Daniel Murphy took advantage of a botched defensive play and provided more clutch hitting, as the New York Mets won the decisive Game 5 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, 3-2. The Mets, who will make their first trip to the National League Championship series since 2006, will face the Chicago Cubs on Saturday at Citi Field.
Things looked promising for the Dodgers early on. Despite going down 1-0 in the first inning after allowing a double by Murphy that scored Curtis Granderson, Los Angeles answered back with two runs on four consecutive singles against Jacob deGrom.
DeGrom continued to look fazed as the game progressed in the early innings, and manager Terry Collins had Noah Syndergaard warming up in the bullpen in case the Dodgers continued to hit the star right hander. But deGrom would battle his way out of jams as a pitchers' duel with Greinke ensued.
Pitching became secondary at a critical juncture in the fourth inning, as the Dodgers' defense committed a terrible mistake. With a shift on for Lucas Duda at the plate, and Murphy on first base, Greinke walked Duda. But Murphy, noticing the Dodgers defense not returning to cover third base, advanced to third. On the next at-bat, Travis d'Arnaud singled home Murphy to draw the Mets even to a shocked sellout crowd in L.A.
Murphy would provide more fireworks later. After hitting a solo shot against Clayton Kershaw in Game 1, Murphy would rip a 393-foot solo shot to right field in the sixth inning.
"What a team win," Murphy said. "It felt like everybody got a piece of this one."
After Syndergaard pitched a shutout seventh, closer Jeurys Familia would pitch two perfect innings to close out the Dodgers.
"Something doesn't go right and we bounce back. We've done it all year long -- tremendous heart," said Collins.
The Mets are seeking their first World Series since 1986. New York will be facing a Cubs squad that is coming off a 3-1 series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs won every games against the Mets in the regular season.