After this morning’s 5-4 Kansas City Royals victory over the New York Mets, game two of the 2015 Major League Baseball World Series will begin tonight at 8:00pm E.T., and it has potential to be fantastic. The pitching matchup will feature Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom, and Royals’ “ace” Johnny Cueto. Since July 26, the day the Royals acquired Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds, Cueto has gone 5-8 with a .354 ERA and 71 strikeouts, while deGrom has gone 7-2 with an ERA of 2.30 and 112 strikeouts. Needless to say, deGrom has been the better pitcher during this period, but that does not mean he will have an easier time tonight than Cueto.
deGrom: As dominant as deGrom has been so far in the 2015 postseason , he has not had an easy time. Putting himself in a numerous amount of sticky situations, deGrom seems to be mistake away from blowing/giving up the lead to the opposing teams. Sure, he has a low postseason ERA, but he has been throwing a lot of pitches per game. While I do not personally care about how many pitches someone throws in a particular game, it makes a difference how a manager goes about using his bullpen. Being that tonight’s game will be played in an American League park, switching to the bullpen will not be as easy for Mets’ manager Terry Collins to do. There will be no opportunities to pinch hit for the pitcher, and there will also be an extra batter in the opposing team’s lineup. When deGrom finds himself in trouble, he can usually look in the batter’s box or on deck circle and see a pitcher getting ready to “hit”. However, with the designated hitter in play during tonight’s game, there will be no easy out for deGrom when he is in trouble. Also, deGrom relies on the strikeout, and has a K/9 ratio of 12.2. However, the Royals are not a team who strike out too often, so he will certainly have to readjust to that and pray for the best.
Cueto: Despite his struggles since coming over to the Royals, it is important not to rule out Cueto during tonight’s game. Cueto has had success against the Mets in his career, and the numbers sure do show it! According to the stats on ESPN.com, there are only three Mets who have hit over .300 in their career against Cueto. As a team, the Mets are batting .250/.385/.712 against him with 5 home runs and 16 RBI’s. Also, it is important to note Cueto’s ability to change his windup between every pitch. Although some link this to issues concerning his control, it will certainly have an effect on the Mets, because they are a young, power hitting team who rely on the timing of the opposing pitcher. Cueto also has the ability to come out and dominate, and in a situation such as this, there is no reason for him not to do so. This could very well be his last start before hitting the free agent market, and he will want to show teams all around Major League Baseball exactly what he can do.
Last night’s game was fun, but tonight’s game will be even more so. The pitching matchup has potential to be a baseball fan’s dream. Neither deGrom nor Cueto will give in, and this may end up coming down to which bullpen can limit the opposition more. There is no clear winner looking at tonight’s matchup, so it will definitely be a great one to watch!