Mets Need to Rely on Experience in Game 2
The Mets lost a heatbreaker last night, falling in Game 1 to the Royals by a score of 5-4 in 14 innings.
What's the preview for tonight look like?
The Matchup: Jacob deGrom (Mets) vs. Johnny Cueto (Royals)
Keys For the Mets to Win: No. 1, familiarity. The Mets have a great idea of what Cueto brings to the table from his time with the Reds in the National League. The Mets roster has 135 at-bats against Cueto, with a .230 cumulative average. Travis d'Arnoud is 3-5 in his career while David Wright is a .240 hitter across 25 at-bats. The Mets know what Cueto can do - and can't do.
Key For the Mets to Win No.2: deGrom. It sounds too cliche, but the Mets need deGrom to go deep into the game. After 14 innings last night, the team that can avoid using their bullpen will have a clear advantage. That said, he can't be afraid to pitch to his strengths. Last night, Matt Harvey only threw 38 percent fastballs. deGrom needs to pitch to his strengths.
Key For the Royals: Again, they need Cueto to go deep into the game. He hasn't been good since coming to Kansas City. He had a 6.11 ERA in September and he's 1-3 with a 6.93 ERA in his career in the playoffs. He's got 16 walks in seven playoff innings this year, so he needs to command the zone well.
Key For the Royals No. 2: Plate discipline. The Royals need to wear deGrom out and get to that bullpen. That isn't quite their usual approach, so if they aren't able to wear him out, they need to make sure to attack his fastball and force him to change his approach -- much like with Harvey.