The New York Mets take a 2-0 lead in the NLCS with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, as Daniel Murphy continues to be a surprising home run hero and Noah Syndergaard keeps the streak of impressive starts going on the mound.
The Mets dominating the Cubs for a second straight night might be the perfect proof that pitching is the most important thing in the postseason. The Cubs bats wouldn’t keep quiet during the previous series against the Cardinals but haven’t been able to get anything going in New York. They finished with just five hits the entire game 2, three of them coming off Syndergaard, who struck out nine in less than six innings.
Kris Bryant was the only one who got something going, hitting a double to left field in the sixth inning with Dexter Fowler scoring. The Cubs got two more hits after that, but couldn’t advance the runners with Jeurys Familia picking up his second save in two days. Momentum is more important than home field in baseball, and the Mets, with their hitting and their players on the mound, are certainly carrying it going into Wrigley Field.
Jake Arrieta disappointed for the second time in the playoffs. His ability from the wild card game is long forgotten. He didn’t last six innings this time, allowing four hits and four runs before getting taken off for the much better Travis Wood. The first inning alone was his problem in the game, as David Wright pulled off the first RBI before Murphy, one of the most unlikely hitting heroes of the last few years, hit a two run homer to give the Mets and Syndergaard the cushion they needed.
Curtis Granderson scored his second run of the game in the 4th inning as Yoenis Cespedes hit an infield single which allowed Granderson (1-for-3) to reach home once again. The Cubs were just 1-for-4 with runners in scoring positions. They simply didn’t advance anyone for most of the game. It was interesting to see that both teams didn’t get anything out of the guys 5-through-9 in their lineups. The Mets players only did a lot more with 1-through-4.
The Cubs are running out of time to jump start their hitting game, but maybe a change of scenery will do them some good. Manager Joe Maddon spoke about the one-game winning streak they need to make happen. For the Mets, it’s all about their starting pitchers, who seem to be impossible to get around at the moment: They don’t have the credentials that Kershaw and Greinke and Lester and Arrieta have, but they’re going to be good pitchers. We think we can stack up with anybody.