Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 24

Strict Standards: Non-static method modFlexiCustomCode::parsePHPviaFile() should not be called statically in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 54

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/noahjames7/public_html/components/com_grid/GridBuilder.php on line 29
Mets 3, Dodgers 2: Mets Hold Off Dodgers to Advance to N.L.C.S.
Jeurys Familia, center, who got the final six outs for the save, with teammates after the Mets eliminated the Dodgers in Game 5 of their division series.Credit Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Zack Greinke glared out to right field, shook his head and massaged a baseball, trying to figure out what he had done wrong. Daniel Murphy had turned on a low, inside fastball, sent it screaming into the seats and then flipped his bat. The Dodger Stadium crowd watched in stunned silence.

Murphy, the workmanlike second baseman, rounded the bases with a stoic look, his jersey covered in dirt. The Mets’ dugout, though, exploded in cheers, and for the first time all night, perhaps, Jacob deGrom, the starter, looked relieved.Murphy’s sixth-inning, solo blast will forever be remembered in Mets lore. It gave the Mets a 3-2 win over the Dodgers and over Greinke, who was perhaps the best pitcher in baseball this season, in the winner-take-all Game 5 of this National League division series.The Mets will face the Chicago Cubs in the league championship series, with Game 1 on Saturday night at Citi Field. Four more wins, and the Mets will advance to their first World Series since 2000. The Mets showed on Thursday that they have the mettle to hang with a powerful Cubs offense.Continue reading the main storyMurphy had a hand in all the Mets’ runs. DeGrom pitched six gutsy innings. Manager Terry Collins guided deGrom with the right touch and made two aggressive moves with his bullpen to seal the win.DeGrom beat Clayton Kershaw with a masterly performance in Game 1, compiling 13 strikeouts in seven shutout innings. But this performance may have been more impressive, given the magnitude of the moment and how deGrom had to fight for every out.DeGrom clearly did not look like himself from the start. His command was off, and his fastball was a few ticks slower. The Dodgers hit four consecutive singles in the first inning, scoring two runs. After the fourth hit, an Andre Ethier blooper, the crowd let out a deafening roar as an angry deGrom yelled into his glove and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig practically danced in the dugout.All the pressure seemed to be on the Mets. This was their first winner-take-all game in nine years, their first since Carlos Beltran struck out swinging against Adam Wainwright in the 2006 N.L.C.S. That had been a flash point in Mets history — most fans of a certain age could tell you where they were when that happened.In the second inning, when Joc Pederson walked and Howie Kendrick reached on a Wilmer Flores error, the Mets started warming Noah Syndergaard in the bullpen. But deGrom struck out Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez on off-speed pitches to strand both runners.Syndergaard started warming again in the third inning when deGrom had runners on the corners with one out. Collins even went out for a second mound conference in the first three innings, and deGrom responded by forcing an inning-ending double play.PhotoMets 3, Dodgers 2: Mets Hold Off Dodgers to Advance to N.L.C.S.

Daniel Murphy, who went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in, stealing an uncovered third base in the fourth inning. He then scored on a sacrifice fly. His sixth-inning home run proved decisive.Credit Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Twice deGrom appeared to be on the verge of getting pulled, and twice Collins left him in.

Murphy single-handedly kept the Mets in the game. After he doubled in a run in his first at-bat, Greinke retired the next eight batters, until Murphy singled in the fourth and scored the Mets’ second run, thanks to his own heads-up base running.

After Lucas Duda worked a walk, Greinke kicked the dirt on the mound and the Dodgers infielders milled about, Murphy touched second base and then sprinted to third, which had been left vacant as the Dodgers shifted to defend the left-handed Duda.

Murphy scored on a sacrifice fly, tying the score, 2-2, which seemed like a gift with the way Greinke was throwing.

Greinke struck out five of the first six batters he faced, and he made about every other Met look foolish. Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright and Duda finished the game 0 for 10, with seven strikeouts.

Over all, Wright and Duda, two of the most important bats in the Mets order, combined to bat 3 for 34, strike out 18 times and drive in just two runs.

Mets 3, Dodgers 2: Mets Hold Off Dodgers to Advance to N.L.C.S.
Curtis Granderson gave the Mets an early edge, scoring on Daniel Murphy’s double after leading off the game with an infield single.Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

But deGrom pitched three more innings on sheer will and did not allow another run. He struck out Seager again to strand a runner in the fourth and, with Syndergaard warming again, deGrom struck out Yasmani Grandal to strand another runner in the fifth.

DeGrom had to make 57 of his 105 pitches with runners in scoring position, and he still lasted six innings, compiled seven strikeouts, and limited the Dodgers long enough for his offense to respond.

Collins finally turned to Syndergaard, the rookie, to pitch the seventh, and it perhaps could not have worked better. Syndergaard retired three of the four batters he faced. When Justin Turner came to bat (he was 3 for 3, with two doubles off deGrom) and Syndergaard struck him out on a curveball.

Before Game 2, Collins had bumped into Sandy Koufax in a hallway in the recesses of Dodger Stadium. Collins had gotten his managerial start in the Dodgers’ organization; he had fond memories listening to Koufax’s stories in spring training.

Koufax and Collins chatted for a few minutes, and as Koufax left, he stopped and complimented Collins to two reporters standing aside. “Is he the manager of the year? I don’t know. I’m not voting,” Koufax said, grinning, with a twinkle in his eye. “But I think so.”

In Game 5, Collins made one last radical decision, bringing on his closer Jeurys Familia to get the final six outs. Familia pitched a perfect eighth and a perfect ninth.

For the final out, Familia struck out Kendrick and hopped up and down on the mound, as his teammates mobbed him, giving the Dodgers fans their own lasting image to remember.

Read more

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 24

Strict Standards: Non-static method modFlexiCustomCode::parsePHPviaFile() should not be called statically in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 54

Find out more by searching for it!

Custom Search

Strict Standards: Non-static method modBtFloaterHelper::fetchHead() should not be called statically in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_bt_floater/mod_bt_floater.php on line 21