NEW YORK — The New York Mets kept trying to tell us how they plan to resurrect memories of the 1986 World Series.
That image of Mookie Wilson’s slow grounder trickling through Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner’s legs from Game 6, leading to their 1986 World Series championship has been replayed over and over on the Citi Field Jumbotron.
Well, they sure brought back those memories Saturday night, all right.
Royals rally past Mets after Daniel Murphy’s error, take 3-1 World Series lead
The Mets’ follies in the eighth inning can now be shown over and over at the Kauffman Stadium scoreboard when the Kansas City Royals celebrate their 2015 World Series championship.
The Mets, just five outs away from evening the series, lost 5-3 in front of a stunned sellout crowd of 44,816, and now the Royals are just one victory away from their first title since 1985, leading 3 games to 1.
The Mets, leading the entire game, thanks to two homers by rookie Michael Conforto and a strong performance by rookie starter Steven Matz, self-destructed in the eighth inning, resurrecting those memories that every Red Sox can recite by detail.
New York manager Terry Collins, hoping to save closer Jeurys Familia until the ninth inning, summoned Tyler Clippard to open the eighth, preserving a 3-2 lead. Clippard induced a bouncer from Alcides Escobar for the first out, but then self-destructed, issuing back-to-back walks to Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain.
Collins wasted no time, and brought in Familia for a five-out save. The guy had been perfect in 20 save situations since July 30 until Game 1 of the World Series.
The imperfection continues.
Familia induced a slow roller from Eric Hosmer, but as second baseman Daniel Murphy rushed in to retrieve the ball, it slipped right under his glove into right field. The Royals had tied the game, 3-3.
The Royals then decided to pick on Murphy a little more, and Mike Moustakas slapped a single past him to his right for another run. Salvador Perez, still angry that Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard lied to him in Game 3 when he threw at Escobar, got his own sweet revenge with a single to right field, and a 5-3 lead.
The Royals turned to closer Wade Davis for the final six outs, and he delivered, sending the Mets to a gut-wrenching defeat, that should end their season. But even that ending was not without drama — or a Mets mistake. The winning run came to the plate with out, but a soft liner led to an easier-than-it-should-have-been double play with Yeonis Cespedes getting caught at first base for the final out.
Mets’ Michael Conforto hits second home run in Game 4 of World Series
The last team to recover from a 3-1 World Series deficit was the 1985 Royals.
These Mets don’t have George Brett, or Bret Saberhagen, or Hal McRae or Dan Quisenberry.
This Series is over.
Maybe now we know what Escobar meant when he talked before the game about Syndergaard’s pitch that sent him sprawling in Game 3.
“We’ll send a message back,’’ Escobar said. “Don’t worry.’’
The Royals will get the last laugh, yes, without throwing a single pitch at anyone’s head.
“We’re not here to retaliate or get revenge or anything,’’ Moustakas said, “we’re here to try to win a ballgame. That’s the most important thing. It’s the World Series A lot of the other stuff takes a back seat to winning a ballgame.’’
GALLERY: BEST OF THE WORLD SERIES
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