'How they did it?'

‘How they did it?’

This was more a coronation than a series. Four games that summed up the Mets’ dazzling career in the second half, from champions to National League champions as well. It started with them considered the underdogs of young and powerful puppies and ended with little doubt as to who was superior.

The 2015 NLCS finale conformed to this one-sided series, the Mets had a great initial lead, Daniel Murphy went deep for the sixth straight game of his miraculous postseason and a wild celebration after an 8-3 win on the mound front. Wrigley Field that capped an impressive sweep.

“I’m standing on the bench in the ninth inning and I’m just looking at all the guys and thinking, ‘How did they do it?'” Manager Terry Collins said after the Mets advanced to their first World Series in 15 years, since he lost in five games against the Yankees.

“How did they keep it together? How did you stay focused?

At one point in late July, the Mets were just one game over .500. The lineup was offensively challenged, decimated by injuries. But then came reinforcements. General manager Sandy Alderson made a series of exchanges, bringing in Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson and Yoenis C├ęspedes. Rookie Michael Conforto provided a hit after a call in late July and Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda and David Wright returned from long absences due to injuries.

The Mets celebrate winning the 2015 NLCS over the Cubs.
The Mets celebrate winning the 2015 NLCS over the Cubs.Corbis / Icon Sportswire via Getty

However, the most important movement was trade that was not. After initially agreeing to send Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez, the Mets pulled out of the deal due to a problem with Gomez’s hip. Alderson then turned around and got Cespedes de los Tigres just before the trade deadline for minor league prospects Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. Cespedes would mark the Mets’ title race in the National League East, shooting 17 home runs and leading 44 runs with a .942 OPS in 57 games on the stretch.

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Still, the big stars of this postseason race were Murphy and the young starting rotation. Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom participated in dominant outings to give the Mets a 3-0 lead over the Cubs. Steven Matz gave up 4 2/3 innings of a run in Game 4. Murphy’s heroic NLDS moved on and he was named the NLCS MVP after homing four times and hitting .529.

“I will have a chance to tell people I played with Babe Ruth,” said Curtis Granderson of Murphy, who had seven homers and 11 RBIs in nine postseason games so far.

Duda threw an early salvo in the auction, a three-run shot in the first inning by Jason Hammel, and d’Arnaud followed him with his own long ball, giving the Mets a 4-0 lead before Matz had even launched a launch. Bartolo Colon came on for Matz with two outs in the fifth and delivered 1 1/3 frames scoreless. Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia were the rest of the way when the Mets finished the series beating the Cubs, 21-8.

“We weren’t allowed to take a breath at any time,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “His mastery of the first part of the game and his release were impressive.”

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