Mets clean sweep to World SeriesCHICAGO - The New York Mets booked a place in the World Series with an 8-3 victory on Wednesday that completed a 4-0 series sweep of Chicago, extending the Cubs’ extraordinary history of playoff futility.
Daniel Murphy hit a home run for the sixth straight playoff game to set a new major league record and help the Mets into the World Series for the first time in 15 years.
“I can’t explain it,’’ Murphy said. “It’s such a blessing to contribute to what we’ve been able to do.’’
The Mets will meet the winner of the American League Championship Series which stands at 3-2 in favor of Kansas City after Toronto won 7-1 on Wednesday to stay alive and send the series back to Kansas City.
New York quickly silenced an expectant crowd at Wrigley Field when Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the second. The Cubs had some glimpses at a comeback - loading the bases with no outs in the fourth inning - but exited the postseason wondering when the club might end its run of no World Series victories since 1908.
“They did not let us up for air at any point,’’ Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “Their domination of the early part of the game and their pitching was impressive.’’
By wrapping up the National League Championship Series so quickly, the Mets have no restriction on when to deploy their impressive starting pitching options in the World Series. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard will all be fully rested for the opening three games.
Murphy had another superb game with four hits, but it looked as if his chance had gone to set a record for successive playoff games with homers. Then in the eighth inning he connected for a two-run drive over center field. He has finished with four hits and batted .529 (9 for 17) in the series.
Duda doubled twice and Travis d’Arnaud also homered as the Mets won their fifth NL pennant. Bartolo Colon pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for his first playoff win since 2001, for Cleveland at Seattle. The 14 years, 12 days between postseason victories for the 42-year-old set a new major league record.
In Toronto, Marco Estrada restricted Kansas City to one hit over the first seven innings to steer the Blue Jays to a 7-1 win against the Royals and keep their World Series hopes alive.
“It’s the start that we needed,’’ shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. “They’re a great team over there. We know that. But this guy kept them off balance and allowed the offense to settle in and get some runs.’’ AP