Game Forty-One – Cubs 2, Mets 3
WP – Matt Harvey (5-0) LP – Edwin Jackson (1-6) Save – Bobby Parnell (5)
Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field turned out to be the Matt Harvey Show. After the Cubs jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first inning, Harvey shut the door and retired 20 of the next 21 batters he faced and all six of his strikeouts ended an inning. A solo home run by Daniel Murphy in the fourth tied the game at two. Matt Harvey then broke the tie in the seventh when he singled in Rick Ankiel, and that ended up being the difference in the game.
Edwin Jackson had a decent day on the mound and made only three mistakes. Jackson served up a pair of solo home runs to David Wright in the first and Daniel Murphy in the fourth then allowed Matt Harvey to drive in the winning run. The inability of the Cubs staff to retire the opposing pitcher has become more than an issue over the last several seasons.
Edwin Jackson notched his third quality start of the season after allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Jackson threw 91 pitches, 62 for strikes. James Russell and Kyuji Fujikawa kept the Mets off the board over the final 2 1/3 innings of the game.
The Cubs offense was non-existent after the first inning. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a run scored) collected two of the Cubs’ six hits, extended his hitting streak to seven games and scored one of the two runs. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) doubled Castro to third in the first inning and both scored on an infield single by Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a RBI) and a throwing error by Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada.
The Cubs had a chance to tie it up in the eighth after Darwin Barney (1-for-3) reached with a check swing, bloop single to center. Julio Borbon bunted Barney into scoring position before Matt Harvey turned the game over to the Mets’ pen.
David DeJesus (1-for-4) ripped a single into right off lefty reliever, and former Cubs’ farmhand, Scott Rice. David Bell waived Barney around third but Marlon Byrd threw a strike in the air to John Buck at the plate. The throw was so good that Buck was waiting for Barney to tag him out … the play was not close.
The Cubs managed six hits on Friday but not a single walk in a one-run loss (2-for-3 with RISP, three left on base).
With Friday’s loss to the hottest pitcher in baseball, the Cubs dropped back to seven games under .500 with a 17-24 record.
The Mets got on the board in the first inning after Edwin Jackson struck out Jordany Valdespin looking to start his afternoon. Daniel Murphy grounded out to second and Jackson jumped ahead of David Wright 1-2. On a day the wind was blowing in, David Wright crushed Jackson’s next pitch. The ball ended up deep in the bleachers in left and the Mets took a 1-0 lead. Jackson caught Ike Davis looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Matt Harvey made his Wrigley Field debut and retired David DeJesus on a pop out to left center to start his day. Starlin Castro followed with a single to left center and moved to third when Anthony Rizzo drove a 2-1 pitch to the opposite field. Rizzo doubled to left and Castro stopped at third with one down.
Alfonso Soriano skipped a 1-0 pitch back up the box. Ruben Tejada went behind the second base bag, fielded the ball but made a low throw to first. Davis could not scoop and both Castro and Rizzo scored on what was ruled as an infield single and RBI for Soriano and E6 on Tejada. Nate Schierholtz lined out to center and Valbuena struck out swinging to end the inning. Harvey needed 25 pitches, 19 for strikes, to complete his first inning on Friday.
Edwin Jackson and Matt Harvey settled in after the first inning. The Cubs managed only one hit from the first through the seventh inning off of Harvey, a bloop single by Castro in the third. Jackson retired the side in order in both the second and third innings. Jackson took a 2-1 lead into the fourth, that quickly disappeared.
Daniel Murphy lined the first pitch from Jackson in the fourth inning into the basket in left … and just like that the game was tied at two. Jackson gave up a single to Wright following the home run but Ike Davis rapped into a nifty 4-6-3 double play. Lucas Duda singled to right with two down. Jackson ended the inning by inducing a grounder to third off the bat of John Buck. Jackson needed only 47 pitches, 34 for strikes, to complete four innings on Friday … but he found himself in a tie game after his fourth inning of work.
The game went to the seventh tied at two. While the Cubs did nothing against Harvey, the Mets knocked on the door in the sixth but Jackson was able to wiggle his way out of a first and third two out jam by retiring Duda on a grounder to Barney to end the inning. Jackson would not be as fortunate in the seventh.
John Buck flied out to deep right center to start the seventh. Rick Ankiel followed with a deep fly to right. Schierholtz could not haul the ball in near the well. Ankiel ended up a second with a one out double and Jackson was in trouble. Tejada flied to center on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Matt Harvey stepped to the plate and pulled a 1-1 pitch in between Valbuena and Castro into left field. Soriano threw to the plate but his throw was off and skipped away from Castillo as Ankiel scored the go ahead run. Harvey ended up at second on the error and Dale Sveum made his way to the mound.
Sveum replaced Jackson with James Russell and Terry Collins countered with Marlon Byrd for Valdespin. Byrd flied out to left to end the inning.
The Mets were not able to add on in the eighth. Darwin Barney led off the eighth with an excuse-me swing, bloop single to center off Matt Harvey, the Cubs first hit since the third inning. Julio Borbon hit for Russell and bunted Barney into scoring position. Terry Collins decided that was enough for Harvey and went to his pen for lefty Scott Rice.
David DeJesus stepped in and looked at three straight out of the zone before taking a strike. DeJesus then smoked a 3-2 pitch past Murphy and into right field. Barney paused then restarted once he saw the ball go through. Marlon Byrd charged the ball and made the best throw of his career at Wrigley. Byrd threw all the way to the plate in the air, John Buck caught the ball and was waiting to tag out Barney. DeJesus went to second but was stranded when Castro grounded out to third off right hander Greg Burke to end the inning.
The Mets did nothing against Kyuji Fujikawa in the ninth … and the Cubs went down in order to end the game.
Scott Feldman against Jeremy Hefner on Saturday afternoon.