On Thursday, Major League Baseball presented “Opening Day at Home” -- a full slate of 30 games broadcast nationally across various platforms including networks, digital streaming and social media, creating a full-day event on what would have been Opening Day. The experience was intended to invite fans to feel a sense of community and unity on a day many were looking forward to, while underscoring the importance of staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Using the hashtag #OpeningDayAtHome, fans could connect with each other while watching their team’s selected game at a set time. The Mets’ contribution was Game 5 of the 2015 National League Division Series, which sent the team on its magical run to the pennant.
“Opening Day at Home” also was an opportunity for MLB to raise awareness for several worthy charities that are helping provide relief to the most vulnerable communities impacted by the pandemic. Last week, MLB and the MLBPA made a $1 million joint donation to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels, in addition to a $30 million commitment made by MLB clubs to emergency relief for ballpark employees. If so willing and able, fans can contribute toward these charities, MLB official charity Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and additional causes at MLB.com/give.
Mets fans of nearly any age remember the 2015 NLDS well. New York entered that series as an underdog to the 92-win Dodgers, who took advantage of off-days to start Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw -- the second- and third-place finishers in NL Cy Young Award voting -- four times in the best-of-five series.
Thanks in large part to Jacob deGrom’s Game 1 brilliance and Daniel Murphy’s sudden power surge, the Mets managed to take an early series lead, winning an emotionally charged Game 3 at Citi Field after Chase Utley broke Rubén Tejada’s right leg on a takeout slide in Game 2. The Dodgers came back to win Game 4, however, setting up a winner-take-all Game 5 back at Dodger Stadium.
That night, the Dodgers planned to start Greinke, while the Mets had deGrom, whose 13-strikeout performance in Game 1 gave them all sorts of confidence. Problem was, when deGrom took the mound for Game 5, it was clear he did not have his best stuff. As the Dodgers rallied in the first inning, Mets manager Terry Collins asked Noah Syndergaard to begin warming in the bullpen, fearful that the Dodgers might run away with the game.
That’s when deGrom established his legend as one of the greatest clutch pitchers in Mets history. Striking out consecutive batters to strand a pair of baserunners in the first, deGrom proceeded to put traffic on the basepaths every inning from that point forward (except a clean sixth in his final frame) without permitting another run to score.
“If that didn't prove the makeup this guy has,” Collins said at the time, “I don't know what to tell you. He battled his [butt] off.”
“It seemed like he pitched out of trouble every inning,” added Mets third baseman David Wright. “That’s why we wanted him on the mound.”
When Murphy broke a 2-2 tie with a homer off Greinke in the sixth inning, it gave the Mets the lead for good. They spent the night celebrating in the Dodger Stadium visiting clubhouse, turning the beer-soaked carpet into a makeshift slip-and-slide. Then, using the momentum gained in Los Angeles, the Mets swept the Cubs in the NL Championship Series to win their first pennant in 15 years.
For those reasons, 2015 NLDS Game 5 is now a classic -- “unbelievable,” as Murphy described it.
This week, MLB unlocked its expansive vault and is offering fans special access to the most unforgettable moments. MLB has made the entire 2018 and '19 game archives free to all fans through MLB.TV. Fans can also access more than 200 full classic MLB games on YouTube, including timeless World Series games, memorable postseason matchups, no-hitters and perfect games.