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Mets vs. Royals: Game 1 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2015 World Series

Stephen Kiprotich won the gold medal in the men's marathon at the 2012 London Olympics with a time of two hours, eight minutes and one second. He could have ran the 26.2 miles twice at that pace and still had plenty of time to watch the end of Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.

The Kansas City Royals outlasted the New York Mets in their own version of a marathon with a 5-4 victory in 14 innings Tuesday night. Eric Hosmer won the game with a sacrifice fly, and SportsCenter put the result in historical context:

Hosmer's winning RBI was a moment of redemption for the first baseman, who committed a crucial error in the eighth inning that gave the Mets the lead. That was the difference until Alex Gordon rescued the Royals with a dramatic tying home run in the ninth off New York closer Jeurys Familia. 

Hosmer had the final at-bat of a back-and-forth contest that featured an inside-the-park homer, technical difficulties on the broadcast that delayed the game and 13 total pitchers. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports commented on the nature of Tuesday's outcome:

While the overall length of the game and Kansas City’s offensive spark in the 14th inning overshadowed his performance, pitcher Chris Young deserved credit for coming out of the bullpen and dominating in extra innings. ESPN Stats & Info described why:

As for the starting pitchers, Matt Harvey went six innings for the Mets and allowed three earned runs and five hits, while Edison Volquez tossed six innings and gave up three earned runs and six hits.

Kansas City started the bottom of the first in arguably the most dramatic way possible: an inside-the-park home run on Harvey's first pitch. Alcides Escobar showed off his speed as he flew around the bases, but Yoenis Cespedes could have caught the ball with a better read. Sports Illustrated described the action:

Sports writer Katie Sharp put the play in historical perspective:

The defensive miscue put Mets manager Terry Collins' decision to not start Juan Lagares in the outfield in the spotlight, although Lagares eventually entered the game off the bench.

The Mets got the run back in the top of the fourth when Travis d'Arnaud drove Daniel Murphy in with an infield single, although New York stranded two runners. ESPN Stats & Info highlighted Murphy's place in team history after his single started the rally:

The Mets kept the momentum rolling in the fifth when Curtis Granderson drilled a solo home run for a 2-1 lead. It came around the same time the broadcast experienced technical difficulties, and Jon Tayler of Sports Illustrated commented on the two developments:

The Mets pushed the lead to 3-1 in the sixth when Michael Conforto drove Cespedes in with a sacrifice fly to shallow left. Cespedes challenged Gordon's arm and won, although it was Conforto who etched his name in baseball lore with his RBI, as Ace of MLB Stats noted:

The contact-making Royals battled back in the bottom of the sixth with three hits, a steal and two runs to tie the game at 3-3. Hosmer drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Mike Moustakas notched an RBI single. ESPN Stats & Info pointed out Hosmer made some team history with his contribution:

The Mets did their best Royals small-ball impersonation to take the lead in the eighth. Lagares singled in his first plate appearance and stole second, then scored after Hosmer committed an error on Wilmer Flores' ground ball—which resembled Bill Buckner's infamous error against the Mets in the 1986 World Series.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports referenced that play:

The connection went beyond the fact both errors were made by first basemen playing against the Mets in the World Series. ESPN Stats & Info explained:

Collins turned to Familia for a four-out save, and the closer snuffed out a Kansas City rally in the eighth when he induced a groundout from Moustakas with runners on the corners. However, Familia coughed up the lead when Gordon drilled his game-tying home run with one out in the ninth. Passan noted how unexpected the long ball was given the closer's success this season:

ESPN Stats & Info stated it was the second straight time the Mets blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the World Series. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports added how long it had been since such a dramatic Fall Classic moment:

The Mets were the first to threaten in extra innings when they put two runners on in the 11th, but David Wright struck out against Ryan Madson. Kansas City nearly won in the bottom half of the frame, but Granderson made a game-saving catch, as Passan noted:

The Royals gave the ball to scheduled Game 4 starter Young in the 12th, and he struck out the side. New York countered with starter-turned-playoff reliever Bartolo Colon. The Royals loaded the bases, but Colon escaped the jam by getting Jarrod Dyson to fly out. Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports was impressed by Colon's confidence with the game on the line:

The two pitchers forced a 14th inning, and ESPN acknowledged the game's spot in World Series history:

Colon's magic ended in that 14th inning. Wright committed an error, Ben Zobrist singled and Lorenzo Cain was intentionally walked to load the bases. From there, all Hosmer had to do was hit a no-out sac fly to end the game. Sharp pointed out it was the first extra-inning walk-off sacrifice fly in a World Series game since Brooks Robinson did it in 1971.

The redemptive moment for the first baseman gave the Royals a critical one-game lead.


What's Next?

Game 2 is Wednesday in Kansas City. While the Royals have momentum on their side, the Mets have a golden opportunity to earn a split with arguably their best pitcher in Jacob deGrom taking the mound.

Johnny Cueto will toe the rubber for Kansas City. He struggled after joining the Royals a week before the trade deadline, compiling a 4.76 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. However, he flashed his potential in Game 5 of an American League Division Series against the Houston Astros, pitching eight innings and allowing two runs. Cueto did give up eight runs in two-plus innings in his one start in the American League Championship Series.

The Mets will counter with deGrom and his 2.54 ERA and sparkling 0.98 WHIP. He has been even better in three postseason starts, all New York victories, allowing four earned runs and striking out 27 in 20 innings.


Postgame Reaction

The mood was understandably somber on the Mets side following the heartbreaking loss.

Anthony DiComo of said “It is pin-drop quiet in the Mets' postgame clubhouse. Silent. Can't remember a time all year when it's been quieter.”

When the team did get to talking, pitcher Jon Niese pointed to the missed opportunities when the Mets held the lead as the difference in the game, per DiComo: “We had to put the nail in the coffin when we had it closed.”

Wright summed up the back-and-forth nature of the historic showdown, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News: “It was like a roller coaster ride. Both teams were relentless, they were a little more relentless.”

Flores was already looking ahead following the defeat, per Ackert: “We’ll be fine. We have a lot of confidence in here. We’ll be fine.”

Kansas City manager Ned Yost was also looking ahead to future contests in the World Series with regard to his planned Game 4 starter, Young. Yost said Young can still take the mound in Game 4 after throwing 53 pitches since his limit was around 50, per Joel Goldberg of Fox Sports Kansas City.

Just because the manager had his eye on what’s ahead didn’t mean the players couldn’t enjoy the victory. Hosmer called himself the “happiest guy in the stadium” after Gordon’s home run let him off the hook for his error, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Hosmer went from goat to hero, and the Royals are now three wins away from their first World Series title since 1985.

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