New York Mets

After struggles from Matt Harvey and Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard was determined to dictate the at bats in game 3.

By Gregg Cambareri

On a breezy and crisp October evening, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard made sure his message was clear to the Kansas City Royals: We’re not backing down.

His first pitch was a high 90s fastball near the upper body of Alcides Escobar, and the tone for Game 3 was set.

The Royals disciplined, but aggressive approach, was a big reason why they were able to rough up hurlers Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom in the first two games of the World Series.

Syndergaard wanted to make the Kansas City lineup uncomfortable, and wasted no time doing so on the game’s first pitch.

Escobar, who swung at the first two pitches in games 1 and 2, received a little chin music in game 3.

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was clearly upset with the game’s first offering.

You can certainly understand why Moustakas felt irritated, but let’s be honest, the Mets weren’t going to let the Royals dictate at bats like they had in the previous two games.

Yes, the pitch was high and tight, but Escobar wasn’t hit, wasn’t injured, and didn’t gesture towards the Mets big righty. If Escobar is going to be an aggressive hitter, then Syndergaard backing him off the plate is the perfect counter.

Let’s also take into consideration the context of the game.

The Mets trailed in the series 2-0 in a must win scenario. They had seen their aces, who have carried them most of the year, get knocked around for two straight games. Something had to change.

This is the World Series. You fight fire with fire.

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Central jersey born and bred. Monmouth University alumnus. Sports are not games, rather ways of life. Twitter: @Gcam92 Contact: