We’ve been at this for a while. When we started writing “Filling the Void” pieces, I don’t think we really knew what we were diving into. Within the first couple weeks, we realized the importance of what we were trying to do. In a time during which live sports were canceled, on hold, or whatever you want to call it, we started exploring games, matches, and rounds of the past.
At first, it was all about what full games we could actually find. Then, as the breadth of what the world was facing came further into focus, leagues with strict copyright laws started loosening restrictions and more and more options landed on our list. Now, here we are, over 100 games later and still going strong.
Today: Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, or as I call it, my own personal Hell.
While I could spend a thousand years dissecting this entire series, I’d like to focus on one particular player. And more importantly, one particular inning.
The 2015 World Series was not good for Travis d’Arnaud, both at the plate and behind it. The .143/.143/.333 effort from d’Arnaud is putrid on any scale. However, it was his defense that failed and would ultimately doom the Mets.
Early in Game 1, with the Mets leading 3-1, Lorenzo Cain made America very happy by stealing second base. In one swift move, he had won free tacos for everyone. But Cain wasn’t done yet. A Mike Moustakas single to center would score Cain from second, bringing the Royals within one run. The score was now Mets 3, Royals 2.
In the ninth inning of Game 1, the Mets brought in Jeurys Familia to protect their 4-3 lead. Without Cain’s run, the Royals wouldn’t have pushed the game into extra innings, where they’d win it in 14 on an Eric Hosmer sac fly.
Over the next two games, the Royals would swipe 2 more bags from d’Arnaud, and two more games from the Mets.
Let’s Talk About Game 5
With the series on the line, the Mets send Matt Harvey to the hill in what would go down as one of the most thrilling Mets postseason pitching performances in recent memory.
Taking the hill in the 9th inning, with a 2-0 lead, Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain after taking the count full. This pitch could have been called a strike, and I say that knowing that hindsight is 20/20. At the end of the day, d’Arnaud fails to frame this crucial pitch. Honestly, it’s the kind of frame job you’d expect from Gary Sanchez. There’s just no effort.
On the very next pitch, Cain took off. The throw from d’Arnaud is neither on time nor on the bag, and Cain is standing on second with no outs. What happens next you ask? You guessed it – Eric Hosmer hits a double over the head of Michael Conforto, bringing in Cain from second. The Mets now have a 2-1 lead. A Moustakas grounder to first moves Hosmer to third, with one out.
If Cain gets thrown out, Hosmer’s run at third brings them within one with two outs, which is a much easier situation to find your way out of. Instead, Hosmer is the tying run, 90 feet away from erasing the Mets lead.
The ensuing play then doesn’t matter, as the 5-3 put out to get Perez ends the game and the Mets head back to Kansas City within a game of catching the Royals.
Instead, Wright gets the throw to Lucas Duda, who sails it past d’Arnaud, and just like that the game is tied.
Over the next three innings, the Royals would steal three more bases off d’Arnaud, including one from Jarrod Dyson, who would be the first run to cross the plate in extras, cementing the Royals victory. That throw from d’Arnaud? Late and high. Nowhere close to getting Dyson.
Over the course of the 5 World Series games, the Royals were 7-for-7 on stolen bases.
I’m not saying that if Travis d’Arnaud was better the Mets would have a World Series ring, and the Royals would not.
I’m just throwing it out there that they might have had a better shot without certain aspects of his game.
- / 3 days ago
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