Mets-Royals thriller a 5-game Series classic

Mets-Royals thriller a 5-game Series classic

From the first pitch of Game 1 to the final out of the Royals' 7-2 victory in Game 5 on Sunday night, the 2015 World Series left its mark as one of the most compelling five-game Fall Classics in baseball history.

Though it may not be reflected in the final results with the Royals winning the Series at 4-1 and outscoring the Mets 27-19, baseball fans were treated to five wildly entertaining games of stellar pitching performances, clutch hitting and thrilling moments. For those five games, the Series momentum felt as if it could quickly shift from one dugout to the next.

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Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 27 KC 5, NYM 4 (14)
Gm 2 Oct. 28 KC 7, NYM 1
Gm 3 Oct. 30 NYM 9, KC 3
Gm 4 Oct. 31 KC 5, NYM 3
Gm 5 Nov. 1 KC 7, NYM 2 (12)

This Fall Classic was just the second in baseball history to feature multiple extra-inning contests of at least 12 innings, with the Royals edging past the Mets in a 14-inning Game 1 marathon and later winning the title in extras in Game 5 after a ninth-inning rally.

The Mets won just one game in the Series but held a lead at one point in all five games, with the Royals coming from behind in each of their four wins. Three of those Kansas City comebacks came in the eighth inning or later, making the Royals the first team ever to win three such games in a single World Series, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

"We never quit," said World Series MVP Salvador Perez. "We never put our heads down. We never think about, OK, the game is over. No. We always compete to the last out."

Perez accepts WS MVP Trophy

Here's a look at three other Fall Classics from the last 30 years that were also far more competitive than the final results would indicate:

1988: Dodgers vs. Athletics
In 1988, the World Series delivered one of the most iconic moments in baseball history -- Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit walk-off homer.

Gibson, still hobbled from leg injuries suffered in the National League Championship Series against the Mets, stepped into the box with a runner on, two outs and the Dodgers trailing by a run, in need of a miracle. And Gibson delivered just that, launching a two-run homer deep into right field for the win.

While it's certainly the most celebrated, Gibson's walk-off homer wasn't the only highlight of this brief five-game Series. Orel Hershiser tossed an impressive complete-game shutout in Game 2, surrendering just three hits and a pair of walks, and Mark McGwire came through with a walk-off homer of his own, handing the A's their lone win in Game 3.

Hershiser was back out on the mound mound again in Game 5, pitching a second complete game and picking up World Series MVP honors as his Dodgers won their fifth championship since moving to Los Angeles.

2000: Yankees vs. Mets
The 96th World Series divided the nation's largest city as the Mets and Yankees clashed in New York, where every game in the series was decided by two runs or fewer.

The Yankees, making their fourth appearance in the Fall Classic in five years, won in five games, completing the first three-peat in professional sports since Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in 1996-98.

The crosstown matchup was packed with excitement from the get-go, as the Yankees pushed the Mets to extras in Game 1, winning it on Jose Vizcaino's walk-off single in the 12th. The drama spilled over to Game 2, when the Yankees fended off a five-run, ninth-inning surge from the Mets to preserve a 6-5 win.

The Mets managed to take Game 3, bringing the Yankees' 14-game World Series winning streak to an end, but were soon eliminated as the Yankees won back-to-back games at Shea Stadium for the 2000 title.

2008: Phillies vs. Rays
The 2008 World Series was won by the Phillies, who narrowly bested the Rays in hard-fought five games, bringing a second championship to Philadelphia.

Four of the five games were decided by two or fewer runs, and Games 2, 3 and 5 each were settled in the seventh inning or later, including one walk-off. With the series knotted at 1-1, Carlos Ruiz handed the Phillies a 5-4 win in Game 3 with a walk-off single in the ninth.

This World Series was also notable for the first and only suspended game as rainy weather pushed the conclusion of Game 5 back two days later, with play resuming in the top of the sixth.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.