Chavez Ravine was the scene for a winner take all matchup in game five of the NLDS between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers with a trip to the NLCS to face the Chicago Cubs on the line.
The two sides sent two of their best starters to the bump which set the stage for a great matchup with two teams playing for the right to move on in the postseason. With two aces on the mound, scoring was expected to be hard to come by, but that was not the case early on.
The Mets jumped on Dodgers starter Zack Greinke right off of the bat in the first inning. Daniel Murphy was Greinke's kryptonite Thursday night and he started it off with an RBI double scoring Curtis Granderson to give the Mets the early 1-0 lead.
With Jacob deGrom on the hill for the Mets, Los Angeles already had an uphill battle as they were down 1-0 before they even had their first at bat, but they jumped on deGrom right away like the Mets did on Greinke.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Justin Turner and Andre Ethier scoring Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez respectively, gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
DeGrom then settled in nicely throwing six innings giving up two runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking three, before he was pinch hit for in the top of the seventh. It wasn't the normal deGrom like we normally see, but he got done what needed to be done.
The Mets, however, roughed up Greinke for two more runs before his night was done.
In the fourth inning, the Dodgers defense shifted over to defend Lucas Duda who usually pulls the ball to the right side. Duda got walked and Daniel Murphy was the runner on first. After Duda was walked, Murphy obviously advances to second, but he alertly took third base because no one was covering third. That put Murphy in a great scoring spot and the next batter, Travis d'Arnaud, was able to come up with a clutch sac-fly to right field to tie the game up at 2-2.
Then in the sixth inning, Daniel Murphy kept his good night going as he blasted a solo home run to right field off of Greinke to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. This ball was crushed off of the bat and according to Statcast, had an exit velocity of 106 MPH while traveling 382 feet.
The Mets needed a bridge reliever to get them to the latter two innings, and Mets manager Terry Collins decided to go with starter Noah Syndergaard to take on the seventh inning. He had an easy inning and the Dodgers were running out of time heading into the eighth inning.
Then in the eighth inning, Collins didn't want anyone else in his bullpen but his closer Jeurys Familia to preserve the lead for New York. He came on in the eighth and went 1-2-3 to set up an epic ninth inning with the Mets holding a one run lead.
After everything that has gone on in this series, Chase Utley was the first batter to greet Familia in a pinch hit role, but he was able to retire Utley for the first out. The final three outs are always the hardest to get, but Familia made it look easy as he pitched two perfect innings to preserve the win for the Mets and send them on their way to the NLCS to face the Cubs.
Daniel Murphy provided the offense with a 3-for-4 night with two RBI and a solo home run, while the pitching held its own as they have done throughout to send the Mets on to the NLCS.
The NLCS between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets gets underway Saturday in New York at Citi Field at 7:30 PM EST on TBS.
WP: Jacob deGrom
LP: Zach Greinke
SV: Jeurys Familia