2015 National League Division Series
The 2015 National League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams in the 2015 National League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff— played in two series. TBS carried all the games in the United States, with Sportsnet simulcasting TBS coverage for Canada. The Division Series began on October 9 and concluded on October 15. The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals had home field advantage in this round of the playoffs.
These matchups were:
- (1) St. Louis Cardinals (Central Division champion) versus (5) Chicago Cubs (Wild Card winner)
- (2) Los Angeles Dodgers (West Division champion) vs (3) New York Mets (East Division champion)
The higher seeded team in each series hosts Games 1, 2, and 5 (if necessary), and the lower seeded team hosts Games 3 and 4 (if necessary).
The Mets and the Dodgers met for the third time in postseason play, having split the first two meetings (Dodgers won 4–3 in the 1988 NLCS; Mets won 3–0 in the 2006 NLDS). This was the third overall postseason meeting between the Cubs and Cardinals, with the two having met in the 1885 and 1886 World Series, and their first since the Cardinals joined the National League in 1892.
Chicago won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 9||Chicago Cubs – 0, St. Louis Cardinals – 4||Busch Stadium||2:47||47,830|
|2||October 10||Chicago Cubs – 6, St. Louis Cardinals – 3||Busch Stadium||2:57||47,859|
|3||October 12||St. Louis Cardinals – 6, Chicago Cubs – 8||Wrigley Field||3:28||42,411|
|4||October 13||St. Louis Cardinals – 4, Chicago Cubs – 6||Wrigley Field||3:16||42,411|
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets
New York won the series, 3–2.
|1||October 9||New York Mets – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1||Dodger Stadium||3:14||54,428|
|2||October 10||New York Mets – 2, Los Angeles Dodgers – 5||Dodger Stadium||3:24||54,455|
|3||October 12||Los Angeles Dodgers – 7, New York Mets – 13||Citi Field||3:42||44,276|
|4||October 13||Los Angeles Dodgers – 3, New York Mets – 1||Citi Field||2:50||44,183|
|5||October 15||New York Mets – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2||Dodger Stadium||3:13||54,602|
Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis
Game 1, October 9
| WP: John Lackey (1–0) LP: Jon Lester (0–1)|
STL: Tommy Pham (1), Stephen Piscotty (1)
The St. Louis Cardinals shut-out the rival Chicago Cubs 4–0 behind John Lackey's 7⅓ shutout innings in the first meeting between the two in the playoffs. Lackey pitched into the sixth inning with a no-hitter before the Cubs' Addison Russell singled in the seventh. The Cardinals scored first when Matt Holliday hit a RBI single in the first. Lackey and Jon Lester, pitched well as neither team scored again until the eighth inning, when Thomas Pham and Stephen Piscotty homered for the Cardinals to increase the lead to 4–0. The Cubs attempted a comeback in the ninth inning, but the Cardinals secured the victory when Kris Bryant struck out with runners on first and third for the final out of the game.
Game 2, October 10
| WP: Travis Wood (1–0) LP: Jaime García (0–1) Sv: Héctor Rondón (1)|
CHC: Jorge Soler (1)
STL: Matt Carpenter (1), Kolten Wong (1), Randal Grichuk (1)
Searching for their first divisional series game win since 2003 in Game 2 of the series, the Cubs got a two-run home run from Jorge Soler and five second inning runs en route to a 6–3 win. Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia lasted two innings and committed a crucial throwing error on the first of back-to-back successful squeeze bunts by the Cubs in the second inning. With seven strikeouts in 4⅔ innings, Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks pitched well but allowed a home run to the leadoff batter, third baseman Matt Carpenter in the first, and back-to-back solo shots to Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk in the fifth inning. Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill and Hector Rondon worked 4⅓ innings of shutout relief as the Cubs evened the series.
Game 3, October 12
| WP: Jake Arrieta (1–0) LP: Michael Wacha (0–1)|
STL: Jason Heyward (1), Stephen Piscotty (2)
CHC: Kyle Schwarber (1), Starlin Castro (1), Kris Bryant (1), Anthony Rizzo (1), Jorge Soler (2), Dexter Fowler (1)
Jake Arrieta struck out nine Cardinals over 5⅔ innings and served up four runs, the most he has allowed since June 16. But, the Cubs set a Major League playoff record with six home runs in an 8–6 victory. Six different Cubs players homered: Kyle Schwarber in the second inning, Starlin Castro in the fourth, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo back-to-back in the fifth, Jorge Soler in the sixth and Dexter Fowler in the eighth inning. Jason Heyward and Stephen Piscotty hit homers for the Cardinals, and the eight total home runs for both teams set a Major League mark for one postseason game.
Game 4, October 13
| WP: Trevor Cahill (1–0) LP: Kevin Siegrist (0–1) Sv: Hector Rondon (2)|
STL: Stephen Piscotty (3)
CHC: Javier Báez (1), Anthony Rizzo (2), Kyle Schwarber (2)
Eight Chicago Cub pitchers allowed eight hits and combined for fifteen strikeouts and four walks to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals and win a postseason series for the first time ever in Wrigley Field. The game did not start well for the Cubs with the second batter, Stephen Piscotty, hitting a two-run homer. In the bottom of the second inning, starting pitcher Jason Hammel drove in Starlin Castro with a sharp single to center and Addison Russell's replacement at shortstop, Javier Baez followed with a three run homer to right. The Cardinals were resilient and tied the score in the top of the sixth. However, they were prevented from taking the lead by a strong throw by right fielder, Jorge Soler, to catcher Miguel Montero, cutting down Tony Cruz at the plate as he attempted to score the lead run from second. Anthony Rizzo hit a solo go-ahead homer off Cardinal reliever Kevin Siegrist in the bottom of the inning on a two out, 0-2 pitch. Kyle Schwarber added an insurance home run in the seventh inning, also off Siegrist, that landed on top of the new right field Budweiser scoreboard. Pedro Strop in the eighth and Hector Rondon in the ninth struck out four of the seven batters they faced to preserve the 6–4 victory.
Composite line score
|St. Louis Cardinals||4||0||0||2||2||4||0||3||2||17||28||2|
|Total attendance: 180,111 Average attendance: 45,028|
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets
Game 1, October 9
| WP: Jacob deGrom (1–0) LP: Clayton Kershaw (0–1) Sv: Jeurys Familia (1)|
NYM: Daniel Murphy (1)
Jacob deGrom made his postseason debut to open the series for the Mets. He was opposed by reigning Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Misplays by left fielder Michael Cuddyer resulted in doubles for Justin Turner in the second and Corey Seager in the third. deGrom escaped damage in both innings and eventually retired the last 11 batters to face him, exiting after the seventh having shut the Dodgers out allowing five hits and one walk to go along with 13 strikeouts. Kershaw made quick work of the Mets for most of his outing, allowing only a solo home run to Daniel Murphy through his first six innings. However, in the top of seventh, Kershaw uncharacteristically walked three batters, leading to Don Mattingly electing to go to right-hander Pedro Báez to face David Wright with the bases loaded and two out. Wright lined a 3-2 pitch back up the middle against Báez, scoring two runs and making it a 3–0 game to that point. The two runs were charged to Kershaw, who ultimately finished with a line of 6⅔ innings with four hits, three earned runs, four walks, and 11 strikeouts.
The Dodgers got on the board with a two-out RBI single from Adrian Gonzalez in the bottom of the eighth off of Mets reliever Tyler Clippard. With Turner due up as the potential tying run, Terry Collins responded by inserting closer Jeurys Familia into the game for a 4-out save. Turner lined out to first to end the eighth and Familia finished off a spotless ninth for his first career postseason save as the Mets took the series opener, 3–1.
DeGrom's 13 strikeouts tied a Mets post-season franchise record (previously set by Tom Seaver in the 1973 National League Championship Series). He and Kershaw were the first pair of starters to each pitch 11 or more strikeouts in a post-season game and only the second pair to each have double digit strikeouts (along with Mort Cooper and Denny Galehouse in game five of the 1944 World Series).
Game 2, October 10
| WP: Zack Greinke (1–0) LP: Noah Syndergaard (0–1) Sv: Kenley Jansen (1)|
NYM: Yoenis Céspedes (1), Michael Conforto (1)
Looking to even the series, the Dodgers turned to Zack Greinke, who led the league in earned run average in the regular season. The Mets countered with rookie Noah Syndergaard in an attempt to go back to New York with a 2–0 series lead. The Mets scored two in the second off of Greinke on solo home runs by Yoenis Céspedes and rookie Michael Conforto, the latter doing so in his first career postseason at-bat. Greinke was stellar after that, shutting out the Mets and facing the minimum of 15 batters from the third through seventh innings. He allowed five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. However, through six innings, Greinke was out-dueled by Syndergaard, who gave up one run through his first six innings while striking out nine.
Syndergaard and the Mets took a 2–1 lead to the bottom of the seventh. L.A.'s eighth-place hitter, Enrique Hernández, drew a one-out walk. Don Mattingly sent up veteran Chase Utley to hit for Greinke. Hernández stole second and Utley followed with a single to put the tying run on third and the go-ahead run at first with one out. Utley's hit chased Syndergaard from the game, manager Terry Collins sending in 42-year-old Bartolo Colón. Howie Kendrick lined a 1-2 pitch over the outstretched arm of Colón but on a hop to second baseman Daniel Murphy, setting up the most controversial play of the game. Murphy tossed to shortstop Rubén Tejada, who was moving to second base to start a potential double play. Utley slid late, with his helmet making contact with Tejada's thigh, who tried to jump over the runner but was upended and injured. Hernández scored, Kendrick was safe at first, and it appeared a runner would be at first with two outs and the game tied at 2-2. The Dodgers challenged the ruling at second base, arguing that Tejada never made contact with the bag to force out Utley. Just as the Mets were about to cart Tejada off of the field with what would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, the call at second was overturned to safe. Now with runners on first and second and one out, Collins inserted Addison Reed in relief. After a Corey Seager flyout, the Dodgers took a 5–2 lead on back-to-back doubles from Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner. Dodger relievers Chris Hatcher and Kenley Jansen pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to even the series at a game apiece.
Game 3, October 12
| WP: Matt Harvey (1–0) LP: Brett Anderson (0–1)|
LAD: Adrian Gonzalez (1), Howie Kendrick (1)
NYM: Travis d'Arnaud (1), Yoenis Céspedes (2)
In front of a raucous crowd on hand for the first postseason game ever hosted at Citi Field, the Mets took a 2–1 series lead in a rout. The night didn't start well for the Mets, as starter Matt Harvey gave up three runs on one play in the second inning on a bases-loaded single by Yasmani Grandal and an error by right fielder Curtis Granderson. Harvey would escape further damage in the frame thanks to a leaping grab by David Wright on a Howie Kendrick line drive to retire the side.
There was concern before Game 3 that the Mets might seek retaliation against the Dodgers for the Chase Utley slide that injured Rubén Tejada in Game 2. Utley appealed a two-game suspension and was eligible to play, but did not. Instead of retaliation, the Mets had a record-setting night offensively. Granderson atoned for his error with a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the second off Dodger starter Brett Anderson to give the Mets a 4–3 lead. Travis d'Arnaud homered off of Anderson in the third and Yoenis Céspedes homered off of reliever Alex Wood in the fourth, and the Mets never looked back, winning 13–7.
Game 4, October 13
| WP: Clayton Kershaw (1−1) LP: Steven Matz (0−1) Sv: Kenley Jansen (2)|
NYM: Daniel Murphy (2)
In a must-win Game 4, the Dodgers turned to their ace Clayton Kershaw on three days rest to try to send the series back to Los Angeles. A win for the Mets would mean their first trip to the NLCS in nine years. They turned to the second rookie member of their starting rotation, Steven Matz. The pitchers traded zeroes for two innings before the top of the third. Kershaw himself had a one-out single to get a rally started. Although he was erased on a fielder's choice, the Dodgers followed with three consecutive hits: singles by Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez, the latter of which scored the first run, and a two-run double by Justin Turner, giving the Dodgers the 3–0 edge.
Though Daniel Murphy connected in the fourth inning for his second solo home run off the Dodgers ace in the series, Kershaw would allow nothing more. He went seven innings, allowing only three hits and a walk to go with eight strikeouts, outdueling the rookie Matz, who only lasted five innings. Though the Mets drew two walks in the eighth inning, putting the tying runs on base and the potential go-ahead run at the plate, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen induced a Murphy flyout to retire the side before retiring the Mets in order in the ninth for a 4-out save.
Game 5, October 15
| WP: Jacob deGrom (2–0) LP: Zack Greinke (1–1) Sv: Jeurys Familia (2)|
NYM: Daniel Murphy (3)
The rubber game of the 5-game series was started by Zack Greinke for the Dodgers and Jacob deGrom for the Mets. The game's first play went for an infield single for Curtis Granderson, who was initially called out prior to a challenge by Mets manager Terry Collins. Two batters later, Granderson was driven in by a Daniel Murphy double. Murphy reached third after an error by left fielder Enrique Hernández, but was stranded there after Greinke struck out Yoenis Céspedes and Lucas Duda.
The Dodgers immediately answered in the bottom half of the inning. After Howie Kendrick lined out, the Dodgers put together four consecutive singles against deGrom, who was not showing the same sharpness of his Game 1 victory. The Dodgers scored two runs and were still threatening with runners on first second, but deGrom struck out Yasmani Grandal and Hernández to end the threat. deGrom would pitch in and out of trouble, dealing with runners in scoring position through each of the first five innings. Justin Turner continued his domination of his former team with three hits off of deGrom, including a double to lead off the bottom of the third. Turner stole third with one out, but deGrom escaped unscathed after fielding a comebacker from Hernández to start a 1–6–3 double play to end the inning.
DeGrom's multiple escapes afforded the Mets the opportunity to get back into the game, with Murphy stealing a run for the Mets in the top of the fourth. After singling, Murphy advanced to second after a Duda walk. As the infield had shifted for Duda, the Dodger third baseman Turner was in shallow right field. The infielder furthest to the left for the Dodgers was the shortstop Corey Seager, who was just to the left of second base. Murphy, noticing third base uncovered, trotted to second base, then rounded the bag and sprinted to third unchallenged for a stolen base. Travis d'Arnaud followed with a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Murphy and tie the game at 2-2. Murphy came through again in the sixth inning with a solo home run off of Greinke, his third homer of the series.
The Mets were back in front 3–2 and never trailed thereafter. deGrom finished off a 1–2–3 sixth before giving way to Game 2 starter Noah Syndergaard, who featured 100 mph fastballs in a scoreless seventh inning, allowing only one walk. The Mets turned to closer Jeurys Familia for a two-inning save, something he had never been asked to do previously in his career and not been done in the postseason by any Mets pitcher since Jesse Orosco saved Game 7 of the 1986 World Series. Familia set down the six batters he faced in order, sending the Mets to the NLCS for the first time since 2006.
Turner finished the series hitting a scintillating .526 with six doubles. The six doubles were the most in Division Series history and tied a record for most doubles in any one postseason series. Familia finished the series having retired all 16 batters to face him while the Mets captured their first win in a deciding game of a postseason series since the aforementioned Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.
Composite line score
|New York Mets||1||6||2||7||0||1||5||0||0||22||33||2|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2||3||3||1||0||0||5||1||3||18||40||1|
|Total attendance: 251,944 Average attendance: 50,389|
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Sportsnet does not have the broadcast rights to Game 3 of the ALDS featuring Houston @ Kansas City. This game is available on the MLB Network.
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- 2015 National League Division Series Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals at Baseball Reference
- 2015 National League Division Series Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets at Baseball Reference