Mets one win from pennant after topping Cubs in Game 3 of NLCS

Can the Cubs get to the Mets' power pitchers? (2:43)

The Baseball Tonight crew previews Wednesday's NLCS Game 4 matchup with Steven Matz starting for the Mets against Jason Hammel for the Cubs. (2:43)

CHICAGO -- It would take a historic collapse for the New York Mets not to advance to the World Series at this point. Still, after the Amazins took a three-games-to-none series lead Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, captain David Wright was not ready to pronounce the Chicago Cubs dead just yet.

“I think we’ll feel better after another win. That’s for sure,” Wright said after the Mets beat the Cubs 5-2 in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. “The last thing we need to start doing is thinking beyond tomorrow. Tomorrow is the most important game. Hopefully we can close it tomorrow.”

Thirty-three of the 34 teams in major league history to take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven postseason series ultimately have prevailed. The lone exception: the 2004 New York Yankees, who collapsed against Theo Epstein’s Boston Red Sox. Now, Epstein is president of the Cubs.

Rookie left-hander Steven Matz looks to close out the series at 8:07 p.m. ET on Wednesday opposite Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel.

On Tuesday, Wright and Yoenis Cespedes had three hits apiece and Jacob deGrom again overcame early fastball-command issues to battle through seven effective innings as the Mets moved within a game of reaching the fifth World Series in franchise history.

Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy homered for the fifth straight game. He matched Carlos Beltran’s 2004 MLB record for consecutive postseason games with a long ball. Murphy has an RBI in a franchise-record six straight games, breaking a tie with Edgardo Alfonzo (five straight in 2000).

“It’s ridiculous,” Wright said. “We were talking in the dugout: Being here in Chicago, he should have given a shoulder shrug to [Michael] Jordan after that last one.”

Said manager Terry Collins: “I've watched a lot of baseball over the years. I don't think I've seen anybody put on this kind of a show on this stage like he has so far. I mean, even the guys in the dugout -- they're baseball guys, too -- and they're saying the same thing. The question is: Who is this guy? I mean, he's been unbelievable. So hopefully he just keeps it up for, certainly, a few more games.”

Murphy, a free agent this offseason, was awkwardly asked postgame about how much extra money he might earn because of this homer barrage.

“That's an offseason question,” Murphy said. “And, fortunately right now, four teams don't have to answer offseason questions.”

Murphy went on to suggest that he is hitting “in the best spot in the lineup” by being placed in the No. 3 hole, where he is wedged between Wright and Cespedes.

As for deGrom, he became the second pitcher in franchise history to win three consecutive postseason starts. DeGrom joined Jerry Koosman, who accomplished that feat spanning the 1969 and 1973 postseasons.

In an outing remarkably similar to the Game 5 clincher against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division series, deGrom struggled early with his command and his pitch count rapidly swelled. He ultimately settled down and limited the Cubs to two runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings.

“In the third inning, I said, ‘If we get five out of this guy tonight, we'll be lucky.’ Then, all of a sudden in the fourth and fifth inning, he started making pitches,” Collins said. “So it was a very similar outing to what he had in Los Angeles. He didn't have very good stuff early. His command has been off. I don't know if it's fatigue this time of year. Again, he's pitched more than he ever has in his whole life, so that could be the answer.”

Said Wright: “Just like the closeout game in L.A., Jake probably didn't have his best stuff, his best command, his best fastball. But he found a way to win. And that is the biggest compliment you can give a starting pitcher is when they don't have their best stuff, they figure out a way to give you seven innings of two-run ball. That's, like I said, a tremendous compliment.”