Takeaways from the Mets 5-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday…
A tightly played win.
This game certainly had it’s share of twists and turns. But in the end, the Mets caught a break, and found a way to gain complete command of this National League Championship Series with their third win in a row over the Cubs, and their fourth straight win in the playoffs.
The Mets got out to an early lead thanks to a two-out double to plate David Wright, who reached on one of three hits in game three.
But Jacob deGrom gave that lead right up thanks to an opposite-field home run to Kyle Schwarber in the first inning, his fifth home run in the playoffs.
But since it’s Tuesday, that means Daniel Murphy would homer. And he did with a laser beam in the third inning to give the Mets their lead back.
But that lead wouldn’t last very long, as deGrom gave up a solo home run to Jorge Soler which tied the game back up.
It wouldn’t be until the sixth inning that the Mets would regain the lead, and it came in an unconventional manner.
With Trevor Cahill pitching for Chicago, It started with a leadoff opposite-field single by Cespedes. Then, Lucas Duda – who had a hit tonight but is mired in a deep slump – bunted Cespedes over to second. Then Cespedes stole third, but Travis d’Arnaud was unable to drive him home when he bounced out to third.
That brought up Michael Conforto and he struck out, but the ball bounced away from catcher Miguel Montero, allowing Cespedes to score which gave the Mets the lead back.
The inning would not end without incident, however, as Wilmer Flores followed with a double to right which got away from Soler. But the ball got stuck in the ivy, which calls immediately for two bases. That forced Conforto – who would have easily scored on the hit, to return to third. He would get stranded when deGrom flew out.
But the Mets didn’t waver despite their missed opportunity, one of several for them on the night.
They plated two more in the seventh inning thanks to more bumbling from the Cubs. Kyler Schwarber dropped a flyball with one out which allowed David Wright to score after he doubled for his third hit of the night. Then, Duda grounded into a fielders choice which allowed Murphy to score as he beat Anthony Rizzo’s throw to the plate.
That made the score 5-2 Mets, shutting down the Cubs crowd as the Mets closed the door on a 3-0 NLCS lead.
More grittiness from deGrom.
As was the case last Thursday in Los Angeles, deGrom really didn’t have that good fastball command on Tuesday.
But did he ever have command of that change-up.
That pitch saved him on Tuesday. He was able to basically use that as his primary pitch over the first four innings while he searched for his fastball command. He found it in the fifth inning and it was lights out from there for Chicago, who squandered a huge chance in the first to set the tone in this game and bailed him out when they had him on the ropes.
He allowed a pair of solo home runs on some mis-located fastballs, but he was otherwise gritty and crafty, as he had to figure out a way to become more efficient after a 29 pitch first inning. He did in innings 2-4, and then he discovered that fastball.
He has been by far from his best in his last two starts, but he’s like a steel wall out there and he just doesn’t give in. He’s a bulldog, he knows what his plan B, C, D, and E is at any time and has confidence to be able to turn to it whenever he has to.
Just imagine what will happen when he does have his A game the entire game this fall…
Oh, Murph, again.
Murphy has always been one of those guys who, when he gets hot, the opposition can’t get him out.
But in those instances, he’s usually just clocking singles and doubles all over the field.
But he’s on another planet right now with these home runs. He simply cannot be contained, and he’s pacing the Mets offense at this point and obviously running away with the series MVP award, should the Mets seal the deal.
Its fun to see. It makes everyone smile considering he is a homegrown talent and has been here through all the lean times, doing everything and anything he’s been asked to do with no shame at all.
It’s certainly unexpected, but there are few others in this organization who deserve this kind of success under this bright of spotlight in one of the best years this organization has ever had.
It’s nice to see Wright finally start to settle into the batters box and deliver some key hits. He came through with three hits on Tuesday night and scored two of the five runs for the Mets on the evening. His swing looked calmer, shorter and much more in control in this one, very much like the David Wright of old.
Whatever happens going forward – and their immediate future looks very bright right now – they’re going to need the captain to deliver at the top of the order. Hopefully Tuesday was the start of a grand finish to the postseason for Wright, and he can contribute at a high level in whatever number of games they have left this fall.
Again, the immediate future is very bright for the Mets.
They’re on the brink of winning their fifth pennant in franchise history. They need to win one of the next four games in this series against the Cubs, who have more or less had no answer to the Mets hard throwing starters and their bullpen these three games.
Only one team in baseball history has blown a 3-0 lead in League Championship Series history.
That was the 2004 Yankees who lost the final four games of their ALCS against the Red Sox.
Teams to go up 3-0 in the LCS are 10-1.
No team in NLCS history has blown a 3-0. They’re a perfect 5-0.
And with the way the Mets pitching is going right now, it’s hard to see an anomaly to those statistics taking place.
Other notes from Tuesday:
Murphy set a new franchise mark with his sixth home run in the postseason. He’s now homered in five consecutive games.
Cespedes notched three hits, two RBI and scored a run. He’s now hitting .273 with seven RBI in eight games in the playoffs.
The Mets 2-4 hitters went 8-for-14 with five runs scored and three RBI on Tuesday.
Jeurys Familia is now a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities in the playoffs after notching a save in game three.
Mets pitching has allowed 23 runs in eight playoff games in 2015.
The Cubs have not led at any point in the first three games of the NLCS.
The Mets won at Wrigley Field for the first time since May 19, 2013.