The New York Mets completed a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series with an 8-3 rout on Wednesday. It put them into the World Series for the first time since 2000.
Daniel Murphy added to his spectacular post-season by belting a home run, for an MLB-record sixth game in a row, while first baseman, Lucas Duda, came out of a slump to drive-in five runs in the first two innings, to lift the Mets.
Murphy, who hit four home runs and drove-in six during the series, was named ‘most valuable player’ of the league championship.
Mets captain, David Wright, said he and his team mates were excited about having a chance to win the team’s first MLB title in 29 years. “When you grow up, as a kid, and you think about playing in the World Series, you’re in your backyard with your Whiffle Ball bat saying, ‘Game Seven, full count and bases loaded’,” Wright said, admiring with a huge grin his new World Series cap.
“And now we get to experience it! Are you kidding me? It just feels too good to be true.”
New York will play the winner of the American League Championship Series, between the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays, in the best-of-seven World Series, starting next Tuesday.
The Toronto Blue Jays got a pitching masterpiece from Marco Estrada, in a one-sided, 7-1 win on Wednesday, to keep their season alive and put the Kansas City Royals’ hopes of securing a World Series berth on hold.
Estrada allowed three hits and one run in 7-2/3 innings, and faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings, as Toronto pulled to within 3-2 in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
The Royals will get another chance to clinch their second consecutive trip to the World Series, tonight, when the series resumes in Kansas City. The loss to New York meant the young, hard-hitting Cubs would have to wait at least one more season to carry the frustrated franchise back to the Fall Classic, which they last played 70 years ago.
Cubs supporters have uttered the phrase ‘wait till next year’ perhaps more than any other fans in baseball, with their team’s championship drought stretching to 107 years. However, the 2015 Cubs have given Chicago’s north-side faithful reason to believe that their wait for a title, the longest in US professional sports, may soon end.
While the Cubs’ clubhouse was disappointed after the defeat, there were real signs of hope. With a talented, young roster, a deeply committed front office, and a series of upgrades to home ballpark, Wrigley Field, which team owners hope will attract top talent, the Cubs appear likely to be contenders for years to come. Further fuelling that optimism is something the club gained this year that money cannot buy — post-season experience. “Our young players have learned how to win on a Major League level, which matters,” manager, Joe Maddon, said. “And to get within four games of the World Series in your freshman year is not a bad thing.”
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