Fresh off the longest played Game 1 in World Series history, the Kansas City Royals look to take a 2-0 series lead when they host the New York Mets in Game 2 on Wednesday. The Royals turn to inconsistent starter Johnny Cueto, while the Mets will have reliable ace Jacob deGrom on the mound.
In a 14-inning marathon, Kansas City prevailed, 5-4, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. It was a bizarre way to start the Fall Classic, beginning with a leadoff inside-the-park home run by Alcides Escobar and continuing with a momentary TV power outage. Kansas City pulled off the victory when Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Escobar. It was redemption for Hosmer, whose error at first base in the eighth inning gave the Mets a 4-3 lead. Kansas City tied the game on a ninth-inning home run by Alex Gordon off closer Jeurys Familia, who had not blown a save since July 30.
Both teams began the series by using most of their bullpens. The Royals called on seven pitchers including Chris Young, who was considered a probable Game-4 starter. Young tossed three hitless innings of relief to earn the win. Bartolo Colon was the last of six Mets pitchers, and took the loss after throwing 2 1/3 innings.
Ned Yost will need Cueto to bounce back from his most recent start. Cueto, who will be pitching on eight days of rest, lasted just two innings on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. He took the loss after conceding eight earned runs off six hits and four walks. It was a completely different result than his Game 5 effort against the Houston Astros in the AL Division Series, when he allowed just two runs off two hits in eight innings.
While Cueto has given uneven performance, the Mets have a dependable starter in deGrom. In the postseason, the 27-year-old has won all three starts off a 1.80 ERA. DeGrom has gone at least six innings in each of his three starts, and has struck out 27 batters while walking just five over 20 innings. In Game 3 of the NLCS, he allowed just two runs on four hits over seven innings and struck out seven. DeGrom hasn’t pitched since Oct. 20 and will be throwing on seven days’ rest.
Prediction: Cueto will likely provide a better effort than he did against the Blue Jays. But the Mets' bats should still give him trouble and manufacture a few runs. Expect a solid performance from deGrom, and the bullpen.
Predicted Score: Mets over Royals, 4-2
Start Time: 8:07 p.m.
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go