Saturday October 17th, 2015: NLCS Game #1- Citi Field- Queens, New York
They were the young teams that were possibly a year away. The Mets have the young pitching, The Cubs the young hitting. But things happened a lot quicker.
Both teams caught fire as the season went on, both teams won their NLDS series & here we are. The future is now, the New York Mets & the Chicago Cubs are here in the NLCS, the last two teams standing in the National League.
A crowd of 44,287 came out to a chilly 45 degree night at Citi Field in Queens, New York. Mets legend Keith Hernandez threw out the first pitch & it was on to the start of the Mets eighth NLCS series in team history.
In Game #1 the Mets Terry Collins sent "the Dark Knight" Matt Harvey to the mound, in the biggest game of his young career. The visiting Cubs Joe Maddon sent veteran Jon Lester to the mound. Two managers that have a history together & two Managers that are both top favorites to win the NL Manager of the Year Awards.
Tonight Matt Harvey proved he is the big game pitcher everyone thought he was. Tonight he cleared up any doubt or any animosity any Mets fan (including this one) had against him after the whole 180 inning fiasco. Matt Harvey stepped up in the national spot light & gave a big time post season performance.
It was his longest outing since August, he went into the 8th inning, pitching 7.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked just two & struck out nine. He took a line drive off his shoulder, picked it up & threw out the base runner as well. He even had a rare successful sacrifice bunt, quite a night for the Dark Knight.
Everyone was talking about the Mets pitching & the Cubs bats. Tonight it was ablout the Mets pitching & the Mets bats, although not a huge offensive night it was certainly enough. Matt Harvey is now 23-1 when the Mets score four runs or more.
In the 1st, once again it was that man- Daniel Murphy, blasting a solo shot off Jon Lester. Murph became the first Met, since Donn Clendenon in the 1969 World Series, to hit HRs in three straight post season games.
The Cubs tied it in the 5th after Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch & long fly ball went over Juan Lagares' head. The Cubs tried to score again, as Starlin Castro tested Yoenis Cespedes' arm by trying to score on a Javier Baez base hit. He was nailed by Cespedes who even if he isn't hitting, still make an impact.
But the Mets came right back, with one out Wilmer Flores & Juan Lagares singled. Harvey's unsuccessful sacrifice bunt got Flores out at third. But then "the Grandyman"; Curtis Granderson singled, scoring Lagares with one of his two runs on the night.
In the home 6th, Met catcher Travis d'Arnaud launched a long HR to dead centerfield bouncing off the HR Apple. Right on cue the Apple rose as Citi Faithful roared.
The Mets chipped away with their fourth run, including one in each of the last three innings, with some more good base running from Juan Lagares.
Lagares led off with a base hit & moved over to second on Matt Harvey's sac bunt. Lagares then stole third, the second Mets stolen base of the night. That's a lot for a team that is last in the NL in thefts. Lagares' stolen base paid off, as "the Grandyman" came through once again hitting a sac fly to left field scoring Lagares.
Trivia: Granderson is an incredible 89%, at bringing home a runner from third base with less than two outs.
With two outs in the 8th, Terry Collins took the ball from Matt Harvey after he served up a HR to Kyle Schwarber.
Jeurys Familia got the four save out, the game ending fittingly on a sparkling play at second from Murph.
Trivia: The base hit Familia gave up in the 9th inning was the first hit he allowed in the post season.
Mets win Game One 4-2, take a one game series lead.