From the outside, it doesn't look good.
The Mets threw two of their best young pitchers at the Royals in the first two games of the World Series, and still they enter Friday night's Game 3 down 2-0. The losses may have left Mets fans in a state of shock, but the situation inside the clubhouse is not as dire as one might think, according to manager Terry Collins.
"There's a lot of confidence in the clubhouse," Collins said Thursday. " . . . We're down, but we're not out. We fought back so many times this year that this is just another challenge that we have to meet. And so far, we've met them all."
Michael Cuddyer, one of the older veterans on a young Mets team, said everything the Mets have gone through this season has prepared them for their situation in Game 3.
Said Cuddyer: "The one thing about this team, no matter when you look at it in the course of the year, is whenever we had the so-called must-win situation . . . we won those games. Whenever we were down 0-2 in a road series and we really wanted to win that third game to salvage the series, we won that game."
While that's not entirely accurate, there are a number of instances during the season when the Mets battled back from what seemed to be a new low point.
The biggest, of course, was on July 30. The day after Wilmer Flores cried during a game because he thought he was being traded, the Mets lost a bizarre 8-7 game to the Padres when closer Jeurys Familia gave up two singles and a home run after sitting through a 44-minute rain delay.
That loss dropped the Mets' record to 52-50. But they acquired Yoenis Cespedes the next day and won 11 of 13 games to ignite a 31-11 stretch. It's that resiliency that Collins spoke of when he talked to the team after their Game 2 loss to the Royals.
"I don't give a lot of speeches in baseball," said Collins, who wore an NYPD hat to honor slain Officer Randolph Holder. "I just went in and said, 'We've been here before. We can come back. We've done this before. Just remember what we've got to do and let's get after it.' "
No one will be more important than Noah Syndergaard, who will have to find a way to contain the Royals' scrappy hitters. He said he's thrilled to be pitching in Queens in front of the home crowd.
Said Syndergaard: "Obviously we didn't plan this to happen, to be down 0-2. Coming back home is a big thing for us, having the Mets faithful behind us and the greatest fans in baseball."