Mets second basemen Daniel Murphy homered for the fourth game in a row this postseason, leading his team to a 4-1 victory and 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven National League Championship Series against the Cubbies.
And so the Cubs find themselves in an 0-2 hole despite having sent their two best pitchers, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, to the hill in the first two games of the series, and now must turn the ball over to the perfectly cromulent Kyle Hendricks. In his previous playoff start, against St. Louis, Hendricks gave up just 4 hits and no walks while striking out 7—trouble was, it was over 4 2/3 innings, and three of the hits were homers. That said, the Cubs hung on to win, 6-3.
The Mets, meanwhile, are only now sending their ace to the hill. Jacob DeGrom has been great thus far in the playoffs, going 2-0, with 13 innings, 11 hits, 2 runs, and 20 strikeouts in two starts against the Dodgers. He is now, of course, going against a decidedly more potent Cubs lineup, and in the hitter-friendly environs of Wrigley Field. The last time deGrom was on Chicago’s North Side, on May 11, he got lit up for 4 runs in just 5 innings, surrendering home runs to both Anthony Rizzo and likely NL Rookie of the Year, Kris Bryant.
A loss tonight, and the Cubs will find themselves in a hole from which only one team in Major League history has escaped.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.