Game 1 of the 2015 World Series might go down as one of the strangest and most emotional games in World Series history. And if the rest of the series is anything like the series opener Tuesday night, baseball fans might want to hold onto their collective seats.
Before a pitch was even thrown in Kansas City's stunning, scintillating and dramatic 5-4 14-inning win over the New York Mets, word had leaked that Royals starting pitcher, Edinson Volquez, had lost his father earlier in the afternoon due to heart complications.
Volquez's family asked the Royals not to tell him about the situation until after the game.
Then half the nation didn't see the first few innings when FOX had technical difficulties. With that as the backdrop, the Mets went quietly in the top of the 1st inning. Kansas City did not.
Alcides Escobar stepped into the batter's box against the Mets Matt Harvey and hit the very first Harvey pitch deep into left-center field between Mets CF Yoenis Cespedes and LF Michael Conforto. The ball droped between the New York outfielders and off Cespedes's leg and rolled to the warning track. Escobar circled the bases as the Kansas City crowd went crazy.
It was the first inside-the-park home run in a World Series game since 1929 and it gave the Royals a 1-0 lead.
"I think I've never seen that before," Escobar said. "First game of the World Series. First pitch of the game. Inside-the-park home run. That's crazy."
It would get crazier.
Travis d'Arnaud tied the game in the 4th inning on an infield single and the Mets took a 3-1 lead on a Curtis Granderson home run in the 5th and a Conforto sacrifice fly in the 6th that scored Cespedes. The Royals came back in the bottom of the 6th inning to tie the game at 3-3 on an Eric Hosmer sacrifice fly and a run scoring Mike Moustakas single.
Things started getting weird again in the top of the 8th inning when Hosmer, a two-time Gold Glove winner acknowledged as one of baseball's best defensive first basemen, had a ball hop by him that scored Juan Lagares and gave New York a 4-3 lead.
It stayed that way until Kansas City was in desperate straights. Alex Gordon, whos been playing with a torn groin and who's been struggling at the plate, was facing Jeurys Familia, the Mets closer who has been nearly unhittable for the last few months, especially in the playoffs. But Gordon hit a 1-out, 442 foor home run to dead center field off Familia to knot the game at 4-4 and send Kansas City into delirium once more.
No one reacted with more joy and relief over Gordon's home run than Hosmer.
"I had no words," Hosmer said later. "All I could tell him was, 'I just want to hug you right now.' That's why he's my hero. That's why he's a lot of people's hero right now in Kansas City."
Hosmer himself finished things off in the bottom of the 1st inning when his sacriice fly scored Escobar with the game winner after Escobar had reached 1st on a David Wright error to start the inning. Escobar was the first and last man to touch the plate Tuesday night.
The Royals had come full circle to take a 1-0 series lead, and if the remaining games are anything like Game 1, settle in and enjoy, folks. But get your naps in too.