Jake Arrieta was fantastic. He went 7 innings, gave up 1 run on 5 hits, only walked 1, and struck out 8. Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t quite enough to get the win. He may have looked like the Jake of a month ago, which was great to see, but he had to go up against Noah Syndergaard and the fantastic Mets bullpen. The Mets ended up walking away with a 2-1 victory, after scoring a run off of Hector Rondon in the top of the 9th. The Cubs sole run came on a wild pitch that scored Willson Contreras in the 3rd.
The Cubs just flat-out could not get the bats going. In the bottom of the 2nd, Jason Heyward had a lead off single, which Addison Russell followed up with a double to move Heyward over to third. Then, Heyward got thrown out at the plate on a Montero ground ball to throw. It was a truly atrocious play. After this and the run scored in the 3rd, the Cubs really didn’t have much going until the bottom of the 9th when their backs were against the ropes.
Addy led off with a full-count walk, Miggy followed with a walk of his own. Javier Baez then came up and bunted a ball down the 3rd base line. Jose Reyes could have (and should have) let the ball roll foul, but instead tried and failed to gun down the speedy Baez. Matt Szczur then came in to pinch hit for Hector Rondon. He hit a slow roller to first, after a very poor at bat, which resulted in Addison getting thrown out at home. This brought Kris Bryant up, who was 2-4 on the day at this point, and he promptly grounded into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
It was an absolutely gut-wrenching loss. It was very tough to watch at times for the simple fact that the bats just couldn’t get going when the offense had a chance to do anything positive. I was very happy to see Jake Arrieta look like his old self on the mound, and I hope it gives him confidence going forward. It just would have felt so much more better if the game had ended with the W flag flying and “Go Cubs Go” playing over the loud speakers.
Tomorrow is the rubber match between the two teams, and it will take place at 1:20 on ESPN again, if you are out of market, and on ABC-7 in Chicago. The pitching match-up will be Bartolo Colon (8-4, 3.11) against Professor Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41). Let’s hope Hendricks can pitch well again and lead the Cubs to what would be a HUGE series win against the hated Mets.