Stats of the Day: Thrills to start, end Game 1
Here are five interesting items from Game 1 of the 111th World Series …
• The Royals plated the winning run with no outs in the 14th inning to defeat Mets, 5-4, to take Game 1 on Tuesday night. Leading off the game for the Royals, Alcides Escobar hit an inside-the-park home run. Escobar's homer represents the 20th leadoff home run seen in the Fall Classic. Of the 19 previous leadoff home runs, only two came in the first game of the World Series. In 1969, the Orioles' Don Buford hit one against the Mets' Tom Seaver and Baltimore went on to defeat New York, 4-1. In 2007, Boston's Dustin Pedroia went deep and the Red Sox defeated Jeff Francis and the Rockies, 13-1. Neither of these were inside-the-park home runs. Overall, teams that get a leadoff home run are 13-7. Kansas City became the first team to begin a World Series game with a leadoff home run and to end it with a walk-off win.
• Down, 4-3, with one out in the ninth, the Royals got a solo homer from Alex Gordon against Jeurys Familia. Before Gordon, there had been eight World Series game-tying home runs in the ninth inning or later. Familia entered this Game 1 with the following marks in the 2015 postseason: 5-for-5 in save opportunities, eight total appearances in which he had faced 33 batters over 9 2/3 innings, two hits allowed (both singles), two walks issued and zero runs (inherited or otherwise) surrendered. Across World Series history, the Royals became the first team to produce a leadoff homer in the first and a game-tying homer in ninth.
• In the bottom of the 14th, Eric Hosmer's sac fly brought in Escobar with the game-winning run. This sac fly resulted in the 56th walk-off in World Series history. Of the previous 55, seven had come in a Game 1: in 1939 (Bill Dickey, single), 1949 (Tommy Henrich, home run), 1954 (Dusty Rhodes, home run), 1958 (Bill Bruton, single), 1977 (Paul Blair, single), 1988 (Kirk Gibson, home run), 2000 (Jose Vizcaino, single).
• Appearing as the seventh Royals pitcher of the night, Chris Young picked up the win after throwing three hitless innings. Young is the 14th reliever in World Series history to have an outing last at least three innings and end with no hits allowed. The last to do it was Francisco Rodriguez, who worked three innings and picked up the win in Game 2 in 2002, when the Angels defeated the Giants, 11-10. The others before Rodriguez to do this in a team victory: the Cardinals' Ted Wilks (Game 6, 1944), the Yankees' Allie Reynolds (Game 4, 1949) and the Cardinals' Ron Taylor (Game 4, 1964).
• In World Series history, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to capture the title 69 times (62.7 percent). The home team has won the opener 65 of 111 times. The Mets fell to 0-5 in World Series Game 1s. The Royals improved to 1-3. With this loss, the Mets became the first team in history to suffer multiple World Series Game 1 losses in extra innings.