That’s come back to hurt them in the first two games of the World Series. The Mets are batting .165 through two games. They are 6-for-their-last-51 dating back to the start of the eighth inning of Game 1.
Among the culprits:
Yoenis Cespedes, playing through a shoulder injury, is 6-for-32 with no home runs in his past eight games. Teams have figured out the way to get him out is to pitch him on the inner half of the plate. He’s 1-for-22 in at-bats ending with an inner-half pitch, including 0-for-6 this postseason.
Rookie outfielder Michael Conforto is 0-for-19 since homering in Game 2 of the NLDS against Zack Greinke. Conforto has been a free-swinging hitter of late. His chase rate (how often he swings at a pitch out of the strike zone) was 24 percent in the regular season. It’s only 17 percent in the two World Series games, but 39 percent for the postseason.
Shortstop Wilmer Flores, pressed into full-time action after the injury to Ruben Tejada, is 5-for-27 since Game 4 of the NLDS. He does not have an RBI this postseason. Flores’ power deficiency dates back to the end of the regular season, when he had no home runs and one RBI over his final 15 games.
The problem the Mets have encountered in the World Series is that the Royals have beaten them with and without strikeouts. Mets hitters struck out 15 times in Game 1, but only four times in Game 2.
Doing it with defense
The Kansas City Royals have turned 78 percent of the batted balls against them into outs. During the regular season, the Royals' defense turned 70 percent of batted balls into outs, the third-highest rate in the majors.
The Royals outfield has lived up to its billing. The Mets are 4-for-30 when hitting either a fly ball or line drive, including 0-for-12 in Game 2.
Only positive is in the history
If Mets fans are looking for any positive omens, take note of this:
The Mets have been outscored 12-5 in the World Series through two games.
The last time they were outscored by exactly seven runs in the first two games of a World Series was in 1986 (10-3), when they came back to win the series in seven games.