Game 1 takes plenty of unusual twists and turns
Series of weird bounces part of 14-inning drama
KANSAS CITY -- Carl Sandburg once said that "strange things blow in through my window on the wings of the night wind and I don't worry about my destiny."
For five hours and nine minutes spanning Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the wings of the night wind blew a lot of strange things into Kauffman Stadium. Watch this video and you'll see four of the strangest moments in the Royals' 14-inning, 5-4 victory over the Mets in Game 1 of the 111th World Series.
1. Yoenis Cespedes' running backhand something
Cespedes missed pregame introductions because he was in the bathroom, and the Mets' center fielder didn't seem quite entirely there on Matt Harvey's first pitch in the bottom of the first, either. Alcides Escobar hit a fly ball to left-center, and Cespedes misplayed it as he and left fielder Michael Conforto converged on the ball. It hit Cespedes in the right leg and rolled into left field as Escobar raced around the bases for the first World Series inside-the-park homer since Mule Haas hit one for the Philadelphia A's in 1929. This one gave the Royals a 1-0 lead.
2. The Hoz before he was a hero
With two out and the score tied at 3 in the top of the eighth, Wilmer Flores chopped a grounder to first. Normally sure-handed Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer let it "eat him up," making a backhand stab that came up short, and the ball went under his glove and trickled out to right field. It allowed Juan Lagares to score the go-ahead run. Yes, there were more than a few "Bill Buckner" references circulating after that, but Hosmer would have the last laugh much later.
3. The surreal world of Salvador Ball-i
Watch this highlight, turn the speakers up, and you can actually hear the loud thud of a Salvador Perez grounder smashing into the third-base bag, thanks to modern technology. With two outs in the bottom of the 11th and the score tied at 4, Perez swings and the ball ricochets off the bag and up into the air, leaving no chance for third baseman David Wright or Flores to make a play. Wright had been perfectly positioned at the time. Alas, Mets reliever Jon Niese promptly struck out Alex Gordon to end another bizarre inning.
4. The perfect comebacker
The same Perez who somehow reached base on a ball that hit the bag then pulled off another interesting feat in the top of the next inning. Chris Young struck out the side in the 12th for Kansas City, and that included Daniel Murphy as the first batter on a strike-three ball that made it unscathed to the backstop. The ball caromed off the wall and bounced back sharply to Perez, avoiding a bat on the ground, so that the catcher could pick it up and fire a perfect strike to Hosmer for the out.