NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Mets returned to Citi Field early Thursday morning with the hope that being back home will change the trajectory of the World Series.
Unable to stifle the stubborn Kansas City Royals, Jacob deGrom gave up four disheartening runs in a 7-1 defeat Wednesday night that left the Mets down 2-0 in the series heading into pivotal Game 3 on Friday.
Trying to become the first major league pitcher to win four road games in one postseason, deGrom ran into a Kansas City lineup that caused him fits with consistent contact.
“There’s a lot of good hitters over there,” he said. “I think the walks hurt me and then in the fifth, I couldn’t stop the bleeding. I was one pitch away from getting out of there, giving up one run, but I couldn’t make that pitch.”
Only three times did the Royals swing and miss against the right-hander, a career worst for deGrom, according to STATS Inc. He managed only two strikeouts, matching a season low.
“I wasn’t really surprised by it. Kind of knew that going in. Early on, pitch count was staying pretty low because I knew they were going to be attacking,” deGrom said.
The tenacious Royals fouled off 23 pitches against deGrom, 14 in the fifth, and it took him 35 pitches to get through the inning. He was lifted for Hansel Robles to start the sixth.
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But deGrom’s teammates didn’t help him at the plate, with a grand total of only two soft hits by Lucas Duda off complete-game winner Johnny Cueto.
“By no means are we done,” Duda said. “We’ve created a hole for ourselves, but we’ve been here before.”
Captain David Wright went 0-for-4 on Wednesday. He said the Mets have to put the first two games in Kansas City behind them.
“Right now, we just gotta focus on Friday’s game,” he said. “We can’t think about the hole that we’re in. We just gotta think one at a time. It’ll be nice to get to our park, our house. I’m sure the fans will be going crazy.”
Those fans have not given up hope.
“We’re coming back to New York, we got three games in New York, hopefully, take two out of those and it’s a whole new series,” said fan Jay Francis. “Best-of-three starting at Game 5.”
“I think the fans will really bolster the team,” added fan Quincey Trigillo. “I think that’s maybe what they’re missing right now? I don’t know. They need to get some hits though, that’s for sure.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that Mets fans should “take a chill pill” and believe in their team. He noted that the Mets rallied from a two-game deficit when they won their last championship in 1986.
With Game 3, Citi Field will be hosting a World Series for the first time. Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard faces Yordano Ventura in a matchup of young aces who throw 100 mph heat.
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