After a disappointing end in 2014, the Kansas City Royals looked to get a leg up on the New York Mets for the 2015 World Series.
Major players for New York in 2015 included first baseman Lucas Duda (Royals fans will remember his two runs with the team recently) who clubbed 27 home runs, right fielder Curtis Granderson who hit his way to a .259/.364/.457 slash, 23-year-old Wilmer Flores who smacked 16 dingers while plugging the shortstop position, and David Wright who battled injuries most of the year but brought a spark back to the team when he returned in August and produced a 126 OPS+ in just under 200 plate appearances.
The real lifeblood of the team rested with the pitching. Led by stars such as Jacob deGrom who tied for team lead in wins with 14, produced a WHIP of 0.98 and struck out 9.7 hitters per nine innings, Matt Harvey who was 13-8 with a 1.02 WHIP and 8.9 SO/9, Noah Syndergaard whose ERA+ of 117 was behind only deGrom and Harvey for starters, and Jeurys Familia who nailed down 43 saves with a 1.85 ERA and 207 ERA+.
The Mets had a great season finishing 90-72 and winning the National League East title comfortably. They beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series three games to two and then swept the Chicago Cubs in four straight games to advance. That gave New York a five-day layoff, two more than the Kansas City Royals, before starting the World Series.
Taking the mound for the Mets was the “Dark Knight” Harvey. He won both of his starts in the playoffs inducing 16 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings of work. The Kansas City Royals would counter with Edinson Volquez who had a similar record at 13-9 but not as impressive Sabermetrics as Harvey and struggled in three prior playoff starts giving up 12 walks, 10 hits, and eight earned runs in just 17 2/3 frames.
Let us take a look at how Game 1 played out in three segments of the contest.