Mets win: move on to NLCS

For whatever reason given for the Dodgers not winning the National League Division Series, it won’t be the pitching of Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke. Both aces pitched well against a team that has been hitting the best pitchers all summer.

Dodger Sign1In Game Five Greinke went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three runs.

The story of NLDS will be the lack of hitting from the Dodgers. In Game Five they stranded runners in scoring position from the second through the sixth inning.

That is of course due in large part to the great pitching of the young Jacob deGrom. He only allowed two runs in the bottom of the first and then held the Dodgers scoreless through the sixth inning. Noah Syndergaard came in for the seventh, getting two strikeouts, one ground out and a walk (Adrian Gonzalez).

And then there was Daniel Murphy taking third base in the top of the fourth inning.

Mets starter Jacob deGrom wasn’t pitching at his best; he gave the Dodgers many chances to advance runners across home plate, but the Dodgers were just unable to score. It was a frustrating night for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy

For the Mets, one man put the team on his shoulders and carried it when he needed to: Daniel Murphy. In the top of the fourth no one was covering third base for the Dodgers, letting Murphy steal it. Who was supposed to be there? Greinke walked Lucas Duda and the Dodgers assumed the play was over, but Murphy saw third base was open and ran around second base, stealing third. Travis D’Arnaud hit a sacrifice pop-up, allowing Murphy to score, tying the game.

Then, with the game tied in the top of the 6th, Murphy hit a solo homerun. That was all the Mets needed to advance to the National League Championship Series. If there was a Most Valuable Player awarded in the League Division Series, Daniel Murphy would have that title. He has been hot throughout the series and his heads-up base-running in Game Five may have won the game and the series for the Mets.

Once again Dodgers fans are left disappointed. Their team, with so much fire power and such great pitching, didn’t make it to the World Series. There’s always next year, they say.

After the game, Mets manager said the Dodgers are a good team, adding, “I told everybody; you come into a series, a five game series, and you gotta see Kershaw twice and Greinke twice and you win it — you better enjoy it because that’s hard to do.”

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The Mets will meet the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field in New York on Saturday. The American League Championship Series begins Friday in Kansas City as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Royals.

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UPDATE: The Kansas City Royals won the first game of the American League Championship Series, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0. Edison Volquez got the start for Kansas City and pitched the best game of his career.

Marco Estrada started for the Blue Jays and allowed three runs in five and a third innings.

(L.A. Post-Examiner Staff contributed to this article)

(Photos by Claudia Gestro)