NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 11:26 PM
Jacob deGrom loses his first game of the postseason, allowing four runs in the fifth inning as the Mets fall to the Royals, 5-1, in Game 2.
KANSAS CITY — If Tuesday night’s 14-inning loss was, as captain David Wright described it, like a rollercoaster ride, Wednesday night’s loss in Game 2 World Series had to feel like an all-out free fall for the Mets.
Their “stopper,” Jacob deGrom, was chased after five innings as Royals right-hander Johnny Cueto threw a complete-game two hitter to beat the Mets 7-1 in Game 2 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium. The Mets, who had led every series this postseason until the World Series, now head back to Citi Field trailing the Royals 2-0 and their World Series dream in real danger of turning into a nightmare.
It is not entirely unfamiliar territory for the Mets.
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“It wasn’t the World Series and it wasn’t the playoffs, but we went through a lot of those games this year, grueling losses,” Terry Collins said of Tuesday night’s Game 1, five-hour and nine-minutes loss. “Of course, the one in everybody’s mind is the one against San Diego, when we were trying to win the division, and it was crushing loss for us. And you’ve got to bounce back. That’s Big League baseball.
“And we have already talked about the Royals’ ability to come back,” the Mets manager said. “They do it all the time.”
Perhaps what should have the Mets concerned is the way that the Royals have been able to come back against the Mets in these first two games. It is not just their weak bullpen, which gave up three runs Wednesday night, and questionable defense that the Royals have attacked in these games.
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Things are looking bleak for the Mets as they return to Queens in an 0-2 hole.
But they have beat up on the Mets’ strength: their young power pitching.
DeGrom suffered his first postseason loss in four starts. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked three and struck two in five innings of work.
The four runs deGrom allowed Wednesday night, all in the Royals’ fifth-inning rally, matched the total runs he allowed in his first three postseason starts combined. In fact, it was the first time a Mets starter had allowed four runs in a game since Sept. 22, when spot starter Logan Verrett allowed four runs.
RELATED: SEE THE METS’ TEAM PHOTO AND BIOS
Also concerning for the Mets were the two strikeouts, which tied a career low for deGrom. With Matt Harvey also having struck out just two Royals in that 14-inning Game 1 loss, that is a combined four from Mets starters over two games. The Mets’ pitching staff was fourth in the National League in strikeouts this season with 1,337 and have recorded at least 10 strikeouts in six of their 11 postseason games.
David Wright’s struggles continue as he goes 0-for-3 in the Game 2 loss.
Instead it was Cueto who dominated from the mound at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday night.
The Royals right-hander held the Mets to one run on two hits over nine innings. He walked two and struck out four. He retired 15 straight Mets hitters until walking Daniel Murphy with two outs in the ninth.
DeGrom was desperately looking for a quick out in the fifth Wednesday night, when he was unable to snuff out a Royals rally.
After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, deGrom could not get himself out of trouble in the fifth. He walked Alex Gordon to lead off the inning and gave up back-to-back singles to Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar. Gordon scored on Escobar’s line drive to center field.
DeGrom got two quick outs with Ben Zobrist grounding out to first and Lorenzo Cain flying out to center. Juan Lagares held Rios at third with a strong throw to the plate.
But he could not slam the door on the Royals rally.
Rios scored on Eric Hosmer’s bouncing ground ball past a diving Wilmer Flores and Mike Moustakas knocked in Hosmer with a ground ball past a diving Daniel Murphy into right-field.
That was it for deGrom, who left with the Mets trailing 4-1.
RELATED: SEE THE METS’ TEAM PHOTO AND BIOS
Johnny Cueto silences the Mets’ bats with a complete game two-hitter.
The Mets had taken the lead in the top of the fourth when Yoenis Cespedes grounded into what should have been an inning-ending double play. Moustakas’ throw, however, pulled Hosmer off the bag at first and gave the Mets a second chance. Lucas Duda lifted a soft fly ball into left field to score Daniel Murphy and give the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Jon Niese gave up three Royals run in the bottom of the eighth when Gordon’s groundball deflected off Flores’ glove for an RBI-double. He was charged with two more runs when Paulo Orlando drove in another run on a sacrifice fly and Alcides Escobar tripled in another off Addison Reed.
BY Bill Price
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