Mets defeat Cubs 4-2 behind Matt Harvey’s stellar outing to take the first game of the NLCS

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Matt Harvey pitched 7 2/3 dominant innings for the Mets as they took down the Cubs 4-2 on Saturday night in the opening game of the NLCS at Citi Field. It’s the Mets’ first Championship Series win since Game 6 in 2006 against the Cardinals.

Daniel Murphy opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run off of Cubs starter Jon Lester. Curtis Granderson broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth with an RBI single. Travis d'Arnaud tacked on a monster solo homer in the sixth and Granderson contributed a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Harvey hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch to open up the fifth, then gave up a double to center field off the bat of Starlin Castro in the top of the fifth, leading to the first of his two runs. With two outs in the eighth, Harvey served up a no-doubt solo homer to right-center to Kyle Schwarber before exiting the game. He finished allowing the two runs on four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. Lester lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Closer Jeurys Familia took over for Harvey with two outs in the eighth and walked Kris Bryant, but got out of the inning when Anthony Rizzo grounded out to shortstop. In the ninth, Familia got Starlin Castro to pop up and Jorge Soler to strike out for two quick outs. Miguel Montero kept hope alive with a single, which ended a streak of 18 consecutive batters retired in the post-season by Familia. Daniel Murphy made an outstanding play on a Tommy La Stella well-struck one-hopper to end the game with a 4-2 win for the Mets.

Murphy’s homer was his fourth this post-season, tying a Mets post-season record.

The two squads will face off in Game 2 of the NLDS on Sunday at 8:00 PM EDT. Jake Arrieta will start for the Cubs against Noah Syndergaard of the Mets.

Gallegos agrees to $11M, 2-year contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.