Mets again shut down Cubs, move within one win of World Series

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Put the sweep watch in effect for this best-of-seven National League Championship Series between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs.

Jacob deGrom delivered seven solid innings and Daniel Murphy went yard for a record-tying fifth consecutive postseason game as the Mets defeated the host Cubs 5-2 in Game 3 of the NLCS on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field to move within one victory of a World Series berth.

Cubs rookie slugger Kyle Schwarber hit an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the first inning and Jorge Soler cranked a no-doubter to right-center in the bottom of the fourth, but they were both solo shots and that’s all the offense the suddenly-shaky Cubs could muster. They scored just one run in NLCS Game 2 and two runs in NLCS Game 1 after bombing the rival Cardinals in the National League Division Series.

Defense was also an issue for the Cubs on Tuesday night, with Jorge Soler, Miguel Montero, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber all committing blunders.

Soler’s misplay in right field could have been especially ugly, but Wilmer Flores‘ sinking line drive rolled all the way to the Wrigley Field ivy and Dexter Fowler threw his hands up in the air rather than trying to retrieve it. That prevented Michael Conforto from scoring from first base, as the Wrigley Field ground rules state that the hitter and any runners get exactly two bases when the ivy becomes involved in a play.

There is no room for umpire discretion unless the fielder intentionally places a ball into those lush green vines.

Steven Matz will be on the mound for the Mets in Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night at Wrigley and it’ll be Jason Hammel for the Cubs. This would be the Mets’ first trip to the Fall Classic since 2000, when they fell to the crosstown Yankees in the Subway Series.