Welcome to another edition of ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the prior week and the upcoming matchups to watch, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.
Incredibly, we have reached the culmination of another Major League season. The Mets had THREE games within their grip, but bullpen problems and defensive foibles derailed them whilet he Royals took advantage of seemingly every mistake New York made including questionable managerial decisions, poor defense, and relief pitchers who broke down at the worst possible time. Kansas City clawed back in epic fashion and in three separate games claimed victory to games where they were down to 5-7 outs. The Musing's send their congratulations to the Royals and their fans, what a fantastically entertaining team! Here's a game-by-game look at the numbers from the World Series.
It's this week's Musings.
An Analytical look at the Fall Classic
Royals come back from a one run deficit with only two outs remaining in the ninth to beat the Mets 5-4 in a 14-inning marathon in KC. Royals lead series 1-0.
7/30 - Date of the last save blown by Jeurys Familia who coughed up the lead on a game one home run by Alex Gordon. That July game was rock-bottom for the Mets, who lost to the Padres on a Justin Upton home run after a lengthy rain delay in Queens and was around the time of the Flores / Gomez / Cespedes quandry.
2 - Straight World Series Game Ones that the Mets lost. In the 2000 subway series, the Mets were downed by the Yankees 4-3 in twelve innings...not a good sign, Mets. Not a good sign.
15 - Strikeouts in the game for Kansas City pitchers. KC only allowed one extra base hits to New York and the Royals, despite striking out only seven times, cracked four extra base hits. Power and few strikeouts was the theme in game one.
Royals down the Mets cleanly in a 7-1 crushing, highlighted by Johnny Cueto pitching a masterpiece. Royals lead series 2-0.
15 - Number of consecutive batters retired by Royals starter Johnny Cueto. Cueto went the distance in a two-hit complete game. He gave up only one run and allowed only five base runners. Cueto's 80 game score passed Brett Saberhagen's 1985 Game 7 for the highest game score in KC's postseason history.
2:3 - Strikeout to walk rate for Mets' starter Jacob deGrom. This game represented only the second time in his career deGrom walked more than he struck out. deGrom would end up not getting another start in the series, and some suggested he looked gassed from a grueling season.
3 - Swings and misses by the Royals induced by deGrom, his career low. deGrom threw 94 pitchers and the KC hitters fouled off 23. None of the Royals' whiffs were on the fastball.
Mets cruise to a 9-3 victory to take the first game at Citi Field. Royals lead 2-1.
6 - Hits in the first two innings for the Royals, who mustered only one in the following seven innings. Noah Syndergaard came out throwing hard and inside, striking out six over six innings. While Syndergaard earned a quality start, he did give up three runs in the winning effort, but this game was all about the Mets offense.
2006 - Last time David Wright hit a postseason home run. It was game four against the St. Louis Cardinals when Wright hit his first longball of the postseason. He smashed a two-run homer in the first inning against Yordano Ventura to give the Mets a 2-1 lead after falling behind in the top half of the inning.
16 - Whiffs induced by Syndergaard, a stark contrast to deGrom and Harvey. To this point, all other starters in the series combined for 19.
90.4 - Average for Yordano Ventura's fastball who in his previous starts averaged between 95.9 and 97.6 miles per hour. He gave up five runs over 3.1 innings and only struck out one.
4 - Earned runs given up by Franklin Morales who only got one out. He's the first pitcher to give up four earned runs in under an inning of work since 2007 when...Morales gave up seven runs for the Rockies in game one of the World Series; he only got two outs in that effort against the Red Sox.
Royals battle back again once again taking advantage of the Mets bullpen. Trailing 3-2 in the eighth KC quickly knocked around Tyler Clippard and Familia could not clean up the mess. Royals win 5-3 and take a 3-1 series lead.
8 - Major League starts for Steven Matz prior to his game four start. Matz showed great poise going five innings and allowing only two runs. He struck out five, walked zero and was setup to become one of the most ‘green' Mets pitchers to earn a victory in the World Series.
17 - Pitches thrown by Tyler Clippard en route to setting up Jeurys Familia for a blown save. Clippard threw 17 pitches, 9 of which were balls. He walked two batters and got one out before being pulled from the game
Another game in which the Royals seemed dead in the water, only to be resurrected in Lazarus-ian fashion. Down 2-0 going into the ninth inning, KC took advantage of a tiring Harvey to setup a tying rally in the top of the ninth. KC clinched the World Series with a 12th inning breakout and a 7-2 victory over the Mets.
41 - Games since Christian Colon drove in a run. He is the World Series hero after singling home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning of the clinching Game 5. It started a five run rally in the 12th, from which the Royals never looked back.
8+ - Innings for Matt Harvey who passed John Lackey for the most innings thrown in a season following Tommy John Surgery. With all the talk of shut-downs, innings limits, and potentially sitting out for the postseason, Harvey pitched a beauty, but gave up a key double in the ninth to setup the blown save.
5.7 - Royals win expectancy coming into the ninth inning. The Royals certainly have a propensity to defy all win expectancies, and continued to defy the odds to take the game to extras.
Victory for the Royals
1989 - The last time a World Series runner-up won the Fall Classic the following year. The Athletics did it in 1989, and the Royals did it in 2015.
22-9 - Ned Yost's postseason managerial record. The .709 winning percentage is eighth on the all time list for postseason skippers, and best among all managers with at least 20 games of playoff experience under their belt.
8 - Come from behind victories for the Royals this postseason. They had seven wins after trailing by multiple runs, and three World Series wins after trailing in the eighth inning or later. Remarkable.
.167 - Batting average against Jeurys Familia in a World Series in which he blew three saves. While it's the first time ever a pitcher has blown three saves in a postseason it belies the actual situations Familia encountered. In five innings, he gave up only three hits and one earned run. Hitters were 3/18 against the Mets closer who served as the victim of one mistake to Alex Gordon (game one home run) and tough situations his bullpen compatriots created.
2001 - The last time a World Series had two games go into extra innings. That was thanks to Byung-Hyun Kim, who blew two saves for the Diamondbacks against the Yankees in the 2001 Fall Classic.
51 - Runs scored after the sixth inning during this Royals playoff run. KC scored 40 runs in the eighth inning of later while no other playoff team had more than five. The Royals showed themselves to be resilient and fun in their conquest of their first World Series championship since 1985.
22 - Number of KC playoff victories in the last 13 months. This is more than the franchise had in their entire 45 year history prior to 2014 (the Royals only had 18 wins in their history before these two fun playoff runs).
20 - Straight postseason games where Lorenzo Cain has managed to get on base. Although Salvador Perez won the 2015 World Series MVP, Cain was a constant threat on the base paths and a tough out throughout the playoffs.