Sunday, October 18, 2015

Havery, Murphy and d'Arnaud power Mets to Game 1 win

METS 4
CUBS 2
NYM lead 1-0

Matt Harvey wanted the baseball badly in this National League Championship Series in order to prove a point that in spite of all the controversy that he stirred about innings limits earlier in the year, and in spite of a poor outing in Game 3 of the NLDS, he was ready to show why he was once considered the Mets' ace. 

In Game 1 of the 2015 NLCS against the heavily favored Chicago Cubs, Matt Harvey lived by his moniker the Dark Knight. 

He mowed down the Cubs through the games first four innings, pitching perfect baseball all while fanning six batters in the process. It was a dominant start that sent a powerful message that indeed great pitching from the Mets, could stop the power of the Chicago Cubs. 

Offensively, Daniel Murphy awarded Harvey with a 1-run lead when he corked a solo home run to right, his fourth home run of this postseason to hand New York a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Murphy's home run tied Mike Piazza, Carlos Delgado and Rusty Staub for the most home runs in a post-season by a single Mets player. 

The Cubs eventually got to Harvey in the fifth, tying the game on a RBI double by Starlin Castro, but fortunately for the Mets, the Cubs made a hideous mistake when Castro tested the arm of Yoenis Cespedes in left and was thrown out at home plate. That was huge moment in the game because the Cubs had momentum on their side, and the Mets took it away. 

It didn't take long for the Mets to respond. Back-to-back singles by Wilmur Flores and Juan Lagares set things up very nicely for New York in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Harvey botched an attempted sacrifice, as Cubs starter John Lester threw out Flores at third for a force out, but with two outs Curtis Granderson came up and delivered big time. Granderson lined a single to right-center, scoring Lagares to push the Mets back in front 2-1. 

An inning later, catcher Travis d'Arnaud went yard for a solo shot that went into the apple in dead-center field to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. The Mets would tack on an important insurance run in the seventh when Granderson drove in Lagares on a sac fly to left, thanks in big part to a poorly played hop by catcher Miguel Montero. 

On the hill Harvey continued to dominate the Cubs as the Mets chipped away offensively. He struck out nine batters over 7.2 innings pitched. He made only one mistake a straight-away fastball to Kyle Schwarber who hit an eighth inning home run to make it 4-2, regardless, it was a stellar effort by the Mets ace. 

Jeurys Familia worked around some control issues to get the final four outs of the game, including the final out on Tommy LaStella by which Murphy made a tremendous play to stop a base hit to right. 

The Mets now lead the best-of-seven series 1-0, an important win against a very good Cubs team, who will throw their ace, Jake Arrieta in Game 2. The Mets will counter with Noah Syndergaard. First pitch is just after 8:07 p.m. 

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