NLCS Game 3 Recap: Mets 5, Cubs 2

The Mets defeated the Cubs by a score of 5-2 in game 3 of the National League Championship Series to take a 3-0 series lead. Jacob deGrom was again not at his best, and had trouble locating early, but was able to go 7 innings, allowing only 2 runs (both on solo home runs), 4 hits, and 1 walk while striking out 7. The Mets were able to score early on a Yoenis Cespedes RBI double, and again in the 3rd on yet another Daniel Murphy Home Run, his 6th of the postseason and 5th in 5 consecutive games, tying Carlos Beltran‘s major league record for consecutive postseason games with a home run. They tacked on with a wild pitch in the 6th, a Cespedes RBI single in the 7th, and a run-scoring groundout by Lucas Duda in the 7th. DeGrom, on the other hand, allowed only solo home runs to Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler, before turning it over to Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia to close it out.


The Mets got off to an early start against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, after Curtis Granderson reached on a fielding error by Javier Baez, on a grounder that skipped past the shortstop, drawn in to guard against the bunt as the rest of the infielders shifted against Granderson. Granderson was erased when trying to steal second, but David Wright singled to left before Yoenis Cespedes brought him in on a double to left-center. The Mets took an early 1-0 lead.

However, the Cubs came right back, when Kyle Schwarber drove an outside pitch over the left-center wall to tie the game at 1. DeGrom allowed singles to Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, but retired Jorge Soler to escape more trouble in the 1st. In the 2nd, the Mets got two runners on after Travis d’Arnaud singled and Michael Conforto walked. Wilmer Flores hit a slow grounder to shortstop, but Javier Baez elected to force out the lead runner at 3rd. Jacob deGrom then hit a ball well up the middle, but it was fielded cleanly by Baez, and turned into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

DeGrom retired the side in the 2nd, and Hendricks retired his first two Mets in the 3rd before Daniel Murphy took him deep to center for his 6th home run of the postseason and a home run in his 5th consecutive game. With that home run, Murphy holds the all-time Mets record for postseason home runs, he ties the major league record for home runs by a 2nd baseman, and he ties the record for consecutive postseason games with a home run. The Mets led 2-1.

However, the Cubs would once again get the run back, with an opposite-field solo home run by Jorge Soler in the bottom of the 4th. The game was tied at 2. That would be all Jacob deGrom would give up, as he went on to retire the next 11 in a row to end his night.

In the 6th, Yoenis Cespedes led off with a single before Lucas Duda tried to bunt against the shift. The bunt was fielded by catcher Miguel Montero and Duda was thrown out at first, but nonetheless got credit for a sacrifice bunt. Yoenis Cespedes stole 3rd easily, but unfortunately had to hold on Travis d’Arnaud’s groundout to 3rd. With two outs, Michael Conforto struck out swinging, but the ball bounced away to the backstop allowing Conforto to reach at 1st and Cespedes to score from 3rd. The Mets had a 3-2 lead. Wilmer Flores followed with a shallow liner to right field on which Jorge Soler attempted to make a diving catch. Soler missed, and the ball bounced all the way back to the ivy. However, the ball bounced up into the ivy, prompting center fielder Dexter Fowler to throw up his hands to signify the ball had disappeared in the ivy. As the Wrigley Field ground rules indicate, it was ruled a ground-rule double, forcing baserunner Michael Conforto to return to 3rd base (he would have easily scored if the ball stayed in play). Jacob deGrom flew out to left to end the threat.

The Mets tacked on in the 7th, and after Curtis Granderson struck out against reliever Travis Wood, David Wright doubled on a soft liner to left, and Daniel Murphy hit a soft grounder to 3rd for an infield single. Justin Grimm came on to pitch for the Cubs, and Yoenis Cespedes lined a ball off of Kyle Schwarber’s glove in left for an RBI single. Lucas Duda then hit a grounder to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to score another run. The Mets had a 5-2 lead.

After deGrom’s night ended after 7 innings pitched, the Mets closed out the win with Tyler Clippard (who worked around a 1-out double) and Jeurys Familia, who had a 1-2-3 9th.

POSITIVES: David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes each had 3 hits with a double. Wright was 3/4 with a walk and 2 runs scored, while Cespedes was 3/5 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Daniel Murphy was 2/5 with a home run, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Lucas Duda had a line-drive single, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI as he tries to break out of his slump. Jacob deGrom was extremely strong, while Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia pitched an effective inning each to close it out.

NEGATIVES: Curtis Granderson was 0/4 with a walk and a strikeout, and Michael Conforto was 0/3 with a walk and a strikeout.

Tomorrow at 8:07, Steven Matz faces Jason Hammel in game 4 at Wrigley Field.

WPA Winners:

  • Yoenis Cespedes (.468)
  • David Wright (.104)
  • Jacob deGrom (.135 pitching, -.179 batting, -.044 total)

WPA Losers: Travis d’Arnaud (-.106)

Best Plays:

  • Michael Conforto strikes out and reaches on a wild pitch, Yoenis Cespedes scores, Mets up 3-2, 6th inning (.150)
  • Daniel Murphy hits a solo home run, Mets up 2-1, 3rd inning (.132)
  • Yoenis Cespedes hits an RBI double, Mets up 1-0, 1st inning (.120)
  • Yoenis Cespedes singles to left, David Wright scores, Daniel Murphy to 3rd, Yoenis Cespedes to 2nd on the throw, Mets up 4-2, 7th inning (.104)

Worst Plays:

  • Jorge Soler hits a a solo home run, game tied 2-2, 4th inning (-.153)
  • Kyle Schwarber hits a solo home run, game tied 1-1, 1st inning (-.115)
  • Daniel Murphy grounds into a double play, game tied 2-2, 5th inning (-.115)

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