Cueto pitches first World Series complete game since 1991
Honestly this is a game I don’t want to talk about all that much. Not that I necessarily don’t like the Kansas City Royals but I most certainly like the New York Mets a bit more. Unfortunately for me and a lot of New Yorkers, the game ended 7-1 in favor of the Royals.
This game was pretty straight forward. Royals manager Ned Yost made the best decision possible. He started Johnny Cueto at home in Game 2 Wednesday night. Yost made sure that if the series even goes to six games, which seems at this point highly debatable with the Royals up two games to none, that if Cueto is required to make another start, it will be back in Kansas City.
While Cueto has been one of the top pitchers over the past five years, almost on a Clayton Kershaw level, he hasn’t really performed that well since becoming a member of the Royals at the July 31 trade deadline.
He’s had a couple of stellar starts but they have always come at Kauffman Stadium. His starts on the road haven’t been so stellar.
Yet again, he proved that he can pitch at home for the Royals, throwing a complete game, two hitter. He allowed one run on three walks and four strikeouts. Granted I’ve seen better complete games. As an Oakland A’s fan I’ve seen more than a few, actually.
Cueto’s complete game was the first complete game in the World Series since there were a rash of complete games in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Jack Morris pitched one for the Minnesota Twins in 1991 against the Atlanta Braves.
Dave Stewart pitched two for the Oakland Athletics – the first in Game 1 of the 1989 World Series against the San Francisco Giants and the other Game 4 in the 1990 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Prior to that Bruce Hurst pitched a complete game for the Boston Red Sox against the Mets in Game 5 of the 1986 World Series.
So to say that Cueto’s performance was one for the record books would be somewhat of an understatement. deGrom had a rough day, that is for sure – yet that isn’t to forget about the Royals offense.
While this game ultimately came down to Cueto going the distance and Mets’ starter Jacob deGrom having his worst start of the 2015 postseason, even though he cruised through the first four innings, the Royals always found a way to put the ball in play.
“We don’t swing and miss,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “We put the ball in play, and we find ways to just keep putting the ball in play until you find holes.”
They have an offense that continually puts the ball in play. They didn’t swing and miss on a single fastball by deGrom. A ball in play may be an out or even a strike, but those outs can also be sacrifice flies or other run scoring outs, like the one used by Eric Hosmer to win Game 1.
They didn’t have much against deGrom until the fourth inning but were unable to capitalize on it. In the top of the inning Lucas Duda, the only member of the Mets to get a hit off of Cueto, hit a two-out single that scored Daniel Murphy for the Mets only run.
Cueto closed out the game in the top of the ninth and the rest was, as previously noted, one for the books. Cueto had help of course – American League Championship Series MVP Alcides Escobar showed off his defensive skills plus an RBI single in the fifth and a triple in the eighth that plated Alex Gordon.
While Cueto had plenty off assistance in the seven runs scored by his teammates, Game 2 belonged to him and his complete game, two-hitter.
That’s not to say that the Mets are out of it yet. In their last World Championship in 1986 the Mets lost Game 1 by just one-run and Game 2 by six runs …. sound familiar??
As the series heads to Citi Field in New York the Royals may appear in control, however, this is baseball and anything can and usually does happen.