Battle of the Aces, Utley Slide, and Dan Murphy
In playoff sports, there are moments that happen that would make you wonder if you’re watching a game or a movie. The plot develops, villains are created, and heroes are born. The end comes and goes, and then it’s onto the next one. If that’s the case, then the New York Mets have one hell of a script to what I think was an amazin’ baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cue the flashback.
In order to understand the theatrics behind this series, you have to start from the beginning. From the get, both teams are stacked with pitching. The Mets have Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz. On the other side, the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Both teams are also set when it came to bats as well. This was as even of a match up as you were going to get, and both teams were hungry to get that W. It all would come down to who would make the first mistake.
You May Be Wright, I May Be Crazy
The first game was a 3-1 victory from the Mets that came off of a 2 run single in the 6th inning from David Wright and after both deGrom and Kershaw threw absolute monster games. deGrom striking out 13 and Kershaw 11. Game two was the game that instantly made this series a rivalry after Chase Utley slid into Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada, leading to Tejada leaving the game with a broken leg. In my opinion, that was a dirty slide, and Utley should’ve been ashamed at himself. The Dodgers may have won the battle, but the Mets were more focused on the war.
Game three was the first game in Citi Field, and the first one after the Utley slide. You know that New York was electric and the fans were ready to support their squad. Behind the spirit of their fans and the rally of their bats, the Mets went on to spank the Dodgers in game three 13-7, putting them up 2-1 in the series with hopes of winning the series in game 4. In the movies, this is where the good guys prevail, right? Not so fast.
In game 4 with the same flow of adrenaline flowing through Citi Field, the Mets looked as if they were ready to clinch the series and move on to Chicago to see the Cubs. Kershaw was dealing straight cheddar and quieted all of New York that night as they took a close game 4 by a score of 3-1. Matz was credited with the loss, but played a spectacular game nonetheless. With the tides turned just before a crucial game 5, the Dodgers looked as if they were ready to pop champagne in Dodgers Stadium.
de-Day & Marvelous Murphy
deGrom got the nod to start, and Greinke as well for the final installment of this series. deGrom seemed to have lost a little control of his pitching, resulting in giving up two runs in the first inning. It took a few people on base for the next couple of innings to shake deGrom out of his rut as he started to get more control of his game. Ah, my favorite part of the movie.
While deGrom ran the defensive aspect of the game, Daniel Murphy ran the offense. He doubled in a run at his first at bat, then followed it up with what I think was the play that changed the game. After getting a single and Duda walking, Murphy trotted to second while at the same time planning his shot at rounding third. He checked to make sure timeout wasn’t called and proceeded to sprint to third, which was left vacant after the infield shift for Duda. Murphy scored the tying run on a sac fly, and then went into the dugout. This is where Clark Kent would become Superman.
Greinke proceeded to make the Mets look stupid. He left hot hitters David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, and Duda 0-10 with seven strikeouts. Cue “The Amazin’ Murphy”. With a home run against Kershaw in games 1 and 4, it would only be right that he’d end their last duel in style. As his home run screamed over the right field wall, Dodgers Stadium grew silent. With the pitching perfection of Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia, the Mets would hold the Dodgers off to a 3-2 victory in game 5. Cue closing credits.
The Mets went on to celebrate bathing in champagne, jumping and dancing for joy with their snowboard goggles on, and relished in the moment that was clinching the NLDS. The celebration will be short-lived; however. They now travel to Chicago to take on the Cubs who are eyeing their first World Series appearance since 1908. Will the Mets shut them down, or will the curse of the Billy Goat be broken? Stick around for the sequel, folks. LETS GO SCOTT!