Welcome back, everyone. Last night, this year’s first ticket to the World Series was punched. In surprisingly dominant fashion, the New York Mets won the National League pennant over the Chicago Cubs. In case you missed my NLCS Preview, this is NOT how I envisioned the series going, at all. Let’s break it down.
Chicago Cubs (97-65) vs. New York Mets (90-72)
New York wins series 4-0
After running through the team with the MLB’s best record with relative ease in the NLDS, I expected much bigger things from the Cubs here in the NLCS. Instead, the Cubs high-powered offense only managed to push across 8 runs in the series, slashing .164/.225/.297 as a team. For comparison’s sake, Daniel Murphy’s BA in the series was higher than the Cubs’ OPS was. That not only speaks to how awful the Cubs hit, but also how well Murphy hit – but we’ll get to that later. Only one player on the Cubs hit above .250, and that was Jorge Soler. The 23-year-old outfielder continued his impressive 2015 postseason by finishing with a line of .417/.417/.833 over three games, with a home run, a pair of doubles, an RBI, and three runs scored. Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber combined to hit three homers, drive in six, and draw four walks against ten strikeouts in the series but only hit a combined 5-for-28 in the series (Schwarber’s two HR were his only hits). The Cubs pitching wasn’t much better, finishing with a team ERA of 5.56, allowing 46 baserunners over 34 innings and 21 runs (all earned). Cubs starters (Lester, Arrieta, Hendricks, Hammel) combined to allow 21 hits, 15 runs (all earned), six walks, and 18 strikeouts over 17 innings. Clayton Richard might have been the only bright spot for Cubs hurlers in the series, appearing in all four games and allowing no runs with two strikeouts in four innings. The Mets, obviously, fared quite better than the Cubs in this series, and it was all driven by the hot, powerful bat of Yoenis Cespedes. Wait, no, I meant Curtis Granderson. No? Lucas Duda? Nope. All wrong. The owner of the absurd .529/.556/.1.294 slash line is none other than Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. After hitting 14 home runs in the regular season, Murphy has exploded for seven this postseason, including one in every game of the NLCS and one in six games in a row dating back to NLDS Game 4. That, folks, is an MLB record. In the NLCS, Murphy compiled the aforementioned four dingers, six RBI, nine hits, and scored six runs. Lucas Duda and David Wright each hit a pair of doubles in the series, and Duda added a three-run home run in the first inning of Game 4 to begin the end for the Cubs. Wright also accounted for four of the Mets’ 11 walks, and Travis d’Arnaud tacked on a pair of solo home runs in the series. The Mets’ pitching didn’t disappoint either, and the starting quartet of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz put together led the way. The four New York starters combined to allow just 15 hits, six walks, and six runs over 25 innings. The group also struck out 29 batters, including nine a piece from Syndergaard and Harvey. If that wasn’t enough to impress you, the Mets’ bullpen gave up a grand total of six hits, three walks, and two runs over 11 innings in the series – and the two runs didn’t come until Game 4, when Tyler Clippard allowed a two-run jack to Kris Bryant with the score already sitting at 8-1 Mets. Overall, the boys from Flushing, Queens looked quite impressive in their four games against Chicago. The Mets await the winner of the ALCS, which is currently sitting in the hands of the Royals, who own a 3-2 lead over Toronto with the final two games being played in Kansas City.
Original Prediction: Cubs in 7
Result: Mets in 4
I really missed the mark with this one. Coming off a strong NLDS against a very good Cardinals team, I expected to Cubs to have the momentum to outduel the Mets. Instead, the Mets held the advantage over the entirety of the series (literally, the Cubs never had a lead in any of the four games). Appearing in their first World Series since 2000, I expect the Mets to at least put up a very strong battle against whoever wins the AL pennant. No baseball tonight, unfortunately, but don’t worry. ALCS Game 6 featuring a matchup between power arms David Price and Yordano Ventura is just a day away. I’ll be up in the central Maine woods this weekend, so there likely won’t be any new content until Sunday or Monday. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of the ALCS!
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.