World Series starts with a classic 14-inning marathon that strains both pitching staffs
By Peter Schmuck
Oct 28, 2015 at 1:05 AM
The Kansas City Royals and New York Mets battled for more than five hours to gain the early advantage in the 111th World Series, with the Royals finally scoring a 5-4 victory to win Game 1 on Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly in the 14th inning early Wednesday morning.
It was a classic marathon that forced both teams to empty their bullpens and finish with starting pitchers on the mound, so there is room to wonder how each club will be affected in Game 2. The Royals had to stretch flame-throwing reliever Kelvin Herrera, so it is possible that the late-night victory could blunt their supposed bullpen advantage when Johnny Cueto faces Mets right-hander Jacob DeGrom at Kauffman Stadium tonight.
The Royals needed eight innings of relief from six pitchers after starter Edinson Volquez went six and gave up three runs. The Mets needed five pitchers to spell Matt Harvey, who also pitched through six innings and allowed three runs.
Obviously, both pitching staffs took a big hit, but the Royals butter their bread in the bullpen and the Mets are considered to have the superior starting rotation, so anything that reduces flexibility in the late innings would figure to hurt the Royals more than the Mets ... at least theoretically.
The simple fact of the matter is that the Royals needed Game 1 more than the Mets for a variety of reasons, starting with their need to maintain home-field advantage and ending with the likelihood that DeGrom will outpitch the wildly inconsistent Cueto to gain the Mets a split of the first stop in Kansas City.