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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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All The Analysis You Need

There are many previews of the 2015 World Series that pits the New York Mets against the Kansas City Royals floating around. I’ll go with Rob Emproto’s. Rob (Rob E. in the comments section) is my friend of 23 years as of this month — Torborg to Terry; Gooden to deGrom; “we just got Tony Fernandez” to “we shouldn’t get rid of Wilmer Flores”. He understands baseball as well as anybody I’ve ever known. I don’t always agree with his conclusions, but I always assume they’re well-founded and I inevitably go back and check my proverbial math if he’s come up with a different answer from mine.

Rob shared a brief World Series analysis this morning with the longstanding email group we’ve been a part of since the last time the Mets were in the Fall Classic. I liked it enough to want to share it with you. Rob said that would be OK by him. If Rob says it’s OK, then it must be.

Here, then, is The Rob Emproto World Series preview.


The Royals are a really good team, and they do everything right, but their starting pitching isn’t strong. The question here is, “Can the Royals keep doing all those right things offensively against elite pitchers that they haven’t faced before?” You’re talking about guys with stuff AND command, not just hard-throwers. If they are able to run up pitch counts and get the starters out of the game early while their own pitchers keep the game close, the Mets will have a problem. By the way, the Mets are familiar with all the Royals starters except Ventura as they are all ex-NLers.

The old adages are: “Good pitching beats good hitting” and “When hitters are seeing pitchers for the first time, the pitcher has the advantage.” Many people are betting that the Royals are going to turn that around, and that their experience last year will trump the Met pitchers’ inexperience this year. I really haven’t seen any indication that these guys are going to fold. They went head-to-head with Kershaw and Greinke, played a deciding game in L.A. vs. Greinke, played a loaded Cubs lineup that swept them during the season, beat the hottest pitcher in baseball, and won two games on the road in a building they were 0-for-the-last-two-years in. It’s not like the road has been soft.

Yes, the Royals get the bat on the ball and move guys over and run. They are going to have to do that against Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz. All the other parts of their game hinge on them having good at-bats against those guys (and stringing them together), while Volquez, Cueto, Ventura, and Chris Young match them. I’m biased of course, but that seems to be asking a lot. Also, keep in mind the Mets have faced three non-elite pitchers so far. They knocked Brett Anderson out after 3, Jason Hammel out in the second, and Kyle Hendricks pitched OK but only made it through 4. They’re not just PITCHING; the Mets are doing a lot of things well, too.

Last year the Royals faced Bumgarner, Peavy, Hudson, Vogelsong. This ain’t gonna be the same. This is going to be like facing Bumgarner every game. If both teams are at the top of their games, the Mets should have the advantage.

The Royals are excellent, and they can certainly win. But if I were a neutral betting man (I am neither), you bet on the pitching here (and the disparity between the starting pitching).

17 comments to All The Analysis You Need

  • Jestaplero

    Good analysis. I agree. At the end of spring training this year, I picked the Mets to win 90 games. I picked 90 half as a joking nod to the “90 wins” uproar of 2014, half because I really believed they were better than most other people predicted. I predicted they would make the playoffs as a wild card (I said the Nats would win 100), and be eliminated in the LDS or LCS.

    I was originally going to say Mets would win the Series in 6 or 7. But I don’t want to sell them short again, and I want to pick another number that is familiar from our past.


    • David Bowser

      Love the analysis, and it is damn close to what I was saying to one of my Mets fan coworkers.

      I also picked 90 wins. My math was 30 wins between deGrom and Harvey, 30 wins for the rest of the starters and 30 for the bullpen. Oddly, Harvey and deGrom seemed to be underestimated in the projections by 3-4 wins (Zips had deGrom with 10 and Harvey with 8) which seemed to be a primary shortcoming of those projections for anyone that watched them over the last couple seasons.

      I will admit I didn’t think 90 wins would be good enough for the wild card, so this has all been gravy for me!

      After the Mets beat the Dodgers and I started to analyze the Cubs lineup and pitchers, I actually had to stop myself from saying, “The Mets could sweep the Cubs”. It was surreal to actually watch it happen.

      Mets in 5. Win at home!

  • wooferson

    If we can keep scoring runs in timely fashion this analysis works. Also hope this ridiculously long layoff works to our advantage.LGM!

  • Kevin From Flushing

    Love this. LOVE THIS. The whole contact hitting threat has gotten into my head and I haven’t been able to shake it. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for.

    No, it doesn’t guarantee the Mets anything, but it gives them a chance. That’s all they need in my mind.

  • Dave

    Obviously if you make it thia far, you’re going up against a good team, and the Royals have gotten this far two years in a row, so props to them. They’re a micro-market team in the overall scheme of things, and last year I was very happy for them.

    But boy, when I saw their rotation for the Series, did I feel good. I’m not sure any of their starters would be in the Mets’ postseason rotation. And as Rob astutely points out, it’s not like the Mets have gotten this far on their pitching alone…no one on KC’s staff in the top 3 in the AL CY voting, which is what they just plowed through in the NL.

    This is real. This is not a drill.

  • Eric

    Mets pitchers throw heat and strikes. Royals hitters hit heat and make contact. As the Mets pitchers showed by working backwards with the Cubs, they can adjust. Perhaps they’ll work out of the zone to try catching the Royals fishing.The Royals hitters may adjust by working counts to try to get into the Mets bullpen early. It’ll be a fascinating match-up.

    Royals’ contact and speed mean the Mets defense needs to be on point. Flores and Murphy up the middle, Wright’s range, Granderson’s arm, and controlling the running game are concerns. The Royals haven’t run as much this season, but I expect them to be aggressive in the WS given the heightened value of scraping a run against the Mets pitching.

    The middle relief is a concern. The Royals’ HFA can help in KC by possibly allowing the Mets to keep in a starter longer in a spot he might have gas left but is pinch hit for in an NL park.

    Taking and holding early leads is key with the Royals bullpen. If it becomes a bullpen battle, the situation becomes like the August series with the similarly bullpen-rich, run-scraping Pirates.

  • Steve D

    If Harvey dominates game one, it will be over in 4 or 5…just like the NLCS. The only thing cooler would be to lose a close first game and sweep the next 4…keeping it 1969.

  • mikeL

    i’m not worried.
    not after the tough game 5 victory – when i was trying hard to let the season go early in the game (yes the jubilant scene at chavez ravine had faked me out), only to white-knuckle it to the final out.
    our mets don’t fold.
    i expect harvey to bring it and set the tone. i expect everyone to be sharp and on their game.
    if game 1 doesn’t go as planned, i’l re-evaluate and hope for a sweep before the return home. bottom line: the mets pitching really IS that good.
    we see it all season long and while we are impressed it’s easy to take what we have for granted.
    royals’ WS experience against another team last year is fine.
    they have NO experience against the mets staff.
    mets in 5 sounds about right.

  • Mikey

    I feel like a kid on christmas eve…and i seriously have been pinching myself since last wednesday.

    Also my wife and i have tickets for wicked friday. We saw it 2 yrs ago and when i found out game 3 was friday, she told me shed understand if i didnt go with her. Thats a good mets fan wife! Even better…she is taking our babysitter that was scheduled to watch our son friday and who really wanted to see wicked. Everybody wins. Hopefully that means our mets win as well!

  • Gil

    You know those Arby’s commercials? “WE HAVE THE MEATS!”


    Metsy’s – “WE HAVE THE ARMS!”

    Foaming at the mouth for first pitch.

  • Eric

    Regarding the Royals starting pitching, keep in mind they’re boosted by an excellent team defense.

    Separate from Rob E’s analysis, it’s strange that so many sports pundits looking at Harvey vs deGrom for the game 1 start are overlooking the obvious consideration that game 2 gives deGrom an extra day of rest for his 1st WS start and (potentially) more importantly, an extra day of rest for a game 6 start, while starting game 1 gives Harvey regular rest for a game 5 start. deGrom benefits more from an extra day of rest for his WS starts while Harvey benefits more from regular rest for his WS starts. Due to sweeping the LCS, Harvey is on extra rest for game 1 but starting him a day sooner rather than later is better. Yet sports pundits talk about the decision for game 1 starter as ego stroking or a status statement when there’s an obvious practical reason to explain it.

  • dykstraw

    this is october and likely november baseball. anything can happen.

    …that said, we’re better than the royals and i don’t think it’s that close.

  • Ed Rising

    The Mets came up big with defense during the NLCS especially in the cold so even with more contact type plays I feel we have grown up defensively. I believe we can win this in 6 games. Cannot wait for the WORLD SERIES to start! Say it with me folks….World Series!!!

  • eric1973

    Nothing wrong with Mets IF defense. Wright’s old throwing problems are long gone, and Duda makes many good plays. He also has mastered the throws in the dirt. Especially from the dearly departed Tejada. Murphy makes so many great plays, he could now be considered above average. And Flores never boots the easy ones either.

    Q: At this point, can anyone truly imagine any one of the BIG 4 actually losing, by not pitching well?