The Mets took Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cubs at Citi Field Saturday night behind a brilliant performance by Matt Harvey and Daniel Murphy’s bat and glove.
Murphy continued his incredible playoffs with a solo home run in the first inning to give the Mets an early lead. It was Murphy’s fourth homer of the post-season.
Matt Harvey did not allow a baserunner until the fifth, when he hit lead off batter Anthony Rizzo on an 0-2 pitch. Starlin Castro followed with the first hit against Harvey — a liner over the head of Juan Lagares, who misjudged the ball. Rizzo scored all the way from first to tie the score. With one out, Javier Baez singled to left. Castro foolishly tested Yoenis Cespedes’s arm — he was easily out. Baez stole second and advanced to third when Travis d’Arnaud’s throw sailed into center field. It wasn’t the worst thing because then there was room to intentionally walk David Ross to face Jon Lester. He struck out to end the inning.
The Mets answered right back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Wilmer Flores and Lagares each singled to put runners on first and second. Harvey bunted right back to the pitcher, who got Flores at third. Kris Bryant dropped the ball on the transfer, which killed a likely inning-ending double play. Curtis Granderson made him pay, singling to score Lagares to make it 2-1.
Travis d’Arnaud made it 3-1 in the sixth with a mammoth home run to dead center field.
Lagares led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. Harvey was allowed to bat, which was a bit of a surprise — he had already thrown 91 through seven. He was able to get Lagares to second. Lagares stole third, which was huge because Granderson then hit a fly ball to left. Kyle Schwarber made a nice throw but Lagares just beat it to extend the lead to 4-1.
With two outs in the eighth Schwarber hit a 459-foot bomb to right to make it a 4-2 game and end Harvey’s night. Jeurys Familia came on and walked Bryant. He was able to get Rizzo to ground out to end the inning.
Harvey threw 7.2 splendid innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out nine.
Familia got the first two outs of the ninth but then allowed a single. Tommy La Stella came up representing the potential tying run. He hit a shot to Murphy, who made a great play and then threw him out at first to end the game.
Mets win 4-2. Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday night in Flushing.