Division Series NL5: NYM vs. LAD — And it was onto the Championship Series…

Going into tonight’s game, I had a few assumptions that actually proved to be true. (Don’t worry, I’m just as shocked as you are.) First, that both starting pitchers were going to keep the scores fairly low. And second, that the game would hinge on the swing of the bat of Mets’ infielder Murphy. As I’ve said before, I like being right.

NLDS 5 — Mets at Dodgers

The Mets sent up deGrom once again to keep things alive for the Mets, while the Dodgers looked to Greinke for their shot at this final game of the series. The winner would face the Cubs in the NLCS. I should remind everyone now that the Mets and the Dodgers have two of the best starting pitching staffs I’ve seen in a very long time. I mean, between the comic book superheroes on the East Coast and the Cy Young award winners on the West, most games between these teams will result in some kind of ridiculous pitching duel.

Both got their soft spots over with early, in the 1st inning. In the top of the 1st, the Mets led-off with a single (that was called an out, challenged, and overturned) that scored on an RBI double and fielding error. That double was the first of Murphy’s 3 hits tonight that gave the Mets an easy lead. But the Dodgers came back with four consecutive singles that scored 2 runs to push them ahead of the Mets.

Both pitchers threw with a fury trying to keep those scores low. But the Mets came back in the 4th inning with Murphy’s lead-off single. He moved to 2nd on a 1-out walk, stole 3rd base (just because he could), and then scored on a sacrifice fly to tie up the game. And then he pushed the Mets ahead with his 1-out solo home run in the 6th inning. Murphy actually fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle tonight (a cycle is a single, a double, a triple, and a home run hit by a single batter in a single game), something no postseason batter has ever done, by the way.

Anyway, when deGrom exited the game after 6 innings, he was looking for the bullpen to carry his win all the way into the LCS. Greinke pitched into the 7th inning before a reliever was called on to finish off the 7th (he came awfully close to giving up even more of the lead in that inning though). His relievers were just stellar all the way through the 9th inning, with over 40,000 fans waiting for something, anything out of the offense.

But the Dodgers’ offense just could poke holes in the Mets’ bullpen. Maybe it was because they asked “Thor” to spot start out of the bullpen for the 7th inning. Maybe it was the unexpected in asking their closer for a 6-out outing, when he sometimes struggles with 3-outs. Whatever it was, it clearly worked in the Mets’ favor. And when that final strike was called, the entire stadium fell into a hush. It was near-silent as Dodger fans and players alike were practically frozen in place in their disbelief.

Final score: 3-2 Mets, Mets win series 3-2, advance to NLCS.

The ALCS begins tomorrow (Friday) night, and the NLCS begins Saturday night. They are the best-of-7 series with the Royals and Mets claiming homefield advantage due to their “higher seed” status (or in layman’s terms: they won more regular season games).

My postseason predictions: Well, I haven’t been as successful this postseason as I have been in past seasons. Though I was more accurate in the series lengths than I was in the actual winning teams. At least I knew some of these series would be hard-fought over others.

  • Original predictions:
    • ALDS 1: Rangers over Blue Jays in 5 games
    • ALDS 2: Astros over Royals in 4 games
    • NLDS 1: Cardinals over Cubs in 3 games
    • NLDS 2: Mets over Dodgers in 4 games
  • Reality:
    • ALDS 1: Blue Jays over Rangers in 5 games (I got the series length right!)
    • ALDS 2: Royals over Astros in 5 games (Nope, nothing here.)
    • NLDS 1: Cubs over Cardinals in 4 games (I figured this would be the shortest series.)
    • NLDS 2: Mets over Dodgers in 5 games (Off by one game, but I got the winner!)

And now, I get to make the LCS predictions and make a fool of myself once again. (As you can see, I’m leaning towards a Royals vs. Mets World Series. And wouldn’t that be something interesting?)

  • ALCS: Royals over Blue Jays in 6 games
  • NLCS: Mets over Cubs in 5 games

In Yankee Universe news: Rico Noel has been outrighted to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It means the Yankees want to keep him in their organization. I imagine we’ll be seeing quite a bit of Noel come Spring Training, vying for a spot on the MLB roster.

Go Yankees!

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