LEADING OFF: Royals, Mets set for World Series matchup
A look at what’s happening around the major leagues today:
WORLD SERIES WAIT
Third base coach Mike Jirschele’s bold green light led Lorenzo Cain and Kansas City back to the World Series on Friday night, but now the Royals and Mets have to wait until Tuesday for Game 1. That game will be at 8:07 p.m. EDT in Kansas City. At the very least, the matchup sets up an intriguing start to 2016 – the Mets open next season with a series at Kauffman Stadium.
VALUE UP TOP
Alcides Escobar was voted ALCS MVP after setting a postseason record by getting a leadoff hit in the first four games of the series and has hit safely in 10 straight postseason games. ”He’s such a talented player,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”But with the grind of a 162-game season, there are little periods where his focus will tend to waver a little bit. But during the playoffs, he just locks in. And when he’s focused, he’s as good as any player in the league.”
BLUE JAY BLUNDER
Jose Bautista homered in his final at-bat of 2015, tying ALCS Game 6 with his second of the game in the eighth inning, but he still may spend the first day of his offseason kicking himself for his role in Toronto’s 4-3 loss. The right fielder chased down Eric Hosmer’s single in the eighth inning with Lorenzo Cain sprinting around the bases. Instead of throwing the ball toward home plate, Bautista spun and fired to second base. Third base coach Mike Jirschele anticipated that and waved Cain home, and Cain beat Troy Tulowitzki’s relay throw easily for the winning run.
BUSY BIG APPLE
The Mets kept themselves occupied in New York while waiting to find out where they’ll travel for Game 1 of the World Series. The team had a voluntary workout at Citi Field, and later in the day, David Wright, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and others appeared on ”Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
New York is confident that Yoenis Cespedes will be back for the World Series after a sore left shoulder forced an early exit from Game 4 of the NL Championship Series. Cespedes received a cortisone injection and did not participate in Friday’s practice. ”We’ve got it taken care of,” manager Terry Collins said. ”The doctors, they said, look, he’ll be OK, and so tomorrow we’ll find out.”
The Mets are embracing their nearly week off between the end of the NL Championship Series and the start of the World Series. New York plans to have some pitchers throw live to hitters this weekend after letting players with small injuries mostly rest on Thursday and Friday. ”I don’t know if every team’s the same. You know, we’re going to ride that pitching. And by the way, our pitching right now could use a blow because we’re pushing them pretty hard,” manager Terry Collins said Friday. ”I’m glad our starters are going to get an extra day.”