 runs scored this postseason in the eight inning and beyond.
Would you rather have a pitcher who has already thrown 102 pitches and is tired and losing velocity or a fresh, strong arm from the bullpen who can overpower hitters? When you look at it that way, no matter how well Harvey was pitching, the choice seems pretty obvious.
I respect Matt Harvey for wanting to finish the game strong, but in a must-win situation, it wouldn’t hurt to go to the bullpen to close out the 2-0 game and head into game six with the momentum.
All in all, a great series was played by both teams. But in the end, the more experienced team won.
However, don’t count the Mets out yet. With a young core group, they have the talent to do just what the Royals did this year…recover from a World Series loss to claim the crown.