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DemocratandChronicle .com E2 Tuesday,October20,2015 Page5D MLB Ten teams advanced to baseball’s postseason this year. Only one made it without a starting pitcher ranked top 30 in ERA. Of the front-line starters w ho ranked top 10 in ERA, o nly Oakland’s Sonny G ray has not started a p layoff game. It’s hard to beat a true ace. That’s why the Blue Jays traded for David Price, that’s why the Nationals signed Max Scherzer, and that’s why the Astros pitched Dallas Keuchel on short rest. An ace is a difference maker. And the Mets’ lack of one is why they’ve taken control of the National L eague Championship Series, carrying a massive advantage into Tuesday’s Game 3 in Chicago. “That’s why we thought if we could get to the postseason, we could match up with a lot of teams, everybody, be- c ause we have depth,” manager Terry Collins s aid. “Everybody’s got real good (pitching) — this is big league pitching, everybody’s got them — b ut we’ve got some talented guys.” To win the division series and take a 2-0 lead in the NLCS, the Mets have w on five games. In four of t hose games they’ve beaten Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. They’ve taken down t he best with a plucky off ense that’s found an unlikely superstar in Daniel Murphy, and they’ve gone toe-to-toe with the best by banking on a group of four y oung starters who lack l engthy resumes but m ake up for it with big arms from top to bottom. “ They don’t have the c redentials that Kershaw and Greinke, and Lester and Arrieta have,” Collins said. “But they’re going to be good pitchers. They’re g oing to be really, really g ood, and we’re really proud of as fast as they’ve come and the way they’ve handled themselves this summer. But they’re go- i ng to (be good). We think w e can stack up with any- b ody.” With Jacob deGrom s tarting Game 3, the Mets n ow have the rotation advantage. Matt Harvey handled the NLCS opener, Noah Syndergaard pitched Game 2, and Stev en Matz is lined up for G ame 4. Of those four, only de- Grom pitched in the big leagues last year, and even he made just 22 s tarts as a rookie. He was t he Mets’ best starter this y ear, and now the Mets get to use him against a C ubs second-year starter n amed Kyle Hendricks whose season ERA is nearly a run and a half larger than deGrom’s. For perhaps only the s econd time this postsea- s on, the Mets will have the more accomplished starter heading to the mound. “We’ve beaten some of the best that the game has t o offer,” David Wright s aid. “I’ll argue that we h ave the Syndergaards, the Harveys, the Matzes a nd the deGroms, so I like o ur chances when we can run those guys out there.” Two years ago, the Yankees invested in Masahiro Tanaka, and he lost in this y ear’s wild card game. S cherzer was the big ticket item of last offsea- son, and his team didn’t even make it that far. For the Mets, though, t here’s more power in n umbers than in a No. 1. NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Mets’ power in numbers has the rotation rolling in NLCS AP New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz, right, talks with pitcher Jacob deGrom in the dugout. CHAD JENNINGS @LOHUDYANKEES After an easy first, Cueto appeared flustered by the crowd. Eleven of his remaining 13 batters r eached and at one point in the third inning he threw his hands up in f rustration after gesturing for a new cycle of signs from catcher Salvador Perez. Goins singled in two runs in the second after Tulowitzki singled with one out and Russell Martin was hit by a pitch that knocked off his left elbow g uard. Goins pulled into second on the throw home and shouted and pumped his arms. W hen Goins scored on Donaldson’s hit, he was greeted first by the enthu- s iastic Stroman. Entering in a 4-for-29 postseason slump, Tulo- witzki connected for the Blue Jays’ first ALCS homer after Edwin Encarnacion singled and Chris Colabello walked to start the third. Tulowitzki got a rare p layoff ejection for arguing balls and strikes before the top of the eighth. He struck out looking in t he seventh. Cueto was coming off a dominant eight-inning p erformance in Game 5 of the ALDS, retiring his last 19 batters. But after giving up Pillar’s RBI double in the third, he was done. The dreadlocked Dominican gave up six hits and eight runs in two-plus innings. He walked four and hit a batter with a p itch. As fans sang Cueto off the field, he smiled and tossed his gum near the Royals dugout. D onaldson connected two batters after Kris Medlen entered for a 9-2 lead, a nd Goins homered off Medlen in the fifth as Toronto matched its postseason best with three hom- ers in a game. The Blue Jays also hit three against Texas in Game 4 of the ALDS. Stroman gave up two runs in the fifth on a wild p itch and an RBI single in an uncharacteristic performance for the 24- year-old who returned f rom a torn knee ligament in March to go 4-0 down the stretch and get t he win in Game 5 of the ALDS. He allowed four runs and 11hits. Jays Continued from Page 1D POSTSEASON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES ( Best-of-7;x-if necessary) American League All games televised by FS1 K ansas City 2,Toronto 1 Friday,Oct.16:Kansas City 5,Toronto 0 S aturday,Oct.17:Kansas City 6,Toronto 3 Monday:Toronto 11,Kansas City 8 Tuesday:Kansas City (Young 11-6) at Toron- t o (Dickey 11-11),4:07 p.m.(FS1) Wednesday:Kansas City at Toronto,4:07 p.m.(FS1) x -Friday:Toronto at Kansas City,8:07 p.m. (FS1) x-Saturday:Toronto at Kansas City,8:07 p .m.(FS1) National League All games televised by TBS New York 2,Chicago 0 Saturday,Oct.17:New York 4,Chicago 2 S unday,Oct.18:New York 4,Chicago 1 Tuesday:New York (deGrom 14-8) at Chicago (Hendricks 8-7),8:07 p.m. W ednesday:New York (Matz 4-0) at Chicago (Hammel 10-7),8:07 p.m. x-Thursday:New York at Chicago, 8:07 p.m. x -Saturday:Chicago at New York, 4:07 x-Sunday:Chicago at New York,8:07 p.m. Box Score B lue Jays 11,Royals 8 Kansas CityABRHBIBBSOAvg. A.Escobar ss 534000. 583 Z obrist 2b 533100. 385 L .Cain cf 401100. 273 H osmer 1b 512201. 333 K .Morales dh413210.400 Moustakas 3b501100.231 S.Perez c500000.083 A.Gordon lf401001.300 Rios rf400000.100 Totals41815712 TorontoABRHBIBBSOAvg. Revere lf411010.077 Donaldson 3b412311.333 Bautista rf301121.125 Encarnacion dh 512002. 333 C olabello 1b 310010. 273 S moak 1b100000.000 Tulowitzki ss422302.333 Pennington 2b000000--- Ru.Martin c 210012. 000 P illar cf421100.273 Goins 2b-ss 422301. 400 Totals3411111169 Kansas City101020004—8150 Toronto03601001x—11110 LOB—Kansas City 8,Toronto 6.2B—Zobrist 3(3),Pillar (2).3B—A.Escobar (1).HR— K .Morales (1),off Osuna;Tulowitzki (1),off C ueto;Donaldson (1),off Medlen;Goins (1), off Medlen.RBIs—Zobrist (1),L.Cain (2), H osmer 2 (4),K.Morales 2 (4),Moustakas (3), D onaldson 3 (3),Bautista (1),Tulowitzki 3 (4), Pillar (1),Goins 3 (4).SB—Pillar (1).SF— L .Cain. R unners left in scoring position—Kansas City 3(Rios,Moustakas,S.Perez);Toronto 2 (Baut ista,Smoak).RISP—Kansas City 3 for 10;Toronto 5 for 11. DP—Kansas City 1(Zobrist,A.Escobar,Hosm- e r). Kansas CityIPHRERBBSOERA Cueto L,0-1 2688423 6.00 M edlen5322163.60 F.Morales1211119.00 Toronto I P HRE R B B S O E RA Stroman W,1-06 1 ⁄ 3 1144115.68 Aa.Sanchez 2 ⁄ 3 000000.00 L owe1000010.00 Hendriks 1 ⁄ 3 3330081.00 Osuna 2 ⁄ 3 1110013.50 U mpires—Home,John Hirschbeck;First, Hunter Wendelstedt;Second,Dan Iassogna; T hird,Jeff Nelson;Left,Jim Reynolds;Right, L az Diaz. T—3:13.A—49,751(49,282). 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