Tuesday, October 20th 2015: NLCS Game #3- Wrigley Field, Chicago
Wrigley Field has not hosted an NLCS since 2003 & the whole Moises Alou foul ball debacle. So an excited sell out crowd filled the Friendly Confines, with hope of getting back in the series.
Although there was a bit of excitement early on, the Mets quieted the crowd beat the Cubs & are one win away, that's one win away from the World Series.
Jacob deGrom got the ball, looking for his third post season win, going against the Cubs Kyle Hendricks (8-7 / 3.49 ERA / 167 Ks).
The game started out a bit wacky, Curtis Granderson reached on an error by short stop Javier Baez but was thrown out trying to steal second. David Wright then singled & was brought home by Yoenis Cespedes double to left field. 1-0 Mets.
The Cubs tied it with a HR by Kyle Schwabler, his second of the series. Two out singles by Anthony Rizzo & Starlin Castro got the Cubs fans excited, but deGrom then got Jorge Soler to ground out to Wilmer Flores. A 29 pitch shaky inning, ended with just one run.
This was to be another night where deGrom did not have his best fastball but pitched like an All Star & made his off speed stuff work.
In the 2nd deGrom retired the Cubs in order.
In the top of the 3rd, in what has become an unbelievable familiar site, Daniel Murphy hit his sixth post season HR, his fifth straight post season game with a HR, tying the MLB record. Amazing, Muphy has made a name for himself forever in Mets post season history. 2-1 Mets.
Quotes: Mets broadcaster Josh Lewin: Whatever the aliens did to Murphy when they invaded his body a few weeks ago, Mets fans are saying; Thank you!
Maybe its the fact Yoenis Cespedes is hitting behind him, or D. Wright is batting in front of him. Maybe its because he's hitting in the three spot, something Keith Hernandez suggested a long time ago. Maybe its the post season luck, maybe its the fact that the name of the Billy Goat that cursed the Cubs was named; Murphy.
Or maybe its because the team was trying to trade him for two seasons, even though he was an All Star & was in the tops in the NL in hits in the regular seasons. Post season Magic??? What ever it is, we saw an incredible historic post season hitting performance. Murph had 12 hits, 6 HRs 9 RBIs 9 runs scored a .364 average & a .382 on base % in these playoffs.
The Cubs tied it in the 4th on a solo HR by Jorge Soler. But deGrom settled in, and got into his groove, retiring the side in order in each of the next three innings. His line for the night, seven innings, two runs on four hits one walk & seven strike outs while earning the win. He was 3-0 in this post season up then with a 2.57 ERA.
In the 6th, there was some historic Amazing Mets magic mixed with some historic Cubs bad luck. Cespedes singled with his second hit of the night. Lucas Duda then finally took advantage of that shift teams put on him, he sacrificed, even though he was out, he moved Cespedes over to second.
Cespedes then stole third base, another stolen base surprise for Chicago. The Mets had stolen third five times all season & in eight post season games stole third four times..... Amazing
Next more spooky stuff- after a coaching visit to the mound, Pitcher Trevor Cahill strikes out Michael Conforto. BUT, the ball gets past the catcher & in one of the oldest ball parks in the game with one of the longest distances from home plate to the backstop, the ball rolls all the way to the brick wall.
Cespedes easily scores from third base, with the go ahead run. Quite a heads up base running effort all around, as well as a great sacrifice by Duda, small ball at its best. Conforto safely gets to first base. Mets go up 3-2.
Trvia: It was just the second time in post season history a go ahead run was scored on a passed ball strike out.
Next, Wilmer Flores doubled to right field, as the ball got by Jorge Soler, displaying a horrible effort of defense. One of many Cubs blunders on the evening. But then the ball got lost in the Ivy & the ground rules prevented any runs from scoring.
But in the 7th, the Mets tacked on a couple of more runs. David Wright stretched a hit into a double (his third hit of the night) as left fielder Kyle Schwabler made another Cub blunder on the field.
Then Daniel Murphy had a great at bat, fouling off a bunch of Kris Bryant pitches, before getting an infield hit, while hustling out of the box & beating out the grounder. Murph is doing it all. Two more hits tonight, two more runs scored.
Cespedes then singled, his third hit of the night bringing in Wright with the fourth Mets run. Cespedes is now batting .273 with 9 hits 2 HRs 7 RBIs 7 5 runs scored in this post season.
Duda then bounced a ball to first base, Rizzo stepped on the bag first then threw to the plate, but a hustling Murphy was safe as the catcher Montero was off the base & could not make a tag. 5-2 Mets, all they needed as the pen did it again.
Tyler Clippard had an easy 8th & lights out Jeurys Familia saved his fifth 2015 post season game.
The Mets now lead the NLCS three games to none & ARE ONE WIN AWAY FROM THE WORLD SERIES!! Lets Go Mets!!!