Spring Training Game Seventeen – Cubs 4, Mets 9
WP – Cory Mazzoni (1-1) LP – Zac Rosscup (1-1) Save – None
While the Brandon Hyde led half of the roster was able to complete the comeback in the valley, Rick Renteria’s roster could not do the same in Las Vegas as the Cubs dropped the first game of the weekend series against the Mets.
Tsuyoshi Wada put his team in an early hole. Wada threw batting practice to the Mets and gave up three runs in the first inning and four runs in his two-plus innings of work. Carlos Pimentel kept the Metropolitans off the board for 2 2/3 innings. Blake Parker tossed a scoreless inning as well but Zac Rosscup surrendered three runs on one hit with two walks in two thirds of an inning. Poor defense led to Justin Grimm giving up two more runs in the ninth.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with two home runs, a walk and three RBI) had a big afternoon. Rizzo hit a pair of home runs off of Bartolo Colon that cut the Mets lead to 4-3 in the fourth. Ryan Sweeney (0-for-2 with a walk and a RBI) worked a bases loaded walk in the fifth inning that tied the game at four. Darwin Barney (2-for-3) picked up two more hits and Donnie Murphy (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) doubled and scored the tying run in the fifth. But the Cubs’ offense could not manage another run the rest of the afternoon.
The Cubs scored four runs on seven hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.
With Saturday’s loss in Las Vegas, the Cubs slipped to 8-9 in the Cactus League.
Eric Young Jr. singled on a 2-2 pitch to start the game. Juan Lagares followed with a double off the left field wall (1-0 pitch). Young stopped at third with no outs. David Wright doubled to right. Young and Lagares scored, 2-0 Mets. Curtis Granderson popped out to Donnie Murphy at third (0-2 pitch) for the first out. Andrew Brown made it 3-0 Mets with a double off the wall in right field. Eric Campbell struck out swinging and Wilmer Flores flied out to right to end the inning.
Anthony Rizzo put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the second. Rizzo launched a 3-1 pitch from Bartolo Colon over the wall in right center. Rizzo’s first home run of the spring cut the Mets lead to 3-1. Colon retired Sweeney, Javier Baez and Darnell McDonald to end the inning.
The Mets got the run right back in the top of the third. Wada issued back-to-back walks to Lagares and David Wright to start the inning. Wada then hit Curtis Granderson … replay, which was not available on a call that will not be reviewable during the regular season, showed the ball did not hit Granderson. Andrew Brown singled to left. Lagares scored, 4-1 Mets. Rick Renteria decided that was enough for Wada and went to his pen for minor leaguer Frank Batista. The Cubs have been using Batista quite a bit in Cactus League games. Batista put together his best outing of the spring and retired Eric Campbell (grounder to third), Wilmer Flores (strikeout) and Travis d’Arnaud (grounder to third) to end the inning.
Nate Schierholtz led off the fourth with a single to right. Anthony Rizzo launched his second homer of the day over the wall in right. Rizzo pulled the 1-2 pitch on his hands and really showed his power with the swing. Sweeney lined out to right. Baez grounded out to second, Darnell McDonald singled but Eli Whiteside grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Cubs tied the game in the fifth after Donnie Murphy reached on a two-out double to center. Nate Schierholtz walked and Terry Collins went to his bullpen for Ryan Reid. Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases. And Ryan Sweeney worked a two-out walk that forced in Murphy with the tying run. Baez was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
The game remained tied at four until the eighth inning.
Zac Rosscup replaced Blake Parker for the eighth and issued a leadoff walk to Andrew Brown. A wild pickoff attempt at first allowed Brown to advance to second. Campbell flied out to Szczur in left for the first out. Wilmer Flores then launched a 0-1 pitch from Rosscup over the wall in left, 6-4 Mets. Rosscup walked Kevin Plawecki. Omar Quintanilla grounded out to second, Plawecki advanced to second and Renteria decided that was enough for Rosscup. Paolo Espino replaced Rosscup and served up a double to right center to Eric Young Jr. Plawecki scored, 7-4 Mets. Lagares grounded out to Kris Bryant at third to finally end the inning.
The Mets tacked on two more runs in the ninth against Justin Grimm. Zach Lutz doubled to start the inning. Lutz hit a mile-high pop up that the wind grabbed. Walter Ibarra got a glove on the ball but could not haul it in. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a double to right. Lutz scored, 8-4 Mets. Nieuwenhuis swiped third and scored on a double by Eric Campbell … 9-4 Mets. Grimm caught Wilmer Flores looking at strike three. After giving up a single to Plawecki, Quintanilla grounded out to Ibarra at short to end the inning.
The Cubs play two more games on Sunday. Travis Wood faces Justin Masterson and the Indians at Cubs Park while Chris Rusin will square off against Jenrry Mejia and the Mets in Las Vegas.