It was 26 years ago that Back to the Future Part II predicted that the Cubs would win the 2015 World Series against Miami, a nameless fictional team with a baseball-playing alligator as its logo (the Marlins did not begin play until four years after the movie was released).
Despite the fact that it would be impossible for the Cubs to play against the Marlins in the World Series, plenty of fans took this prediction very seriously—okay, jokingly seriously. It got more media attention than perhaps any scene from the movie, and Doc Brown even offered to throw out the first pitch of the World Series. It would have been the perfect way to end a 70-year pennant drought.
Unfortunately for the Cubbies, the movie was wrong. The Mets dominated the Cubs in the NLCS from the first inning of Game 1 until the final out of Game 4. The Cubs never had a chance, Back to the Future proved to be wrong, and the Mets had one of their most statistically dominant playoff series victories in franchise history. The Mets outplayed the Cubs in all facets of the game, and will now play in their first World Series since 2000.
By sweeping the Cubs, the Mets earned their first four-game postseason sweep in franchise history, and it was also the first Mets playoff series where the team never trailed. In fact, the only instances where the Cubs were able to tie the game were during the top of the fifth inning of Game 1 and in four innings of Game 3. So the Mets led at the end of 32 of the 36 innings played in the series. They scored at least one run in the first inning of every game.
Run differential is a popular way to measure the dominance of a team. The Mets outscored the Cubs 21-8 in the NLCS, a positive 13-run differential. This is the second-largest positive differential the Mets have ever had in a playoff series; They had a 15-run differential in the 1973 NLCS against the Reds, despite the fact that the Mets lost twice in the best-of-five series.
The Mets averaged 5.3 runs per game against the Cubs, making it only the fifth playoff series where they averaged more than five runs per game. The others were the 1969 NLCS (9.0), 1999 NLDS (5.5), 2000 NLCS (6.2), and 2006 NLDS (6.3). Of the 21 runs the Mets scored, six of them were driven in by Daniel Murphy, who you may have heard is having a pretty solid October.
On the mound, the Mets only allowed an average of 2.0 runs per game in the NLCS, which is the third-lowest playoff series mark in franchise history. The only series where the Mets allowed fewer runs per game were the 1969 World Series, where they allowed 1.8 runs per game, and the 1973 NLCS, where they only allowed 1.6 runs per game.
This is especially impressive coming against a Cubs lineup that scored the sixth-most runs in the National League. Aside from Jorge Soler and Dexter Fowler, no Chicago hitter batted higher than .214 in the series. As a team, the Cubs managed a .164/.225/.297 line with four home runs and eight RBIs. So Daniel Murphy had the same number of home runs in the series and just two fewer RBIs than the Cubs did as a team.
This was a true wire-to-wire effort from the Mets, who were 0-7 against the Cubs in the regular season. Now, the team will look to end their 29-year championship drought in the World Series.