Exactly 368 days after the San Francisco Giants denied the Kansas City Royals a chance win the 2014 World Series, the Royals took care of unfinished business and crushed the New York Mets in Game Five of the 2015 World Series to become World Champions for the first time since 1985.
Crushed is an understatement. The Royals did everything right, while the Mets found ways to lose. Even when the Mets were up, as they were for 8 2/3 innings during Game Six, the looked like they were playing “not not lose”.
Should Matt Harvey have started the 9th? Should Terry Collins have lifted Yoenis Cespedes with the bases loaded and nobody out after Cespedes painfully took a foul ball to the shin? Those were only a few of the many situations the Mets found themselves throughout the Series that will have Mr. Met and his faithful scratching their heads and wonder… what the?
What I can tell you with certainly is that you can’t give (or shall I say hand) the Royals opportunities to either keep themselves in the game or put themselves in position to take complete control of the game.
After Lorenzo Cain walked to lead off the 9th, I knew trouble was brewing. Cain stole second base without a problem with the big boys (Hosmer, Moustakas and Perez) due to follow. By then it was too late. Jeurys Familia faced Hosmer with the game on the line and Hosmer promptly hit an opposite field double to score Cain.
Two batters later, where Me the Manager would have considered walking Salvador Perez to enhance a double play chance, Perez grounded to Mets third baseman David Wright.
Wright looked back Hosmer and then all hell broke loose. The pictures tell the story.
The game was then hijacked by the Royals for good three innings later when Addison Reed and Bartolo Colon faced a relentless and hungry Royals lineup to not only take the lead, but the Series in the 12th inning to bring the World Series trophy back to Kansas City.
With one out in the 9th I went from thinking about barbecue in Kansas City Monday night to my postgame photo assignment(s), which were to cover the trophy presentation in the Royals clubhouse, then perhaps more importantly, race back on the field to shoot an ad for Major League Baseball and corporate sponsor Chevrolet with the World Series MVP posed with his new Chevy Camero.
Salvador Perez was the well deserved MVP and with seconds to spare to size up my “poses” and angles, Perez came out and quickly cooperated as I spent a lengthy 50 seconds taking care of the ad and a shot of Salvi and the Chevrolet representative.
After putting away my gear for the year, I suddenly got bummed… No, it wasn’t the fact that the baseball season was over (although it is a sad day for a baseball guy like myself) but because I realized that for my White Sox to get back to the postseason, it will have to be through Kansas City.