The New York Mets have punched their ticket to the NLCS with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS.
The NLDS doesn’t award an MVP, but if it did Daniel Murphy would be it. In addition to his two home runs off Clayton Kershaw, Murphy was at the center of this game. He drove in a run in the first on a double to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.
After Mets starter Jacob de Grom gave up two runs in the first, Murphy would make his presence felt in the fourth. He led off the inning with a single off Dodgers’ starter Zack Greinke. After Greinke walked Lucas Duda, Murphy trotted to second and, with no one paying attention, sprinted to third in a move reminiscent of Johnny Damon in the 2009 World Series. It was truly a base stolen. Murphy would score the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Travis d’Arnaud.
The Mets took the lead in the sixth on a solo home run by – you guessed it – Daniel Murphy.
After striking out 13 batters in Game 1, de Grom was in jams the entire game. But after those two first inning runs, de Grom didn’t yield anymore. He would pitch six innings and strike out seven before giving way to Noah Syndergaard in the seventh with Mets closer Jeurys Familia pitching the final two innings.
There was discord in the Dodgers dugout when Andre Ethier yelled at manager Don Mattingly in the dugout after flying out in the third failing to advance Justin Turner. For his part, Mattingly said that Ethier was yelling at the umpire, not at him. But I’m not buying it. Although the Dodgers have reached the post-season three years in a row, they can’t win the NL pennant and have been knocked out of the NLDS two years in a row. Given their high payroll, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers dump Mattingly during next season if they get off to any kind of slow start.
The Mets will host Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night against the Chicago Cubs.
I predicted the Mets and Cubs would face each other in the post-season albeit in the NL Wild Card game rather than the NLCS.
I see the Cubs winning in seven with Dexter Fowler earning the NLCS MVP.
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