Mets defeat Cubs
4 games to 0
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 17||NYM 4||CHC 2|
|2||Oct. 18||NYM 4||CHC 1|
|3||Oct. 20||NYM 5||CHC 2|
|4||Oct. 21||NYM 8||CHC 3|
Managers: Terry Collins, NYM; Joe Maddon, CHC
MVP: Daniel Murphy
Path to the NLCS
NLDS: New York over Los Angeles (3 games to 2); Chicago over St. Louis (3 games to 1)
In Joe Maddon's first year as manager, the Cubs improved by 24 wins in the regular season. With a young nucleus that included NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber and pitching stars Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, it seemed like this might finally be the year the Cubs returned to the World Series.
Alas, that thrilling storyline would have to wait one more year to reach fruition. Daniel Murphy and an incredible young Mets pitching staff had sudden plans of their own. A team considered in the preseason to have slim hopes of perhaps reaching the postseason not only overpowered the Nationals to win the NL East but also won the NL pennant for the first time since 2000.
Few could have expected a sweep in this NLCS, especially given the Cubs' giant leap from 2014 and given the way they manhandled their rival Cardinals in the NLDS. But the Mets were peaking at the right time, and no one personified that more than their veteran second baseman.
Murphy not only homered in all four games against the Cubs, but his eighth-inning homer in the clincher made it six consecutive games going deep to set the Major League postseason record, breaking a tie with Carlos Beltran (2004). That also made Murphy the first player to record at least one extra-base hit and one RBI in six consecutive postseason games.
After homering 14 times during the entire regular season, Murphy already had half that number heading into the World Series against Kansas City. His sensational run was seemingly contagious, too, as the Mets hit 14 home runs through the first two rounds of the playoffs to set a new club record for a single postseason. First baseman Lucas Duda, who hit one of the three clinch-game homers, joined Beltran, Fred McGriff, Pedro Guerrero and Johnny Bench as the only players to drive in five runs in a series-clinching game.
The Mets not only swept the Cubs, but they also never trailed at any point in the entire series. In doing so, they became just the sixth team to sweep a best-of-seven series without ever trailing, joining the 2012 Tigers, '04 Red Sox, 1989 Athletics, '66 Orioles and '63 Dodgers.
Meanwhile, it was the Mets' dominance on the mound that really made this a surprisingly lopsided series. The Cubs scored two, one, two and three runs in order over the series, and they batted a collective .164 in the four games. Except for Jorge Soler (5-for-12), no Cub found a comfort zone at the plate.
Mets starters Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz were dazzling in consecutive order of appearance. All-Star closer Jeurys Familia recorded saves in each of the first three wins and then put the finishing touches on an 8-3 clincher. Familia struck out Dexter Fowler looking at Wrigley Field and then fell to his knees, as the Amazins' headed back at last to the Fall Classic. The Cubs, meanwhile, would do a little tweaking and be back for something far more special in the following year.