Game One Hundred Thirty-Seven – Cubs 5 Mets 18
WP – Jon Niese (9-7) LP – Ryan Dempster (12-10) Save – None
Ryan Dempster took the hill Sunday in search of his 100th big league win for the second time … and he picked up where he left off against the Pirates. Dempster was horrible versus the Bucs and it was pretty much the same on Sunday.
Dempster struggled with his command in the 26-pitch first inning then gave up the lead in the second. Dempster labored through the first two innings and ran up his pitch count. Dempster walked three of the first ten batters he faced. Before he could record three outs, Dempster had thrown 51 pitches after two innings and it was apparent that Dempster would not be around for long
The Mets took advantage of a questionable two-base error by Tyler Colvin to start the fifth. Colvin appeared to catch a deep fly into right center by Angel Pagan but the umps ruled he did not. Dempster could not keep the Mets from tying the game after the missed call and ended up allowing five runs in the fifth … and another RBI single by Jon Niese.
Dempster departed after just 4 2/3 innings. He allowed seven runs, three earned, on nine hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Dempster threw a Zambrano-esque 105 pitches, 63 for strikes.
The Cubs offense handed Ryan Dempster a lead twice and he could not keep the Mets off the board.
Aramis Ramirez had a big day at the plate (2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and three RBI). Ramirez drove in the Cubs’ first three runs with a single in the first and a two-run homer in the third. Ramirez’s RBI knock in the first was the 1,600th hit of his career. Ramirez came up limping on a ground out to third in the eighth and was replaced by Koyie Hill.
Marlon Byrd (1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk) showed the importance of patience at the plate. Byrd worked a two-out walk in the third and scored on Ramirez’s longball. Ramirez’s 22nd homer tied him with the team lead with Alfonso Soriano … and his 73 RBI lead the club.
Tyler Colvin celebrated his 25th birthday with mixed results. Colvin tripled, his fourth of the season, and scored the Cubs’ fourth run on a sac fly by Geovany Soto … but the error he was credited with started the Mets’ five-run fifth inning.
The other half of the Dynamic Duo had a rough day as well. Starlin Castro ended his streak of six straight multi-hit games with a 0-fer at the dish. Castro (0-for-4) dropped his average to .317 and hit into two double plays.
Geovany Soto launched his 16th homer of the year in the seventh and put together a solid performance (1-for-2 with a sac fly, a walk, a run scored and two RBI) out of the eight-spot in Q’s lineup.
Jon Niese beat the Cubs for the first time in his career. Niese did just enough in his first start at Wrigley and kept his team from being swept. Niese hit the ball better than he threw it and drove in two of the Mets’ seven runs (2-for-4 with two RBI).
The Mets won the season series against the Cubs (4-3) and handed Mike Quade his fourth Major League defeat (8-4). The Metropolitans scored in double figures for the first time since June … and Cubs’ pitching, led by Ryan Dempster, gave up 18 runs on 21 hits with nine walks to the other team from New York. The Mets went through the lineup six times … and started the seventh time through in the ninth. The 21 hits was the most for a Mets’ team since 2005.
With the loss, the Cubs slipped back to 19 under the mediocre mark with a 59-78 record in Twenty-Ten …
Ryan Dempster labored through a 26-pitch (14 for strikes) first inning. Dempster gave up a hit, walked a batter and had little to no command. The Mets executed a double steal but came away without any runs. Xavier Nady made a fine pick on a smash hit up the first base line by Angel Pagan to start the game.
The Cubs hit the ball rather hard against Jon Niese in the first inning … but came away with only one run.
Jeff Baker led off the game with a soft single to right. Following a swinging strikeout by Starlin Castro, Marlon Byrd lined a single into center. Niese fell behind Aramis Ramirez 3-1 before the Cubs’ third baseman delivered a single into left. Baker scored on Ramirez’s 1600th career hit.
Xavier Nady hit a smash on the ground to third that was turned into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Dempster walked Lucas Duda to start the second. Dempster was ahead 0-2 before issuing the lead off walk. Josh Thole just missed a homer to right on a 0-1 pitch and settled for a double. With runners on second and third with no outs, Ruben Tejada hit a sac fly into right. Duda scored and tied the game at one.
With Josh Thole on third, Jon Niese singled to left on a 0-1 pitch and gave himself a 2-1 lead.
Angel Pagan walked, Dempster’s third free pass of the game. Luis Hernandez grounded into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play. But 51 pitches in two innings for Dempster was a sign of another short outing.
The Mets went quietly in the third with just a single to left by Ike Davis. Dempster’s pitch count after three … 63 and only 38 for strikes.
Marlon Byrd worked a two-out walk in the bottom of the third after Starlin Castro grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Aramis Ramirez followed the free pass with a nine pitch at bat … and the ninth pitch ended up in the bleachers in left center. Ramirez’s 22nd dinger of the year gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Dempster retired the Mets in order for the first time on just nine pitches in the fourth. After four, Dempster’s pitch-count … 72 total, 44 for strikes.
Tyler Colvin celebrated his 25th birthday with his fourth triple of the season. With one out, Colvin ripped a 1-1 pitch from the southpaw into left center. The ball hit off the ivy and Colvin slid into third … Colvin’s baserunning gave the Cubs’ a fourth run without a hit.
Geovany Soto just missed a homer of his own and settled for a sac fly to left center. Colvin tagged and scored … 4-2 Cubs.
The wheels came off Dempster in the top of the fifth after Angel Pagan reached on a two-base error by Tyler Colvin. Pagan hit a deep fly into right center that Colvin caught and appeared to drop on the exchange. The umps ruled Colvin did not have the ball long enough and Pagan scrambled to second.
Dempster then surrendered three straight hits … a single by Luis Hernandez, a single by Carlos Beltran and a single by Ike Davis. The Mets tied the game before Dempster walked Mike Hessman to load the bases with no outs. Dempster gathered himself and struck out Lucas Duda for the first out.
With the bases loaded and one out, Josh Thole worked the count full before looking at strike three. Ruben Tejada fell behind 1-2 before dropping a single into center. Beltran and Davis scored … 6-4 Mets.
Dempster gave up the second hit of the day to Jon Niese. Hessman scored, 7-4 Mets. And Dempster departed without completing five innings.
Scott Maine retired Angel Pagan on a groundout to short to end the inning.
Carlos Beltran reached on a one-out infield single and advanced to third on a double off the top of the wall in left center by Ike Davis. Scott Maine intentionally walked Mike Hessman to load the bases.
Nick Evans hit for Lucas Duda and struck out swinging. With two outs and the bases loaded, Josh Thole grounded out to the hole at short to end the inning.
Marcos Mateo took over for Scott Maine in the seventh … and served up Ruben Tejada’s first career homer.
With the Mets up 8-4, Geovany Soto led off the bottom of the seven with a long homer to left. Soto’s 16th cut the Mets lead to 8-5.
Blake DeWitt hit for Jeff Baker and was plunked by Pedro Feliciano. Starlin Castro hit a grounder to first. Ike Davis threw to second and forced DeWitt but the return throw was late. Castro thought he was out, jogged toward the dugout and was tagged out when he tried to return to first …
James Russell replaced Marcos Mateo and gave up two more runs in the eighth. Carlos Beltran walked to start the inning and took second on a wild pitch. Ike Davis then made it 10-5 with a homer into the basket in left.
Mike Hessman followed Davis’ blast with a double to left center. Josh Thole singled to right on a 0-2 pitch. Ruben Tejada popped out to second for the second out of the inning … but Joaquin Arias singled to left and plated Hessman with the Mets’ 11th run.
Angel Pagan completed the Mets’ second five-run inning of the day with a double to left. Thole and Arias scored … 13-5 Mets, and Ron Santo’s good mood from Friday and Saturday was long gone.
Thomas Diamond walked in a run and gave up a two-run, two-out pinch-hit single to Chris Carter in the ninth. Angel Pagan made it 17-5 with a single to right on a 3-2 pitch from Diamond.
Luis Hernandez tallied the Mets’ 21st hit, a single to right off of Diamond that plated Chris Carter with the 18th run of the game … and third five-run inning of the day for the Mets.
Sean Marshall had to make an appearance and he retired Beltran on a fly out to right.
Look, what can you do … It’s a Way of Life
Monday is Labor Day and Casey Coleman will face Wandy Rodriguez in the first of three against the Astros.