The red hot Kansas City Royals (54-51) continue their nine game road trip tonight against the New York Mets (48-58). This is only the third interleague (2002/New York, 2004 KC) meeting between the teams which are deadlocked at three games apiece, each have won a home series. Last time Kansas City played the Mets was at Shea (’02) which New York took two-of-three.
We reached out to Danny Abriano who’s the editor over at Rising Apple about this weekend series in Queens. Here are his answers to the questions asked about Royals at Mets.
Kings of Kauffman – These teams haven’t met in some time, which sort of makes the teams strangers for the most part and this is the Royals first trip to City Field. What can everyone expect?
Rising Apple – Citi Field went through some changes after the 2011 season. With it being nearly impossible to hit homers and with some Mets players openly complaining, the fences were moved in. The left field fence was lowered and shortened, the gap in left center was cut down, and the walls came in a ton in right center. The park is pretty neutral now. If there are any fans who live in the area or are traveling in for the series, they’re in for a treat both in terms of the ballpark itself and the food that’s offered. The food options at Citi are the best of any sports venue I’ve ever been to. The absolute must try is the double shack burger from Shake Shack. It’s better than In N Out, better than everything.
KOK – How is the pitching lined up for this weekend and what should Royals fans know about those guys?
RA – The Royals caught a break this weekend. The Mets have three young, electric starters in Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Jenrry Mejia. None of them will be pitching during the series. Instead, the Mets will trot out Dillon Gee, Carlos Torres, and Jeremy Hefner. Gee has been very good lately, and took a no hitter into the 7th inning two starts ago. Torres is miscast as a starter, but is remaining in the rotation in order for the Mets to stick with a 6 man staff (which will allow Harvey and Wheeler to go deeper into the season). Hefner had a month long run where he was leading the league in ERA, but he’s come crashing back to Earth over his last three starts.
KOK – David Wright seems to be the Alex Gordon of the Mets in terms of a homegrown guy who the fans love and plays hard? What did it mean having him start the All-Star Game in Queens especially after he fell short of starting last year’s game in Kansas City?
RA – Having Wright start the All-Star Game at Citi Field meant a ton to Mets fans. He was beaten out last year by Sandoval, who was clearly not deserving. This year, we banded together to make sure we blew Sandoval out of the water and got Wright the starting spot he deserved. Wright had an ear to ear grin during the game, and the buzz in the crowd when he was introduced was surreal.
KOK – Kansas City and New York have an overall series history that’s tied 3-3 in two previous interleague meetings with each team winning a series at their park. What are your series predictions, given KC is on a nine game win streak and the Mets coming off a tough series in Miami.
RA – The Mets lost the last two games in Miami because they couldn’t score. If that trend continues, they’re clearly in bad shape this weekend. Add that to the fact that the Mets won’t have Harvey, Wheeler, or Mejia on the hill, and it could turn into a long weekend for the Mets. However, the Mets have been showing spunk recently (and their bullpen has been fantastic), so I expect a competitive series. I’ll predict that the Mets’ bats wake up and they take 2 of 3.
Series Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday – Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50) v. Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13), 6:10 pm
Saturday – Bruce Chen (4-0, 2.09) v. Carlos Torres (1-2, 3.13), 12:10 pm
Sunday – Ervin Santana (7-6, 3.03) v. Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.21), 12:10 pm
Television Information: FSKC and the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)
All three games can be seen on Fox Sports Kansas City with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler on the call. Joel Goldberg and Jeff Montgomery will host Royals Live pre and postgame from Citi Field. Describing the action will be Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews being joined in the booth by Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart on the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC).