The New York Mets have advanced to their first National League Championship Series (NLCS) since 2006.
In what was a total team effort, Daniel Murphy struck a tie-breaking solo homer in the sixth inning against ace Zack Greinke, pitcher Jacob deGrom lived up to his top billing, and Jeurys Familia had his first career six-out as the Mets prevailed 3-2 in a nail-biter against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.
Murphy, a soon-to-be free agent, finished with three homers – including a pair against Clayton Kershaw. Having already victimized Kershaw twice in the five-match series, his third and final attack was the icing on the cake for Mets fans. The pre-game build-up was hyped around the showdown between deGrom and Greinke. But it was deGrom who had the last laugh, striking out seven Dodgers batters and allowing only two runs.
Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 54,602, the Dodgers got off to a great start, jumping to a 2-1 lead against deGrom in the first, on the back of four consecutive hits against the ace pitcher they failed to score a run against in two earlier starts. The Mets tied the game in the fourth when the Dodgers made a defensive blunder by shifting to the right side, allowing Murphy to convert a single to a third run while stealing the extra base.
The Dodgers, who boast of a league-high payroll of more than $300 million, bowed out in the first round for the second year in a row. It’s reasonable to expect some heads to roll in the offseason.
The Mets will now face the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the NCLS on Saturday.
There's only one thing to do after your first 6 out save… Jump for joy! pic.twitter.com/LXNM9eYpH4
— New York Mets (@Mets) October 16, 2015