The Chicago Cubs return home in a desperate position, and fans can watch live online as they welcome the New York Mets to Wrigley Field in need of a win to give their top starting pitchers another chance to against the Mets lineup, led by New York’s newest Mr. October, 30-year-old second baseman Daniel Murphy. The seven-year veteran, playing in his first postseason, had 14 home runs in 538 plate appearances during the regular season.
But, Murphy has already blasted five round-trippers in this postseason, in just 29 plate appearances — including what proved to be the game-winning blow in Game Two on Sunday, a three run blast in the first inning against Cubs Cy Young candidate Jake Arrieta — the fourth straight postseason game in which Murphy has homered.
In Game One, Murphy blasted a home run off the Cubs other ace, lefty Jon Lester. In the ALDS against Los Angeles Dodgers, the Jacksonville, Florida, native who was not picked by the Mets until the 13th round of the 2006 draft, went deep of Dodgers’ co-aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
“He’s about as locked in as I’ve seen a hitter,” Mets third baseman and captain David Wright said on Monday.
To find out how to watch the New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs National League Championship Series Game Three live online, see the streaming info in the final paragraph of this article. The game gets underway on Tuesday, October 20, at 7:07 p.m. Central Time at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago, which is 8:07 p.m. Eastern Time, 5:07 Pacific.
The Cubs expectations coming to the series were that Lester and Arrieta could pitch the first two games and win at least one of the two, if not both, on the road in Citi Field. But, Murphy and the Mets threw a wrench into those works by winning both behind strong starts from Matt Harvey and rookie Noah Syndergaard.
Now the Mets throw another of their “ace” starters in on Tuesday — 27-year-old righty Jacob deGrom, last season’s NL Rookie of the Year who overcame a shaky first to throw six strong innings for the win in the decisive NLDS Game Five against the Dodgers last Thursday — aided by, what else, a home run by Murphy that again became the game-winner in the 3-2 affair.
The Cubs are left with 25-year-old, second-year righty Kyle Hendricks, who lasted just 4 2/3 innings in Game Two of the Cubs NLDS series against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing three runs, all on solo homers.
For those wondering, Hendricks has faced the suddenly red-hot Murphy just six times in his career, allowing Murphy a double, but nothing else.
Jacob deGrom has struggled against the Cubs in his limited experience against them, losing both games he started against Chicago this year. He allowed four runs each time out, and lasted just five and 5 1/3 innings respectively, on May 11 and July 2.
How hard will it be on the Cubs to get back to the World Series for the first time since 1945 if they lose on Tuesday — even if they are able to get Lester and Arrieta one more start each in the series?
In the history of Major League Baseball, 32 best-of-seven postseason series have started with one team winning the first three games. Only once has the team that lost the first three ever come back to win four in a row. That was the 2004 Boston Red Sox, a team assembled by then-General Manager Theo Epstein, who is now the Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations.
To watch Game Three of the New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs National League Championship Series live online and see if the Cubs can pull themselves back into the series by beating Mets’ All-Star starting pitcher Jacob deGrom — or if the Mets can take a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead in the seven-game series, go to the WatchTBS site at this link. Login credentials from a cable or satellite provider will be required to access the live stream. To watch the New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs NLCS Game Three on mobile devices, download the WatchTBS app.
[Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com] [Photo By Al Bello/Getty Images]