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Curtis Granderson stole third because Daniel Murphy told him to ... as a joke

Stealing third base in Game 2 of the NLCS isn't a decision to be made lightly. There's significant strategy involved, and a not-inconsiderable amount of confidence one must possess before taking off from second. Especially if you're doing it with one out in the inning, one false move can take you from scoring threat to inning-buster.

So when Curtis Granderson stole third in the bottom of the third inning on Sunday night, he probably put a lot of thought and concentration into the decision. He probably didn't swipe the base because Daniel Murphy, stationed at first, jokingly told him to.

Oh wait, he did? Let Murphy explain in his postgame news conference (around the 4:55 mark in the video at the top of this post):

Q. You mentioned Granderson's steal of third, and he actually gave you credit for that, because he said he thought that you signaled to him saying that you were both going to go, and then he went and you didn't trail him. But I was wondering if he misread that. He wasn't sure if he misread a signal from you?

A: He dropped the oopty oop on me right there. Because he'll joke around, like this (indicating), like go. So I go, "second pitch, go." I didn't know he was going to take me seriously. As you can tell, I stayed at first base. He took off, and I was like if I run now, I'm a dead man. If I get thrown out at second for the second out with the way [Yoenis Cespedes] is swinging the bat, I'm in big trouble, so I stayed.

Granderson had already stolen second that inning after drawing a leadoff walk, and he ended up scoring from third on Cespedes' single to put the Mets up, 4-0, and on their way to a 4-1 win -- so if he wants to steal on a joke sign from Murphy, by all means. 

The Mets and Cubs will play Game 3 at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, air time 7:30 p.m. ET on TBS, game time at 8 p.m. ET.