Mets Lose To Royals 7-2 in 12-Inning Heartbreaker

Harvey's stellar game not enough as Mets lose World Series

NEW YORK — For eight raucous innings, Matt Harvey and the Mets kept 44,859 fans on their feet.

With the season at stake, the Mystic Met breathed life into Citi Field Sunday night. The fifth game of the World Series was evolving into a celebration for the emotionally fragile fan base.

But just past midnight, the stadium fell silent and fans began exiting. A little more than an hour after Harvey left the game in the ninth inning and the Mets squandered their lead, the Kansas City Royals broke the game open in the 12th inning and ended the season for New York's surprising National League champion.

The Royals scored five runs in the 12th, as second baseman Ben Zobrist delivered a three-run double off Bartolo Colon. The 7-2 victory in Game 5 secured the Royals' second World Series title in franchise history and first since 1985.

The Royals scored two runs in the ninth to tie the game and won it against reliever Addison Reed, who allowed three hits in one-third of an inning.

The lead run scored on a single by Christian Colon. Alcides Escobar delivered a run with a double and Reed was replaced by Colon, who allowed the bases-loaded double to Zobrist.

When it was over, Harvey's performance was a distant memory for fans who remained. But Harvey pitched the game of his life, allowing four hits and no runs with nine strikeouts through eight innings.

The Mets carried a 2-0 lead into the ninth and Harvey was sitting on 102 pitches. With the Mets batting in the bottom of the eighth Harvey was seen in the dugout lobbying manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen.

Meanwhile, the crowd was chanting "We want Harvey" before going silent after the Mets were retired. When Harvey sprinted to the mound for the ninth, there was a celebratory roar in the stadium.

"The last thing I wanted to do was not finish what I started," Harvey said.

That euphoria in the stadium quickly dissolved. Lorenzo Cain walked on seven pitches, but Collins didn't lift him. Cain stole second as Eric Hosmer took a strike and scored when Hosmer lined a double to left field.

Harvey left with a standing ovation and Jeurys Familia entered the game.

Hosmer took third on a grounder to first. With the infield in, Salvador Perez hit a bouncer to third and David Wright looked the runner back before throwing to first. Hosmer, though, broke for the plate and forced first baseman Lucas Duda to make a quick throw to the plate.

If the throw was on target, Hosmer would have been out. But the throw was high and wide, and the tying run was home.

Familia had blown his third save of the series. Harvey, after a sublime performance in the most significant start of his professional career, would get no decision as the game went into extra innings.

"Obviously I let my heart get in the way of my gut," Collinss said."I love my players. And I trust them."

Harvey was sharp from the start, striking out Escobar to open the game and completing the first inning with two strikeouts while allowing one hit, a single to right field by Cain. When he returned for the second inning, he was cradling a 1-0 lead thanks to a leadoff home run by Curtis Granderson.

Granderson turned an 0-and-2 pitch and sent it over the right-center field fence for his third homer of the World Series. That tied him with Donn Clendenon (1969) for most homers by a Met in a World Series.

It was also the first leadoff homer in the postseason by a Met since Jose Reyes led off Game 6 of the 2006 National League Championship Series with a homer against the Cardinals. And it was the first leadoff homer by a Met in the World Series since Lenny Dykstra homered to start Game 3 of the 1986 Series.

Remember 1986? The Mets were on the edge of a cliff against the Red Sox, one strike away from losing Game 6 at Shea Stadium before staging a frantic and historic comeback. They went on to win Game 7 for the title and they haven't won one since.

After the Royals staged a frantic comeback in Game 4 of this year's series, the Mets were looking for some 1986 mojo by bringing Darryl Strawberry and Mookie Wilson — along with 1969 mainstay Cleon Jones — on the field for the ceremonial first pitch. During the game, Strawberry and Dwight Gooden were on the video board chanting "Let's Go Mets, Let's Go Mets!"

And on a night when there was so much focus on franchise history, Harvey carved out his place among the best. He pitched with command and confidence, putting a lineup of relentless hitters on the defensive.

There were early chances for the American League champions. An error by David Wright put the leadoff hitter on base in the second, but Harvey was undaunted as he retired the next three on eight pitches.

Harvey yielded a leadoff single to pitcher Edinson Volquez in the third. Escobar bounced into a double play on a 1-and-0 pitch before Zobrist flied to right.

That's when Harvey seemed to find a groove that elevated him to an elite World Series level. Facing the middle of the Kansas City lineup in the fourth, Harvey threw 15 pitches. Ten were strikes, six on swings and misses. He struck out the side and completed each with different pitch — Cain on a changeup, Hosmer on a curveball, Mike Moustakas on a 98 mph fastball.

He strutted off the mound and pumped his fist after ending the inning, igniting the crowd of at Citi Field.

"Harvey pitched, I mean, unbelievably," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He had four pitches that he was throwing for strikes — fastball, great curveball, great slider, great changeup. And for us to go into the ninth inning down two, it never entered my mind that we were not going to score two or three to take the lead at that point. He was just dominating us up until then."

The fifth inning began with another strikeout. This time, he finished Perez with a slider. Harvey threw a two-strike pitch on the inside corner to Alex Gordon, but home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez called the pitch a ball and Gordon eventually walked.

But Gordon did not advance as Harvey struck out Alex Rios on five pitches and fanned Volquez on three pitches. He allowed a one-out single to Zobrist in the sixth, but struck out Cain and retired Hosmer on a grounder to second.

As Harvey overpowered the Royals, there was little margin for error. The Mets were unable to conjure much offense against Volquez, who arrived in New York Saturday after spending three days in the Dominican Republic.

Volquez' father, Daniel, died of a heart attack Tuesday. Volquez started Game 1 for the Royals that night and learned of his father's death after the game.

On Sunday, he honored his father by inscribing his initials into the dirt on the mound. He said Saturday he would also write his father's name in his hat or glove.

"He was everything for me," Volquez said Saturday. "He was one of the greatest men. I remember he bought me my first glove and my first spikes, brought me to the field. He knew that's what I want to be, I want to be a baseball player. And he gave me a lot of support and he buy everything for me. He put me in the right way."

Volquez honored his father's memory with a strong performance. He walked five — one intentional — and allowed just two hits over a 90-pitch outing, holding the Mets at bay for much of the night. He wasn't as scintillating as Harvey, but nearly as effective.

In the sixth, Volquez walked Granderson before Wright lined a single to left. Daniel Murphy's grounder to first was misplayed by Hosmer to load the bases and the Mets seemed poised to break the game open.

But Yoenis Cespedes fouled a pitch off his left knee, falling to the ground in visible pain. After consulting with trainers, Cespedes remained in the game.

He limped around the batter's box before digging in against Volquez.

Alas, there was no Kirk Gibson or Willis Reed moment. Cespedes popped out and was barely able to jog halfway down the first base line. He was replaced by Juan Lagares in the seventh.

The Mets, though, did push another run across on a sacrifice fly by Lucas Duda.

But Travis d'Arnaud grounded out to end the rally and the Mets managed just one run after loading the bases with no outs. The inability to pad the lead would haunt them in the ninth.

"Sometimes you let your heart dictate your mind," Collins said. "Again, we had said going in if Matt gave us seven, Jeurys was going to pitch two. I've got one of the best closers in the game. I got him in the game, but it was a little late. And that's inexcusable for me."

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