Met Their Match

Matt Harvey and the Mets just couldn't get past the Royals in the World Series. Courtesy of Wikimedia

Matt Harvey and the Mets just couldn't get past the Royals in the World Series. Courtesy of Wikimedia

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By Brendan O’Connell

Matt Harvey and the Mets just couldn't get past the Royals in the World Series. Courtesy of Wikimedia

Matt Harvey and the Mets just couldn’t get past the Royals in the World Series. Courtesy of Wikimedia

The devastated look on the faces of Mets fans across the Citi Field bleachers said it all. The Amazin’ Mets were watching their 2015 season unravel before their very eyes.

The 12th inning of Game 5 kept getting worse. A Christian Colon RBI single on his first at-bat of the postseason, followed by an Alcides Escobar RBI double, with a bases-clearing three-run double by Lorenzo Cain after that. It was an unbelievable turn of events in which the Kansas City Royals set a record by scoring five runs in an extra inning of a World Series game.

For New York Mets players, coaches and supporters, it was a sobering taste of reality after a dream of a playoff run. With a 2-0 lead and a very good chance to force a Game 6 back in Kansas City, Mets manager Terry Collins agreed to send star pitcher Matt Harvey out for the ninth inning. After eight dominant innings, Harvey’s performance went from treat to trick, as he yielded two runs to relinquish the lead to a relentless Royals ballclub.

The Kings of Queens made it back to the World Series for the first time in 15 years. In the 2000 Fall Classic, the Mets faced their cross-town rival the Yankees, only to lose in five games, like this season.

After defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in the National League Division Series and sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series, the Mets came into the World Series blisteringly hot. Second baseman Daniel Murphy had hit a home run in six consecutive games, closer Jeurys Familia had not allowed an earned run in any of his eight postseason appearances and the team had won five in a row.

And then, the Mets met their match.

Against Kansas City, Daniel Murphy went a measly 3-for-20 with zero RBIs and a costly error in Game 4, Jeurys Familia pitched five relief innings while surrendering two runs and accounting for two blown saves and the Mets lost in the series in five games. The Mets’ title drought endures for a twenty-ninth season, while their opponent snaps its own at thirty.

The Royals, who have turned their franchise from bottom-dweller into contender in just a few short seasons, reached the pinnacle of success early Monday morning behind series MVP Salvador Perez and the rest of the resilient squad, finishing off the Mets in a come-from-behind total team effort.

And just like that, it was over. The magical ride that was the Mets season, finished. But, if anything, Mets fans should hold on to this: the memories and the promise that came with the 2015 season. The emotional Wilmer Flores trade deadline episode, the dominant run to the NL East division title, the historic Daniel Murphy postseason performance and more, all engraved in the minds of everyone sporting blue and orange. And the hope for the future with a compelling blend of such experienced veterans as David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes, as well as budding stars like Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey. It likely will not be long before the Mets find themselves back at the top of the major leagues, competing for another championship.

For now, though, it is just pain and second-guessing for a franchise all too familiar with heartbreak and disappointment in recent years.