The Mets have outplayed the Cubs in just about every aspect of the game to take a 3-0 series lead, but a surprising area in which the Mets are dominating is on the basepaths.
As a team the Mets stole the second-fewest bases (51) during the regular season, while the Cubs were the ninth-best team at taking an extra 90 feet (95). But those numbers have been turned upside-down in the NLCS, with the Mets leading the Cubs in the stolen base race 5-1.
David Wright, who stole a base in Game 1 of this series, credited the Mets’ coaching staff on coming up with a strategy that has so far bewildered the Cubs. “It’s excellent game planning by our coaching staff coming into the playoffs and letting us try to run wild on the basepaths,” Wright said when addressing the media after his team’s Game 3 victory, “That was kind of our mantra coming into the playoffs, to put pressure on the defense.”
In the seventh inning of Game 1 Juan Lagares stole third base, which allowed Curtis Granderson to drive him in via sacrifice fly. Granderson himself stole second and third base in the third inning of Game 2, and Yoenis Cespedes was able to drive him in with a single. Granderson was caught stealing in the first inning of Game 3 but the Mets continued to be aggressive, and it paid off when Cespedes stole third in the sixth inning, which allowed the Mets to plate the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
Joe Maddon, obviously not pleased with the way the series is going for his team, said of the Mets, “They’ve done little things to take advantage of us in different moments. We’ve not been able to overcome that.”