Through the year, the Mets' strength was playing at Citi Field, where they were 49-32. Now, the balpark will host the World Series for the next three days. Despite being down 2-0 to the Royals, there's reason to be positive—and to believe that maybe the Mets will force the series back to Kansas City. After all, they defeated Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta at Citi Field already this postseason.
"Our park, our house," David Wright told Newsday. Daniel Murphy added that the team is "excited" to be playing in Queens. Even Terry Collins said that playing in front of the home fans will help his team.
"Our fans are pretty tough," Collins told reporters during a Thursday press conference. "They’re tough. They’re strong and they’re tough. But I think the impact is going to be on us more than anything. I think that’s where our fan base is so good is that it inspires our guys. So I’m looking at that."
It's been twelve days since the Mets last played at Citi Field, beating the Cubs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. That game was started by Noah Syndergaard, the Mets' Game 3 starter tonight. In the cold weather, Syndergaard threw 5 1/3 innings, keeping the Cubs' bats silent until Kris Bryant lined an RBI double to left field.
In the regular season, Syndergaard had a 2.46 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP at home, and opponents hit just .194/.229/.322 against him in the ballpark. And in these World Series games, Kendrys Morales, who batted fifth in the first two, won't be in the Royals' DH-less starting lineup. If he's used, it would be in a pinch-hitting role. He's the major threat off the bench, which has been otherwise supplied with potential pinch-runners and rookie Raul Mondesi Jr., who has never appeared in a major league game.
On the other end of the spectrum, it's possible that the Royals' starting pitching staff could implode. While Game 3 starter Yordano Ventura throws hard, analysts and writers have openly wondered whether or not he can keep his composure. Early in the season, he was in the middle of a few bench-clearing incidents. On the road in a World Series game, perhaps he could still be rattled.