The New York Mets scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back as they won Game 4 over the Chicago Cubs, 8-3. With the victory, the Mets swept the Cubs to win the National League Championship Series and advance to the World Series.
Lucas Duda got the scoring started as he dropped a three-run shot to center field, scoring Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes.
The first round pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Travis d'Arnaud, went back-to-back with Duda. The 26-year-old hit a solo shot to right center, which made it 4-0 in the first inning.
Duda, 29, drove in his fifth RBI over the span of two innings on a double to right that scored two of his teammates, including David Wright, to make it 6-0. Duda was just 3-for-24 in the postseason coming into Game 4, but may have found his groove with the impressive outing on Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with five RBI.
Chicago's starting pitcher, Jason Hammel, was chased after 1.1 innings of work. The 33-year-old right-hander gave up five runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out just one batter.
The Cubs found the board in the fourth inning as rookie Kyle Schwarber grounded out, but it was enough for an RBI. Jorge Soler, who finished the game 3-for-4, scored on the ground out off the bat of Schwarber.
Besides Soler, Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo were the only players from Chicago to get a hit against New York's pitching staff. The Cubs never led during the NLCS, which mightily hurt their chances to win.
"They did not let us up for air at any point," Chicago's manager Joe Maddon said. "Their domination of the early part of the game and their pitching was impressive."
Rookie left-handed pitcher Steven Matz was handed the ball in an opportunity to take the Mets to the World Series. He completed his duties, allowing one run on four hits and two walks over 4.2 innings pitched against Chicago.
Coming into the game, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was tied with Carlos Beltran for the most consecutive postseason games with a home run. Beltran made the mark in history in 2004 with the Houston Astros.
With both Beltran and Murphy tied at five consecutive postseason games with a home run, Murphy cranked a two-run home run to center field in the eighth inning against the Cubs.
The home run was on a 1-1 pitch from Chicago's reliever Fernando Rodney to break the record and extend New York's lead to 8-1. Murphy is slashing .421/.436/1.026 in the postseason and will hope to continue swinging a hot bat as they head into the World Series.
"I can't explain it. It's such a blessing to contribute to what we've been able to do," Murphy said.
With his incredible display in this series, Daniel Murphy was named the NLCS MVP. In four games, Murphy hit .529 with four home runs and six RBI.
The last run of the game was scored by the Cubs, but they could not find momentum to get the victory. Possible National League Rookie of the Year, Kris Bryant, knocked a two-run shot to left center, which scored Soler. Bryant finished with a .214 batting average in the NLCS.
Jeurys Familia would come on in the ninth and close it down for the fourth-straight game in the series.
The Mets have advanced to the 2015 World Series with the victory and four-game sweep of the Cubs. This is the first World Series appearance for the Mets since the 2000 Subway series against the New York Yankees.
New York will battle either the Kansas City Royals or the Toronto Blue Jays.
"This is a long time coming," Wright said. "We've been through some bad times. We've been through Septembers where you're just playing out the schedule, and that's no fun. To be able to completely reverse that 180 and now celebrate and get a chance to go to the World Series, I wish I could bottle it all. I really do. That's an emotion I'll never forget."
Currently, the Royals lead the series 3-2 over the Blue Jays. Game 6 of the American League Championship Series will be played on Friday, October 23 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.