DYK: Cueto's gem puts him among the greats
Led by a dominant complete-game performance from right-hander Johnny Cueto and a big fifth inning from their relentless lineup, the Royals took a 2-0 World Series lead over the Mets on Wednesday night by winning Game 2, 7-1, at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals are now two wins away from their first World Series championship since 1985. After a workout day on Thursday, the Royals and Mets will resume the 111th Fall Classic on Friday night at Citi Field (air time 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX, game time 8 p.m.).
Here are some notable facts and figures from Game 2.
• Cueto held the Mets to one run on two hits over nine innings. He also pitched eight two-hit innings in Game 5 of the American League Division Series. Cueto and Roger Clemens (2000) are the only pitchers with multiple starts of at least eight innings while allowing no more than two hits in a single postseason. Like Cueto, the second of those Clemens outings came against the Mets in Game 2 of the World Series.
• Cueto's gem was the 21st complete game in World Series history -- and only the second since 1971 -- in which the pitcher allowed two hits or fewer. Greg Maddux was the last to do so in Game 1 of the 1995 World Series.
• The last eight complete games in the World Series were thrown by National League pitchers, with the latest coming from Madison Bumgarner in last year's Game 5. The Twins' Jack Morris threw the most recent complete game by an AL pitcher in the World Series in Game 7 of the 1991 Fall Classic.
• This was the Royals' fourth complete game in the World Series. The last Kansas City pitcher to throw a complete game in the postseason was Bret Saberhagen, who tossed a shutout in Game 7 of the 1985 Series. But Cueto posted the highest game score (80) in Royals postseason history.
• Cueto is the first pitcher to finish with more walks (three) than hits allowed (two) in a World Series complete game since Joey Jay in 1961.
• The Mets' two hits were their fewest in a postseason game. Their previous low mark was three, done five times and most recently in Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Dodgers.
• How important is a two-game lead in the World Series? Teams with a 2-0 Fall Classic advantage have gone 42-11 in those Series. In all best-of-seven postseason series, teams with a 2-0 lead have won 65 of 78 times.
• Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer's 27 RBIs are tied with Jim Edmonds for the second-most in a player's first 28 career postseason games. Only Lou Gehrig (33) had more.
• deGrom surrendered four runs in the fifth inning, the first time since Sept. 22 that a Mets starter allowed at least four runs in a game. That game was pitched by Logan Verrett, a spot starter.
• deGrom generated only three swinging strikes from the Royals. By comparison, he recorded 21 whiffs in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Dodgers, 14 in Game 5 of the NLDS and 18 in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series. deGrom's season low was also three, on April 24 against the Yankees.
• This was only the second time in his career that Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy struck out at least twice in consecutive games. It was the 914th game of his career. The only other time Murphy had at least two strikeouts in consecutive games was when he did it in three straight from July 2-5, 2014.