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Mets sweep Cubs to reach World Series
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 10:14:00 GMT 

Chicago (AP) - Two sweet swings by Lucas Duda put New York in position for a playoff sweep of the Chicago Cubs, and Daniel Murphy finished the job for the Mets.

Next up is a trip to the World Series.

Murphy homered for a record sixth consecutive postseason game, and the Mets brushed aside the Cubs 8-3 Wednesday night, capping a National League Championship Series in which New York never trailed.

"I can't explain it. It's such a blessing to contribute to what we've been able to do," Murphy said.

Duda hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the second, silencing a crowd of 42,227 desperately hoping for the beginning of an epic comeback in Game 4.

Not this time. Not with New York's array of power arms, and Murphy swinging a hot stick that made him the NLCS MVP.

The Mets advanced to the World Series for the first time since they lost to the crosstown Yankees in five games in 2000. They will play at either Toronto or Kansas City in Game 1 on Tuesday night; the Royals lead 3-2 in the ALCS.

But the first big question for New York is the health of center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who left in the second inning with soreness in his left shoulder. Any health issue for the slugger could be a big factor in the next round.

"Cespedes' shoulder is going to be OK," manager Terry Collins said. "They didn't think there was any damage."

The Cubs, meanwhile, still haven't won the crown since 1908. Manager Joe Maddon's wild-card bunch surged into this series, but was overmatched and fell behind in the first inning of every game.

"They smothered us early and that's always a great game plan," Maddon said.

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