The New York Mets lost the World Series in heartbreaking fashion after yet another late-inning collapse.
Down 3-1 in the series, fighting to push it to Game 6, Matt Harvey pitched the game of his life through eight innings, with the Mets holding a 2-0 lead.
Given the innings debacle with Harvey’s arm — there was disagreement about how many innings Harvey would be able to pitch this season and whether or not he would even be available in the playoffs — Mets manager Terry Collins told Harvey in the dugout that he was done for the night.
Harvey didn’t take it well, arguing and telling Collins that he was going to stay in for the ninth inning:
Things immediately went downhill from there.
Harvey began the inning by walking Lorenzo Cain. After Cain stole second, Eric Hosmer than hit a double to score Cain and make it 2-1. Harvey came out, but by then the momentum had shifted, with Hosmer on second and no outs.
Perhaps the defining play of the series came next. After Mike Moustakas grounded out to move Hosmer to third, Salavador Perez grounded out to shortstop, creating a temporary jam. David Wright threw Moustakas out at first, and as he did so, Hosmer sprinted home. As Mets first basemen Lucas Duda fired home, he overthrew homeplate, and Hosmer scored the game-tying run.
The game went into extra innings before the Royals opened the floodgates, scoring five runs in the 12th inning to win the World Series.
After the game, Terry Collins explained his exchange with Harvey and he said he let his heart get in the way of the decision:
“He just came over and said, ‘I want this game. I want it bad. You’ve got to leave me in.’ I said, ‘Matt, you’ve got us exactly where we wanted to get.’ He said, ‘I want this game in the worst way.’ So, obviously, I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players. And I trust them. And so I said, ‘Go get ’em out.'”
He later added there was hesitation about when to pull him, but after the first run scored, Collins knew he had to bring in a closer:
“If you’re going to let him just face one guy, you shouldn’t have sent him out there. When the double [was] hit, that’s when I said, ‘I’ve got to see if we can get out of this with only one run.’ And it didn’t work. It was my fault.”
For the Mets, this was a series of late-game mistakes, from Jeurys Familia’s decision to quick-pitch in Game 1, to the Mets’ late-game collapse in Game 4 after holding a lead going into the eighth inning. For a young, inexperienced team, this is to be expected, but it’s nonetheless heartbreaking for a Mets team that had a real chance to win the whole thing.
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