Thor matches with Young after Royals get their rings
First the Mets had to stand on Kauffman Stadium's third-base line as they watched the Royals -- the team that beat them in the 2015 World Series -- raise their championship banner. Now they must watch the Royals receive their rings.
Kansas City's week-long party continues at Kauffman on Tuesday, when the Mets and Royals meet for Game 2 of their season, with the Royals' Chris Young opposing Mets starter Noah Syndergaard.
The two right-handers offer an extreme contrast in styles. A late replacement for the injured Ian Kennedy, Young threw his average four-seam fastball last season with the sixth-lowest velocity (87 mph) of anyone in baseball, according to Statcast. Syndergaard, by contrast, led the game with a 97.4-mph average four-seamer -- the type he used to knock down Alcides Escobar during Game 3 of the World Series.
Syndergaard recently spoke about how he believes that episode, to which the Royals took offense, is in the past.
"I don't think they're too fond of me, but as far as retaliation goes, I really don't know what they're going to retaliate against," Syndergaard said. "All I did was establish the inner part of the plate. So I don't know what this whole retaliation talk is all about. But it's going to be an interesting time."
Things to know about the game:
• Though Juan Lagares started in center field on Opening Night, pushing Yoenis Cespedes to left and Michael Conforto to designated hitter, the Mets may shake things up as soon as Tuesday. Because Young is traditionally better against right-handed hitting, the Mets are tentatively planning to use Alejandro De Aza in the outfield instead of Lagares.
• Young, who played for the Mets from 2011-12, doesn't have much history against New York's current crop of hitters. But what little he does have has been solid; David Wright and Cespedes are a combined 2-for-20 with five walks in their careers against Young.
• Starting pitcher Steven Matz will be available out of the bullpen on Tuesday if the Mets need him either in short or long relief. The Mets have not announced when Matz will join the rotation, in part because they don't know how much -- if at all -- they will use him in Kansas City.