I think we all had a bad feeling about this one.
There are some bright sides though. Against my more instinctual pessimism, let’s give optimism a try. Jerry Blevins looked good! And, um, Harvey was solid! Conforto was 2/2 with a double and 2 walks! Bartolo Colon entered the game and struck out a guy!
Unfortunately, the negatives reigned this game. Matt Harvey, though looking very strong at times, was unfortunately more human than the Mets were able to afford. He allowed 8 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) over 5 2/3 innings, striking out 2 and walking 2. Yoenis Cespedes dropped an easy line-drive in left field, helping lead to the first Royals run. By the 6th inning, the Mets were down 4-0, unable to muster anything against an effective but slightly-wild Edinson Volquez.
David Wright looked slow, and came up just shy on a couple of charging plays in the field. In the 9th inning, with the tying run on 3rd base and 1 out, Wright was blown away by sheer velocity from Wade Davis, as he was unable to lift a fly ball to get Alejandro De Aza in from 3rd.
Unfortunately, when it came to close calls (including the strike zone and defense in general), they seemed to go the Royals’ way. I’ll let this excerpt from Fangraphs’ Opening Night Live Blog illustrate my point:
Yeah, that’s pretty much how it went.
Juan Lagares missed a shoestring catch at one point, but did make a fantastic throw to try to get Omar Infante at 3rd base (the call stood on replay review – and honestly, it was extraordinarily too close to call).
But the rallying in the 8th and 9th was certainly a positive sign, even if it came up just short. Replay this game in May or June of last season, and the Mets lose 4-0 as Volquez no-hits them while walking 6.
In the 8th, a single by Juan Lagares and walks by Curtis Grandereson and Yoenis Cespedes loaded the bases with 1 out for Lucas Duda, who was the tying run at the plate. Duda jammed a ball to left field, scoring 2, and Neil Walker brought in a 3rd run on a fielder’s choice grounder. Michael Conforto singled, but Luke Hochevar came in and got Asdrubal Cabrera to strike out with 2 on.
In the 9th, Travis d’Arnaud walked and pinch hitter Alejandro De Aza grounded into a force out. Curtis Granderson singled to center, and De Aza aggressively took 3rd place and slid in safely on a close play. But, Wade Davis struck out David Wright easily, and after a little bit of work struck out Yoenis Cespedes as well.
Say what you will about last night’s game and the Mets’ offensive ineptitude, but it certainly looks like they have the offensive ability not to let any game get away from them. The Mets play the Royals again tomorrow, after an excruciating off day, with Noah Syndergaard opposing former Met Chris Young.
The Royals defeated the Mes by a score of 7-2 in 12 innings, capturing the 2015 World Series title. The Mets took a 2-0 lead into the 9th behind a dominant Matt Harvey, but a walk to Lorenzo Cain, a steal of 2nd, and a double by Eric Hosmer put the tying run on 2nd base with no one out. Jeurys Familia got Mike Moustakas to ground out to 1st, advancing Hosmer, and he got Salvador Perez to ground to 3rd base. David Wright looked Hosmer back a few feet to 3rd, but as Wright threw to 1st, Hosmer broke for the plate and scored on Lucas Duda‘s errant throw. The game continued until the 12th, when the Royals turned a bloop single, a steal, another Daniel Murphy error, and a couple of doubles into 5 runs against Addison Reed and Bartolo Colon.
The Mets got off to a quick start, with a leadoff home run to center by Curtis Granderson to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead. The Mets held the lead for 5 innings, as Matt Harvey and Edinson Volquez put up dueling zeroes. The Mets tacked on in the 6th, loading the bases with no one out on a walk, a single, and a fielding error by Eric Hosmer. However, the Mets were only able to score one run, on a sacrifice fly by Lucas Duda (one batter after Yoenis Cespedes fouled a ball off his kneecap – Cespedes would leave the game with a knee contusion).
Harvey pitched through 8 shutout innings, and convinced his manager to send him out for the 9th (at 102 pitches). Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain, Cain stole 2nd, and Eric Hosmer doubled to left, chasing Harvey from the game, with a narrow 2-1 lead intact and the tying run at 2nd with no one out. Jeurys Familia got Mike Moustakas to ground out to first, advancing Hosmer to 3rd. Familia then got Salvador Perez to hit a soft grounder to 3rd, and after David Wright briefly looked Hosmer back to the base, Hosmer broke for home on Wright’s throw to 1st. Lucas Duda then threw the ball to the backstop, which with an accurate throw, would have been a game-ending double play.
Familia got through the inning, and the bullpens traded zeroes until the 12th. Salvador Perez hit a bloop into right field, just inside the line, and pinch runner Jarrod Dyson promptly stole 2nd. A grounder advanced Dyson to 3rd, and Addison Reed gave up an RBI single to pinch hitter Christian Colon to give the Royals a 3-2 lead. Paulo Orlando then reached on a force attempt error by Daniel Murphy, and Alcides Escobar doubled in another run to make it 4-2 and put runners on 2nd and 3rd. Reed walked Zobrist, before Bartolo Colon entered and served up a bases-clearing double to Lorenzo Cain. Colon got the next two, but the damage was done, and the Royals had a 7-2 lead. Wade Davis entered to close the game for Kansas City, and allowed only a 2-out single to Michael Conforto as Kansas City captured their first World Series title in 30 years.
Game and series opinions coming, as well as WPA data for this post. For now, sleep.
The Royals defeated the Mets by a score of 5-3, storming back late against the Mets bullpen. The Mets had a 3-1 lead at one point, due in most part to two solo home runs by Michael Conforto, but the Royals came back in the 8th, scoring 3 runs off of Jeurys Familia after Tyler Clippard had issued back-to-back one out walks and Daniel Murphy made a key erro. The loss puts the Mets down in the series 3 games to 1, and they must win 3 in a row to win the World Series.
Both starters cruised through their first two innings, with Steven Matz working around a couple of hits (including an interference call on a would-be stolen base in the 1st). In the 3rd, the Mets struck first against Chris Young on a long home run down the right field line for Michael Conforto to give them a 1-0 lead.
Wilmer Flores followed with a single, and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch before Matz bunted him to 3rd. Curtis Granderson then hit a sacrifice fly to right, on which it appeared right fielder Alex Rios forgot how many outs there were. Rios’s mistake gave Wilmer Flores an extra second to beat the throw home, and though the Royals challenged that Flores left too early, the call stood.
The Royals struck back for a run in the 5th, after a Salvador Perez double booted in center by Yoenis Cespedes. Alex Gordon singled him in to make it 2-1, but Matz was able to work out of trouble, retiring the next 3 hitters. Michael Conforto tacked on a second solo home run in the bottom of the 5th to make it 3-1, but the Royals struck back again in the 6th. Ben Zobrist doubled to lead off the frame, followed by an RBI single by Lorenzo Cain, chasing Matz from the game. Though Cain stole 2nd, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon combined to get out of the jam with a 3-2 lead.
Addison Reed pitched a 1-2-3 7th before Tyler Clippard ran into trouble in the 8th. After retiring Alcides Escobar, Clippard walked Zobrist and Cain, prompting Terry Collins to bring in Jeurys Familia to try to get a 5-out save. Eric Hosmer sent a slow ground ball to Daniel Murphy that scooted under his glove, scoring a run and putting runners at the corners. The game was tied at 3 on a play that should have put runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Singles to Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez put the Royals up 5-3, before Familia got Alex Gordon to ground into a double play to end the inning.
The Mets were quiet against closer Wade Davis in the bottom of the 8th as he tried for a 6-out save, but they began to put a rally together in the bottom of the 9th. With 1 out, Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes each singled, putting the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate with one out. Lucas Duda hit a weak bloop to 3rd base, caught by Mike Moustakas on the fly and flipped to first for a game-ending double play, as Yoenis Cespedes was caught way off 1st base.
POSITIVES: Being down 3-1 in the World Series, there aren’t many. Steven Matz and Addison Reed were solid as ever, with Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon getting key outs. Michael Conforto hit two home runs before being lifted for defense. Hansel Robles pitched a clean 9th after the Mets had fallen behind 5-3.
NEGATIVES: Murphy’s error could very well have cost the Mets the game, but Tyler Clippard walked back-to-back hitters with 1 out to set up the fiasco. Jeurys Familia couldn’t get out of the jam cleanly, though he did get a couple of ground balls at first. Yoenis Cespedes ruined any outside shot at a 2-out 9th inning rally by getting doubled off 1st base. Cespedes also booted a ball earlier in the game that led to a run.
This was a game that summarized Mets fans’ fears. Weak middle relief, weak defense, and an inability to hit the Kansas City bullpen (save for a solo shot by Conforto against Danny Duffy) sealed their fate. On top of that, 2 runs in 4 innings against Chris Young won’t cut it, especially when they’ll face Volquez tomorrow, plus Cueto and Ventura if the series continues past tomorrow.
WPA Winner: Michael Conforto (.239)
- Jeurys Familia (-.555)
- Lucas Duda (-.207)
- Tyler Clippard (-.099)
- Michael Conforto hits a solo home run, Mets up 1-0, 3rd inning (.136)
- Michael Conforto hits a solo home run, Mets up 3-1, 5th inning (.111)
- Eric Hosmer reaches on a fielding error by Daniel Murphy, Ben Zobrist scores. Game tied 3-3, 8th inning (-.341)
- Mike Moustakas hits an RBI single, Royals up 4-3, 8th inning (-.186)
- Lucas Duda lines into a double play with runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out, 9th inning, Royals up 5-3 (-.169)
- Lorenzo Cain hits an RBI single, Mets up 3-2, 6th inning (-.106)
- Alex Gordon hits an RBI single, Mets up 2-1, 5th inning (-.103)
The Mets defeated the Royals by a score of 9-3 in Game 3 of the World Series, cutting the Royals’ series lead to 2 games to 1. The Mets fell behind 1-0 early, but rebounded fast on a 2-run home run by David Wright. They fell behind 3-2, but came right back on a 2-run home run by Curtis Granderson, and the Mets would not look back. Noah Syndergaard struggled early, allowing 3 runs in the first 2 innings, but rebounded to pitch four shutout innings after that, including a stretch in which he retired 12 in a row (5 via the strikeout).
The Mets jumped on Yordano Ventura early, with a single by Curtis Granderson and a home run to David Wright, and though Ventura got through the 1st and 2nd without issue after that, the Mets tacked on in the 3rd and 4th, knocking him out after 3 1/3 IP.
Noah Syndergaard got off to a good start on his first batter, throwing up and in to Alcides Escobar before striking him out on a foul tip. However, he then allowed a long double to Ben Zobrist, an infield hit to Lorenzo Cain before getting Eric Hosmer to chop into a force out. The Mets were unable to turn the double play when neither Duda nor Syndergaard made it to 1st base in time (after Duda fielded the ball), and the Royals took a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 1st, Granderson singled to 2nd base before David Wright crushed a long home run to left, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.
Syndergaard ran into more trouble in the 2nd, giving up a bloop single to Salvador Perez and a single to Alex Gordon, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with no one out. Alex Rios singled down the left field line scoring Perez, but Michael Conforto threw Gordon out trying to advance to 3rd base (safe call overturned on replay review). Yordano Ventura bunted Rios over to 3rd before a passed ball scored the go-ahead run. The Royals took a 3-2 lead.
Ventura retired the side in the bottom of the 2nd and Syndergaard did the same in the top of the 3rd. In the bottom of the 3rd, Noah Syndergaard lined a single to right on an 0-2 count before Curtis Granderson lined a home run down the right field line, putting the Mets ahead 4-3.
Syndergaard once more retired the side in the 4th. In the bottom of the 4th, Lucas Duda led off with a single to left before Travis d’Arnaud doubled down the left field line. Michael Conforto singled in a run on a chopper to first baseman Eric Hosmer, scoring Duda to extend the Mets’ lead to 5-3. After getting Wilmer Flores to pop out, Ventura was lifted for Danny Duffy, who struck out Noah Syndergaard after a couple of bunt attempts. Duffy then got Granderson to fly out to end the threat.
Syndergaard ran into trouble in the 6th, for the first time since the 2nd inning. After striking out the first two batters, Syndergaard allowed an infield single to Mike Moustakas before walking Perez and Gordon. Terry Collins allowed Syndergaard to face one more batter, and Syndergaard got Alex Rios to ground out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 6th facing lefty Franklin Morales, Juan Lagares pinch hit for Michael Conforto and lined a single to left with 1 out. Wilmer Flores was then hit by a pitch before pinch hitter Juan Uribe lined a single to right, scoring Lagares to make it a 6-3 game. Curtis Granderson then reached on a fielder’s choice by Morales, who spun and faked to multiple bases before throwing off-line to 2nd, loading the bases. The brain cramp was key, since Morales likely had an easy 1-6-3 double play if he had thrown to 2nd immediately. David Wright then singled up the middle to score two against Kelvin Herrera, Daniel Murphy walked, and Yoenis Cespedes hit a sacrifice fly to make it 9-3.
POSITIVES: Curtis Granderson and David Wright were each 2/5 with a single and a home run. Granderson had 3 runs scored and 2 RBI, Wright had 1 run scored and 4 RBI. Wright became the first Met with 4 RBI in a World Series game since Rusty Staub in 1973. Granderson also made a fine defensive play in right field (video below). Noah Syndergaard was hit a little bit to start, but fought through 6 solid innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. Syndergaard was also 1/2 at the plate. Travis d’Arnaud was 2/4 with a double, while Juan Lagares was 1/2 off the bench with a run scored. Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia worked a clean inning each. Juan Uribe, in his first plate appearance in over a month, singled in a run off the bench.
NEGATIVES: Daniel Murphy was 0/4 with a walk, while Wilmer Flores was 0/3 with a run scored and a hit-by-pitch (though he, once again, made some fine defensive plays).
- Curtis Granderson (.248)
- David Wright (.195)
WPA Losers: None under -.100
- Curtis Granderson hits a 2-run home run, Mets up 4-3, 3rd inning (.230)
- David Wright hits a 2-run home run, Mets up 2-1, 1st inning (.195)
- Alex Rios grounds out with the bases loaded and 2 outs, Mets up 5-3, 6th inning, Noah Syndergaard pitching (.107)
Worst Play: Alex Rios scores on a passed ball, Royals up 3-2, 2nd inning (-.100)
The Mets fell to the Royals in game 1 of the World Series in 14 innings. The Mets had a 3-1 lead going into the 6th inning and a 4-3 lead after 7, but the Royals tied the game in the 9th when Alex Gordon homered off of Jeurys Familia. The bullpens held the score tied at 4 until the 14th, when a David Wright error and a single put runners on the corners with no one out. An intentional walk to Lorenzo Cain set up Eric Hosmer for a walk-off sacrifice fly to right.
The Royals got off to the fast start in game 1, when Alcides Escobar hit Matt Harvey‘s first pitch fastball into the left-center field gap for an inside the park home run, after caroming off of Yoenis Cespedes‘s leg. The Royals had a 1-0 lead.
The Mets did not get their first hit or first run until the 4th inning. Daniel Murphy singled to lead off the inning, Lucas Duda singled with 1 out, and Travis d’Arnaud hit a sharp single to third baseman Mike Moustakas that he couldn’t handle to score the Mets’ first run of the game. The score was tied at 1.
In the 5th, Curtis Granderson homered with one out to make it 2-1 Mets. In the 6th, back-to-back singles by Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda set the stage for a sacrifice fly by Michael Conforto to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.
Matt Harvey was very solid through the first 5 innings, having allowed only 2 hits, a run, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. In the 6th, Harvey gave up a leadoff double to Ben Zobrist and a single to Lorenzo Cain to put runners at the corners with no one out. Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2, and Lorenzo Cain stole 2nd to put the tying run in scoring position. Kendrys Morales grounded to Harvey, but Mike Moustakas lined a game-tying single to center. The game was tied at 3.
The Mets scored in the top of the 7th after a 2-out single by defensive sub Juan Lagares, a stolen base, and a fielding error by Eric Hosmer on a grounder by Wilmer Flores. The Mets took a 4-3 lead. Tyler Clippard allowed a leadoff double in the 8th to Zobrist, but struck out Cain and Hosmer before walking Morales and being lifted for Jeurys Familia. Familia got Mike Moustakas to ground out to end the threat, but with 1 out in the 9th, Familia allowed a game-tying solo home run to Alex Gordon.
From there on, the bullpens battled and put up matching zeroes until the 14th. For the Mets, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon pitched 2 scoreless innings apiece, with Colon working into and out of trouble. For the Royals, the Mets were held in check by single innings from Wade Davis and Ryan Madson, before Chris Young pitched 3 scoreless.
In the 14th, Colon allowed a leadoff baserunner on a grounder by Alcides Escobar, in which David Wright’s throw pulled Lucas Duda off the base (though on a second viewing, it looks like Escobar had the ball beat anyway). A single by Ben Zobrist put runners on the corners with no one out, forcing Colon to walk Lorenzo Cain to load the bases, putting a force at every base. Eric Hosmer hit a fly ball to right field, and Escobar tagged to score from 3rd to give the Royals the 5-4 walk-off victory.
POSITIVES: Juan Lagares had quite a game off the bench, and was 2/3 with a steal and a run scored. Lagares fought off multiple tough pitches from Kelvin Herrera in the 7th before getting on base and eventually scoring the go-ahead run. Harvey was solid through 6, but not dominant. Addison Reed and Jon Niese were especially strong out of the bullpen, and Tyler Clippard got two huge outs after allowing a leadoff double. Bartolo Colon was solid, but eventually the Royals were able to bunch up a couple of baserunners with no one out.
NEGATIVES: Michael Cuddyer was 0/3 with 3 strikeouts as a replacement for Kelly Johnson as DH. Wilmer Flores was 0/4 with a walk, but that doesn’t consider a couple of hard-hit balls and that the ball he hit in the 7th to score Lagares probably should have been ruled a hit instead of an error on Eric Hosmer. Flores also made a couple of very strong defensive plays. David Wright was 2/7, but did not come up big in key situations, and had a couple of throwing issues. Jeurys Familia blew his first save since July 30th, allowing a solo home run in 1 1/3 innings of work.
- Jon Niese (.252)
- Wilmer Flores (.181)
- David Wright (-.218)
- Yoenis Cespedes (-.200)
- Jeurys Familia (-.181)
- Michael Cuddyer (-.148)
- Matt Harvey (-.123)
- Bartolo Colon (-.121)
- Wilmer Flores reaches on a fielding error by Eric Hosmer, Juan Lagares scored. Mets up 4-3, 7th inning (.264)
- Curtis Granderson hits a solo home run, Mets up 2-1, 5th inning (.159)
- Jarrod Dyson flies out with the bases loaded and 2 outs, game tied 4-4, 12th inning, Bartolo Colon pitching (.153)
- Mike Moustakas grounds out with 2 outs and runners on the corners, Mets up 4-3, 8th inning, Jeurys Familia pitching (.137)
- Lorenzo Cain strikes out with a runner on 2nd and no outs, Mets up 4-3, 8th inning, Tyler Clippard pitching (.117)
- Paulo Orlando grounds out with a runner on 2nd and 2 outs, game tied 4-4, 13th inning, Bartolo Colon pitching (.102)
- Alex Gordon hits a solo home run, game tied at 4, 9th inning (-.472)
- Ben Zobrist singles, Alcides Escobar advances to 3rd base, no one out, game tied at 4, 14th inning (-.264)
- Mike Moustakas hits an RBI single, game tied 3-3, 6th inning (-.185)
- Ben Zobrist doubles with no one out, Mets up 4-3, 8th inning (-.177)
- Lorenzo Cain singles, Ben Zobrist advances to 3rd base, no one out, Mets up 3-1, 6th inning (-.115)
- David Wright strikes out with runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs, game tied 4-4, 11th inning, Ryan Madson pitching (-.108)
- Alcides Escobar hits an inside-the-park solo home run, Royals up 1-0, 1st inning (-.107)
The Mets defeated the Cubs by a score of 8-3, completing a 4 game sweep of the National League Division Series. The Mets jumped out to an early lead against Jason Hammel, when Lucas Duda hit a 2-out 3-run home run in the 1st inning. It was followed promptly by a solo home run by Travis d’Arnaud, giving the Mets an early 4-0 lead. They didn’t look back, adding a 2-run double by Duda in the 2nd and a 2-run home run by Daniel Murphy in the 8th, as the Mets cruised to an 8-3 victory. Steven Matz was solid over 4 2/3, allowing only 1 run on 4 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. Bartolo Colon, Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia combined to finish out the victory.
Daniel Murphy was named NLCS MVP after going 9 for 17 with a double, 4 home runs, and 6 RBI. Murphy has now homered in 6 consecutive postseason games, a new major league record, and he is only 1 shy from the major league record of 8 home runs in a single postseason.
Yoenis Cespedes left the game in the 2nd inning with left shoulder swelling. He is expected to be ready for the start of the World Series, next Tuesday.
The Mets jumped out to an early lead on Jason Hammel. After a Curtis Granderson single, Hammel retired David Wright and Daniel Murphy before allowing a steal to Granderson and a walk to Cespedes. Lucas Duda then sent a 3-2 pitch over the center field wall for his first home run of the postseason. Travis d’Arnaud followed with a home run of his own, giving the Mets an early 4-0 lead. That was followed by a Michael Conforto hit-by-pitch and a Wilmer Flores single and stolen base before Steven Matz flew out to end the inning.
The Mets tacked on in the 2nd after a 1-out walk to David Wright chased Hammel early. Reliever Travis Wood allowed a single to Daniel Murphy and struck out Yoenis Cespedes before giving up a 2-run double to Lucas Duda to give the Mets a 6-0 lead.
Steven Matz was strong through the first three before running into trouble in the 4th inning. Matz gave up a leadoff double to Jorge Soler, a walk to Kris Bryant, and a single to Anthony Rizzo which loaded the bases with no one out. However, Matz was able to escape the jam allowing only one run, on a ground out by Kyle Schwarber. Matz struggled a bit more in the 5th, allowing a couple of 2-out singles before Bartolo Colon struck out Kris Bryant for the 3rd out.
In the 6th, Wilmer Flores led off with a triple past a diving Kyle Schwarber, but the Mets were unable to get him in, even though defensive replacement Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Curtis Granderson both hit balls sharply. Colon worked around a 2-out walk to Kyle Schwarber in the bottom of the inning before the Mets put together another threat in the 7th. Daniel Murphy led off with a double, before Juan Lagares bunted him over to 3rd. Lucas Duda walked and Travis d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch, but Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores were retired to end yet another threat.
Though the Mets were unable to convert on opportunities in the 6th and 7th, they were able to add on in the 8th after a perfect inning by Addison Reed. After a 2-out walk by David Wright, Daniel Murphy lined a 2-run home run to center field, his 6th consecutive game with a home run, a new postseason record. The Mets had a lead of 8-1.
Tyler Clippard ran into some trouble in the bottom of the 8th, giving up a leadoff double by Jorge Soler and a 2-run home run by Kris Bryant. He recovered to retire the next 3, sending the game to the 9th. After the Mets were unable to convert on a leadoff double by Duda in the 9th, Jeurys Familia closed it out in the bottom of the 9th, sealing the 2015 National League Pennant.
POSITIVES: 2015 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS! Lucas Duda was 3/4 with two doubles, a home run, a walk, and 5 RBI. Daniel Murphy was 4/5 with a double, a home run, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI. Travis d’Arnaud was 1/4 with a solo home run, and Wilmer Flores was 2/4 with a triple and a walk. Steven Matz pitched 4 2/3 innings of 1 run ball, working out of a major jam in the 4th. Bartolo Colon, Addison Reed, and Jeurys Familia combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
NEGATIVES: Tyler Clippard gave up a 2-run home run to Kris Bryant in his inning of work. Michael Conforto was 0/2 with a strikeout and a hit-by-pitch before he was removed for defense, but Conforto hit a liner in the 3rd that was snagged by Dexter Fowler in center. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Juan Lagares were 0/2 with a strikeout each as defensive replacements.
Game 1 of the World Series will be Tuesday, October 27th in either Toronto or Kansas City, depending on the outcome of the ALCS (which the Royals currently lead 3-2).
WPA Winner: Lucas Duda (.348)
WPA Losers: None under -.100
Best Play: Lucas Duda hit a 3-run home run, Mets up 3-0, 1st inning (.272)
Worst Plays: None under -.100
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.
- Yoenis Cespedes (.468)
- David Wright (.104)
- Jacob deGrom (.135 pitching, -.179 batting, -.044 total)
WPA Losers: Travis d’Arnaud (-.106)
- 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)
- 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)