Answering Questions on Duda’s Throw Home
In 2014, the Royals were 90 feet away from scoring the tying run of the World Series. Even though most agreed Alex Gordon made the right decision stopping at third, his decision became a topic of discussion when Madison Bumgarner got Salvador Perez to foul out to end the World Series.
The game tying run was forever stranded at third.
Fast forward to the 2015 World Series.
With the exception of Game 2, the Mets had a late lead in each game. They got to that point despite the Mets starting pitching not having one truly great game. In fact, the Mets starting pitching had been somewhat disappointing. With that said, they pitched well enough to put the Mets in position to win four of the five games.
Then the pitching showed up in Game 5. Matt Harvey shut down the Royals much in the same way Bumgarner had shut down the Royals. Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard were ready to go for Games 6 & 7. Before the ninth inning, the Royals had a dejected look in the dugout. Even if they were up 3-1 in the series, they were in real trouble. The Mets great starting pitching had awoken.
In the fateful ninth inning, Eric Hosmer was on third base. He was 90 feet away. Then this happened:
Hosmer had no business running there. None. He was the last out of the game. However, when 90 feet separated you from a World Series championship the previous year.
Yes, we heard it was about the scouting reports on Duda. The Royals scouts said the team should test Duda’s arm when they got the chance. However, that’s not what really happened. Hosmer described it somewhat differently:
We think about [losing the World Series] often. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think that’s kind of something we turn to mentally . . . . Everyone kind of relates to that and relates to how much that hurt.
You’ve got to try to take a chance. With who was on the mound, Familia, hits are hard to come by, so, you know, you had to be aggressive. If it hadn’t worked out, I’d be answering some hard questions right now, but that’s the way we’ve been doing it all year. We’ve been taking chances, and found a way to get it done.
Hosmer admitted the end of the 2014 World Series impacted and drove the Royals throughout the 2015 season and World Series. The team was not going to let the tying run be stranded on third base. In 2015, the Royals strived to be more aggressive.
It’s now 2016, and now it’s the Mets turn to answer questions about why they lost the World Series. Naturally, one of the issues that arise is Lucas Duda’s throw:
Duda says the throw home in the World Series haunted him. Watched the play a few times on film. Still believes good throw gets him.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) February 18, 2016
In reality, Duda’s throw didn’t cost the Mets the World Series. Overall, it was their defense. You can pinpoint to problems in each and every game the Mets lost.
The Mets have to let this fuel them in 2016 much in the same way the Royals were fueled by the way they lost in the 2014 World Series. They need to use it to be better defensively, to pay better attention to detail in the field. If the Mets do this, they can do what the Royals did. They can return to the World Series.
And when they return chances are Lucas Duda makes that throw home helping thereby helping the Mets win the 2016 World Series.