Granderson goes deep, robs hit in Series return
KANSAS CITY -- Curtis Granderson is one of two Mets who could claim prior World Series experience before Tuesday evening, and the veteran outfielder appeared comfortable on that stage, contributing on both sides of the ball in his return to the Fall Classic.
Granderson made a terrific catch in the 11th inning of Game 1 -- which the Mets lost, 5-4, in 14 frames -- to steal an extra-base hit from the Royals' Jarrod Dyson, saving Jon Niese from having to contend with the speedster on the basepaths. And quite a while earlier, Granderson went deep for the first home run of his World Series career.
Dyson's drive in the 11th was smoked; according to Statcast™, it had an exit velocity of 105.8 mph -- the hardest he has hit a ball this year.
"I actually was out of position prior to that," Granderson said. "I should have been a little further at the start, definitely no-doubles there, but I started creeping in for some reason. I'm not sure why. I ended up making the play more difficult than it needed to be. Luckily, I was able to reel it in so they weren't able to get extra bases."
Granderson got a chance to try his arm to save the game again in the decisive 14th, snagging Eric Hosmer's fly ball and firing home to catcher Travis d'Arnaud. The play was closer than some might have anticipated, but Alcides Escobar still came home safely with the winning run. The Mets will try to bounce back and even the Series in Game 2 on Wednesday night on FOX (7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time).
"I was just trying to make it close," Granderson said. "You never know what happens in that situation -- if the runner falls down, misses the base or anything like that. At least you didn't give up on it. You want to give yourself the best chance and give it all you've got. Obviously, he's a fast runner and got a good jump."
Granderson provided the Mets with their first lead of the World Series with a fifth-inning homer, continuing a terrific postseason in which he has hit safely in eight of the Mets' 10 games, including a five-RBI performance in Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.
Taking a pair of called strikes from Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez to open the at-bat, Granderson stayed alive long enough to hit the fifth pitch, a 95-mph sinker, over the right-field wall for a 2-1 lead. It marked the second straight inning that the Mets scored against Volquez, who had carried a no-hitter into the fourth.
"I think the pitch was up in the zone," Granderson said. "I didn't get too many pitches up in the zone off of him over the course of the game."
Juan Uribe is the only other Met with prior World Series experience, having won a ring with the White Sox in 2005 and the Giants in 2010. Granderson appeared in the 2006 World Series with the Tigers.