Daniel Murphy, a name that Met fans will worship for years to come…
After the Mets advanced to their first National League Championship series by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in a five game series, the Mets started the fight for their first National League Pennant since 2000. The Mets beat the Dodgers being led by unexpected hero Daniel Murphy, who is having a torrid postseason. During the NLDS against the Dodgers, Murphy hit .333 with 3 home runs and 5 runs batted in five games, and all of those home runs came against two of the elite pitchers in baseball, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. But Murphy was not the only hero for the Mets during the NLDS. Jacob deGrom, the 2014 Rookie of the Year, was also everything the Mets needed him to be. In game 1, he out dueled the best pitcher in the last decade, Clayton Kershaw, and he tied a Mets post season record by striking out 13 batters. Then in game 5, he out dueled the pitcher who many believe will be the CY Young award winner, Zack Greinke. With the Mets being led by them two, they stormed in to Citi Field to start the series with the Cubs, with momentum going their way.
Game 1 started off the exact way the Mets would have liked it to. Matt Harvey, who has had controversy around him all season, started off the first inning with consecutive strikeouts and ended it by getting Rookie of the Year favorite Kris Bryant to ground out. Then in the bottom of the first, the Mets jumped out to a 1-0 nothing with a home run by who else, Daniel Murphy. It was Murphy’s third consecutive game with a home run, tying Donn Clendenon for Mets franchise of three consecutive post season games with a home run. Then for the rest of the game, Matt Harvey went to work. The Dark Knight was dominant over 7 and 2/3 innings, giving up only 2 runs and 4 hits while striking out 9. The Mets added runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, the biggest one coming off the at of Travis d’Arnaud, when he hit a 431 foot bomb off the home run apple in center field. After Harvey was removed with two outs in the 8th inning, the Mets went to their dominant closer, Jeurys Familia, for a four out save. And like he was throughout the season and NLDS, he was his pure dominant self, and he secured game 1 with a four out save.
With the momentum on their side, the Mets turned to their second young gun, Noah Syndergaard. But it would be no easy task for the Mets, because they were facing another CY Young favorite Jake Arrieta, who hadn’t lost a start since July 25th. But, when things are going right, things are going right. The Mets started off the bottom of the first with three straight hits, being headlined by a 400 foot double by David Wright, and then, who else but Daniel Murphy, when he hit a two run home run to give the Mets an early 3-0 lead. With that home run he tied a Mets franchise record for most home runs in their post season history, tying Mike Piazza with five. And three runs were all that the Mets needed. Noah Syndergaard was also dominant, giving up only one run and 3 hits while striking out 9 over 5 and 2/3 innings. Then, the Mets had to trust their shaky bullpen to give them a bridge to Familia in the ninth, and the Mets are glad how that worked out. Jon Niese, Addison Reed, and Tyler Clippard all had scoreless outings, and then Familia, like he has all season, shut down the Cubs in the ninth, and gave the Mets a 2-0 series lead.
The Mets went in to a hostile Wrigley Field to play game 3, and they were sure up to the task. The Mets started off fast, with Yoenis Cespedes giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead with a RBI double. But then in the bottom of the first, the Mets ace Jacob deGrom gave the lead right back, and he gave up a home run to rookie Kyle Schwarber and the game was tied 1-1. Then in the top of the third, the Mets got back on top with a 2-1 lead. It sounds like a broken record, but again, Daniel Murphy hit a home run. He tied Carlos Beltran’s post season record of hitting a home run in five straight post season games. After the Cubs tied it up again, luck went the Mets way. With Yoenis Cespedes on third base and two outs, rookie Micheal Conforto came up to the plate with two outs. He struck out, but it ended up being a passed ball and Cespedes scored the go ahead run and the Mets never looked back. Jacob deGrom pitched 7 innings of 2 run baseball, while striking out 9, and he cemented his ace status with this performance. The Mets added two more insurance runs, and like he has all season, Familia shut down the Cubs to secure the Mets 3-0 series lead.
With a trip to the World Series in reach, the Mets turned to home town kid Steven Matz to try and pitch the Mets to the big one. Like the Mets have all season, they started off fast. Lucas Duda broke out of a slump with a three run home run, and Travis d’Arnaud followed up with a solo homer of his own. In the second, Duda added two more runs with a 2 run double to give the Mets a comfortable 6-0 lead. Matz pitched 4 2/3 innings of 1 run baseball, and he helped hand it off to Bartolo Colon. Colon pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, and the Mets just kept rolling. Addison Reed pitched a scoreless 7th, Clippard pitched a solid 8th, and again, Familia got the ninth. But before the Mets gave the ball to Familia, Murphy did the impossible. While already being 3 for 4 on the day, Murphy crushed a fastball to center field, and he set a MLB playoff record for consecutive games with a home run with 6 in a row. Then in the 9th, the Mets were ready to pop the champagne. Familia struck out Dexter Fowler to end the game, and the party was on. The Mets clinched their first NL pennant since 2000, and they are now only 4 wins away from being World Champions.
With no surprise, Daniel Murphy was named NLCS MVP for his historic performance. Now the Mets are waiting for the result of the Blue Jays- Royals series, and the World Series will start October 27th, with the Mets opening up in the American League ballpark.