When Noah Syndergaard takes the mound tonight in Flushing, he will do so in the biggest game of his career, with his team on the ropes, and for all intents and purposes.. a realistic shot at the World Series title on the line. After a tough loss in Game One and an anticlimactic performance in Game Two, the New York Mets find themselves down 0-2 in the best of seven as it returns home. Unable to earn a split in Kansas City, the Mets now must find a way to beat a Royals team that seems unflappable.
If the Mets are going to get themselves back into the series, Citi Field is the place to be. The Mets were a full seventeen games over .500 this year in their home ballpark, enjoying a real home field advantage for the first time since the stadium opened. Their 49 wins was the highest total the team has ever put up at Citi, where a packed house of ravenous fans likely awaits.
After watching their two best pitchers fail to miss bats through the first two games, the Mets trot out Noah Syndergaard's 100 mph heat and devastating hook. Syndergaard enjoyed his time at Citi Field this year, where he was much better than on the road. He posted a 7-2 record, with a 2.46 ERA. He held opposing hitters to a stingy .196 BAA and an equally impressive 0.821 WHIP. The question however, remains to be if he is capable of shutting down a Royals lineup that has been unphased by the Mets young arms thus far.
Even if Syndergaard duplicates his normal home performance, it won't matter if the Mets can't get the bats going. Through two games the Mets have just one extra base hit. They are batting just .165 and have posted an embarrassing on-base percentage of .230. If such trends continue, it won't matter what they get out of their rookie flamethrower tonight.
Eleven teams in World Series history has been able to rise from the ashes of an 0-2 hole. No one, has been able to mount a comeback from an 0-3 deficit. In fact, no team in World Series history has even forced a sixth game after being down 0-3. So if you choose to believe the trends, this is it for the Mets. Win tonight, and drag yourself up off the mat. Lose, and you can start looking towards the long winter that lies ahead.