LOS ANGELES – Daniel Murphy and the New York Mets caught the Los Angeles Dodgers sleeping, using brains and brawn to advance to an NL Championship Series matchup with the Chicago Cubs.
Murphy stole an uncovered third base and went on to score the tying run, then hit a go-ahead homer off Zack Greinke to lead the Mets over the Dodgers 3-2 Thursday night in the decisive Game 5 of their NL Division Series.
"What a team win," Murphy said. "It felt like everybody got a piece of this one."
After the final out, the Mets swarmed the mound, jumping up and down in unison. They quickly donned black T-shirts and exchanged hugs and high-fives while a small group of orange and blue-clad fans shouted, "Let's go Mets!"
Jacob deGrom allowed runners in his first five innings but just two runs — on RBI singles by Justin Turner and Andre Ethier that put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 in the first.
New York trailed 2-1 in the fourth inning when, with three infielders on the right side and no one near third, Murphy strolled to second on Lucas Duda's fourth-inning walk and sprinted to third. Shortstop Corey Seager, the closest infielder, was almost all the way toward second.
"Just trying to casually walk to second and hoping that nobody called time because, I look like an idiot if somebody calls time and I run to third," Murphy said. "I'm not sure who was supposed to cover, but there was nobody there. I'm not the fleetest of foot, but just fast enough for that one."
Travis d'Arnaud followed with a sacrifice fly, and Murphy homered in the sixth for a 3-2 lead.
Murphy had three hits off Greinke. Murphy batted .333 in the series and homered three times off Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.
"Daniel was a tough out all series," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's always to me been a guy that's been a tough out. Pretty much hits everybody's fastball."
New York quickly will turn its attention to the Cubs. The NLCS, which starts Saturday night at Citi Field, is the first postseason meeting between the teams.
"Something doesn't go right and we bounce back," said the Mets' 66-year-old Terry Collins, managing in the postseason for the first time. "We've done it all year long. Tremendous heart."
DeGrom the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year with the long, shaggy hair, struck out seven and walked three to earn his second road win of the series.
Noah Syndergaard pitched the seventh in the rookie's first big-league relief appearance, and Jeurys Familia got the first six-out save of his career. Familia retired pinch-hitter Chase Utley — who earned the Mets' wrath after his takeout slide broke shortstop Ruben Tejada's leg in Game 2 — on a flyout leading off the ninth.
Despite a record $289 million payroll, the Dodgers remained without a World Series title since 1988.