October 20, 2015: Game Three of NLCS

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Date: October 20, 2015
Mets starter: Jacob deGrom
Mets: 5
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Jacob deGrom
Key player(s): Yoenis Cespedes, Daniel Murphy
Key play: Cespedes’s double and single, Murphy’s home run, Cahill’s wild pitch

The Mets and Cubs played the third game of the National League Championship Series on a Tuesday night. With a two-game lead in the series, the Mets looked to move to the edge of a pennant as the scene shifted to Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The Mets grabbed themselves a three-games-to-none advantage with a 5-2 win.

David Wright got a one-out single against Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks in the top of the first inning. Daniel Murphy was called out on strikes and Yoenis Cespedes doubled to drive home Wright for a 1-0 Mets lead. Hendricks retired Lucas Duda on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Kyle Schwarber, who connected against New York’s Jacob deGrom for a game-tying homer with one out in the bottom half. Kris Bryant flied out to right fielder Curtis Granderson and consecutive singles by Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro ensued. DeGrom then got Jorge Soler on a ground ball to shortstop Wilmer Flores for the third out.

Hendricks shut down the Mets in the top of the second. DeGrom pitched a perfect bottom half and Murphy slugged a homer with two outs in the top of the third, putting New York back in front by a run. Cespedes flied out to center fielder Dexter Fowler to end the inning and DeGrom surrendered only a walk to Schwarber in the bottom half. Hendricks yielded just a single to Duda in the top of the fourth and Soler retied the game with a one-out homer in the bottom of the inning. DeGrom then retired Miguel Montero on a fly ball to center fielder Cespedes and fanned pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan for the inning’s final outs.

Cubs’ reliever Clayton Richard pitched a scoreless top of the fifth. DeGrom set down the side in order in the bottom half and Cespedes singled against Chicago’s Trevor Cahill to lead off the top of the sixth. Yoenis advanced to second base on Duda’s sacrifice bunt and stole third. Travis d'Arnaud was retired on a ground ball to third baseman Bryant. Michael Conforto reached on a wild pitch third strike that allowed Cespedes to come home and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Flores doubled to send Conforto to third and Cahill got deGrom on an inning-ending fly ball to Schwarber. Jacob then retired all three batters in the bottom half.

Wright doubled against Chicago reliever Travis Wood with one out in the top of the seventh. Murphy followed with an infield single that moved Wright to third base. Against the Cubs’ Justin Grimm, Cespedes singled to score Wright and advance Murphy to third. On his own hit, Yoenis went to second via a throw. Duda grounded out to first baseman Rizzo to drive home Murphy with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Grimm struck out d’Arnaud to end the inning and deGrom hurled a perfect bottom half. Cubs’ reliever Pedro Strop retired all three hitters in the top of the eighth. New York’s Tyler Clippard then gave up only a double to Fowler in the bottom of the inning.

Chicago reliever Hector Rondon surrendered just a walk to Wright in the top of the ninth. The Mets’ Jeurys Familia retired Rizzo on a grounder to second baseman Murphy to start the bottom half. Castro grounded out to third baseman Wright. Familia then threw a called third strike past Soler to end the game. The Mets had a victory and a three-to-nothing series edge.