October 21, 2015: Game Four of NLCS

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Date: October 21, 2015
Mets starter: Steven Matz
Mets: 8
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Bartolo Colon
Key player(s): Travis d'Arnaud, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda
Key play: Mets’ home runs, Duda’s double, Familia’s strikeout of Fowler

The fourth game of the National League Championship Series was played on a Wednesday night in Chicago. The Mets were in search of a series sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Three home runs led to an 8-3 Mets triumph and the team’s first league title in fifteen years.

Curtis Granderson singled against Cubs’ starter Jason Hammel to lead off the top of the first inning. David Wright went down on strikes and Daniel Murphy popped out to third baseman Kris Bryant. Granderson stole second base and Yoenis Cespedes drew a walk. Lucas Duda pounded out a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Travis d'Arnaud followed with another homer for a four-run New York advantage. Michael Conforto was hit by a pitch and moved around to third on Wilmer Flores’s single. Flores stole second and Hammel retired Steven Matz on a fly ball to right fielder Jorge Soler for the third out. Matz then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Wright drew a one-out walk against Hammel in the top of the second. Murphy singled against Chicago reliever Travis Wood, who followed up by throwing a called third strike past Cespedes. Duda hit a double that plated both Wright and Murphy, increasing the Mets’ lead to 6-0. D’Arnaud was struck out to end the inning and Matz set down the side in order in the bottom half. Wood hurled a scoreless top of the third and David Ross drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Matz then got Dexter Fowler on a grounder to first baseman Duda to close out the inning.

Cubs’ reliever Clayton Richard gave up only a single to Murphy in the top of the fourth. Soler doubled to begin the bottom half. Bryant drew a walk and Anthony Rizzo got a single that loaded the bases. Starlin Castro was retired on a line drive to third baseman Wright. Kyle Schwarber grounded out to Duda to drive home Soler with the first Chicago run of the game. Matz then got Javier Baez on a pop-up to shortstop Flores for the inning’s final out.

Richard hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Fowler and Soler got consecutive singles against Matz with two outs in the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Bartolo Colon struck out Bryant to end the inning and Flores tripled against Chicago’s Trevor Cahill to open the top of the sixth. Cahill retired the next three batters on infield ground balls to close out the inning and Colon surrendered just a walk to Schwarber in the bottom half. The Mets failed to score after loading the bases against the Cubs’ Pedro Strop in the top of the seventh. New York’s Addison Reed then retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning.

Wright drew a two-out walk against Chicago reliever Fernando Rodney in the top of the eighth. Murphy followed by slugging a home run in his sixth consecutive game, lengthening the Mets’ lead to 8-1. Rodney retired Juan Lagares on a grounder to Bryant that ended the inning and Soler doubled against New York’s Tyler Clippard to open the bottom half. Bryant connected for a two-run homer and Rizzo lined out to right fielder Granderson. Clippard then got Castro to ground out to Wright and fanned Schwarber to finish off the inning.

Cubs’ reliever Hector Rondon yielded only a double to Duda in the top of the ninth. The Mets’ Jeurys Familia retired both pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan and Tommy La Stella on grounders to second baseman Murphy to start the bottom half. Miguel Montero drew a walk and advanced to second base on defensive indifference. Familia then got Fowler on a called third strike to bring the game and series to closure. The Mets had a victory to the seal the N. L. Pennant and were headed for the World Series.