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Pay Attention To The Pitchers As The World Series Returns To Kansas City

It's a cliche but it must have some truth because you hear it before every World Series: good pitching stops good hitting. Who Royals Manager Ned Yost was going to pitch in Game 1 Tuesday evening at Kauffman Stadium had a lot of people worried.

Would he go with Johnny Cueto, the mid-season pick up who got shelled in his last start against Toronto (he gave up eight runs in just two innings) or would Yost hand the ball to the veteran Edinson Volquez?

Yost picked Volquez. He is just 1-2 in his three October starts for the Royals, but didn't give up a run in six innings against the Blue Jays in Game 1 of the ALCS.

Yost says he wants Cueto to pitch only at home. “We wanted Johnny Cueto in Game 2 because Johnny really feeds off the home crowd. And we’ll be able to have Johnny in Game 1 and Game 6 here at home.”

After Volquez and Cueto, Yost will go with Yordono Ventura in Game 3 and Chris Young in Game 4. "He’s a guy that, you know it doesn’t matter, there’s nothing that’s going to distract him," Yost said about Young. "There’s nothing that’s going to slow him down.” (Young is only the third Ivy League pitcher to start a post season game. He played baseball and basketball at Princeton.) Games 3 and 4 are in New York.

The Mets will counter with Matt Harvey (his nickname is The Dark Knight) in Game 1. He was 13-8 this season and won both of his playoff starts.

New York will start Jacob deGrom in Game 2, Noah Syndergaard in Game 3 and Steven Matz in Game 4.

Both the Royals and Mets have some pretty lively arms. STATS.com, which you would expect to track such things, says the Mets threw 5,752 pitches this year over 95 mph. STATS says the Royals were second with 4,315.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR. He's also co-host of KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.

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