Cubs Wiggle Out with a Walk-Off Win – Cubs 2, Mets 1

Game Fifty-Five: Cubs 2, Mets 1

WP – Hector Rondon (1-1) LP – Scott Rice (1-2) Save – None

wflag-pub2014For the first time this season, the Cubs were able to walk off the field with a victory. Nate Schierholtz drove in Anthony Rizzo with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth for the game winner. Chris Coghlan tied the game in the eighth with his first home run of the year after the bullpen pitched 4 1/3 innings of shutout ball in relief of Jake Arrieta.

Nate Schierholtz (3-for-4 with a RBI) was the Cubs offense before the eighth inning. Schierholtz managed the Cubs only two hits over the first eight innings. Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a home run) tied the game at one in the eighth with his first longball of the season … and his first big league homer since May 28, 2013.

Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a run scored) led off the ninth with a single to center off lefty Scott Rice. Starlin Castro smoked a 3-2 pitch toward third that ate up David Wright. The Mets’ third baseman did not field the ball cleanly and had only one play, and that was Castro at first base. Rizzo advanced to second on Wright’s miscue. Luis Valbuena struck out swinging. Nate Schierholtz pulled a 0-2 pitch into right. Rizzo scored, game over.

The Cubs pen picked up Jake Arrieta and tossed 4 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Brian Schlitter retired all four batters he faced with a strikeout. James Russell gave up a hit in his 1 1/3 innings. Neil Ramirez struck out one of the two batters he faced and Hector Rondon picked up the win after allowing a single in the ninth. Four relievers limited the Mets to two hits and no walks with three strikeouts.

Jake Arrieta had a rough night but was able to wiggle out of trouble and allowed only one run in 4 2/3 innings. The Mets put the leadoff hitter on base in each of the first four innings and had a runner in scoring position in all five innings that Arrieta started. The Mets loaded the bases in the third with no outs. It took Arrieta 30 pitches to get out of the jam without allowing any runs to cross the plate. The Mets were 1-for-9 with RISP and left nine men on base over the first five innings.

Jake Arrieta gave up one run on seven hits with three walks, a wild pitch and three strikeouts. Arrieta threw 105 pitches, 64 for strikes, in 4 2/3 innings.

Tuesday was not only the Cubs first walk off win of the season, but it had been close to a year (June 13, 2013) since the last time the Cubs walked off with a win at Wrigley Field.

With Tuesday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 21-34 on the season.

Jake Arrieta fell behind the Mets’ leadoff hitter, Matt den Dekker 3-1 and had to throw him a strike. den Dekker singled to center to start the game. Luis Valbuena robbed Daniel Murphy of at least a double with a diving catch toward the line of a screaming liner for the first out of the inning. den Dekker stole second on the first pitch to David Wright. A wild pitch allowed den Dekker to advance to third. Arrieta walked David Wright and put runners on the corners with one down for Curtis Granderson. Arrieta fell behind Granderson 3-1 before he lined out to center. den Dekker tagged and scored from third, 1-0 Mets. With David Wright at first base, Chris Young flied out to left center to end the inning. Arrieta threw 18 pitches in the first inning, seven for strikes.

While the Cubs offense was trying to figure out Zack Wheeler, Jake Arrieta had to figure out a way to get out of the jams he created throughout his very long, but short outing.

Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores led off the second with back-to-back singles to right. Travis d’Arnaud popped out to Rizzo for the first out. Zack Wheeler bunted both runners up ninety feet. Arrieta retired den Dekker on a grounder to Valbuena at third to end the inning. Arrieta needed 34 pitches, 24 for strikes, to complete two innings.

Nate Schierholtz collected the Cubs first hit in the second inning, but that was all, and Arrieta went back to work in the third inning.

Daniel Murphy led off the third with an infield single to the hole at short (2-2 pitch). Castro got a glove on the ball but could not field it cleanly. Arrieta walked David Wright. Curtis Granderson hit a sinking liner into right center (3-2 pitch). Murphy misread the ball and had to hold at third. With the bases loaded and no outs, Chris Young hit a 1-2 pitch toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball and looked at second before throwing home to force Murphy. Duda popped out to Castro in shallow center for the second out and Flores smoked a 0-1 pitch back up the middle that found Arrieta’s glove to end the inning.

Jake Arrieta threw 30 pitches in the third inning and it took him 64 pitches, 38 for strikes, to complete three innings on Tuesday night.

Emilio Bonifacio managed a two-out walk in the third but that was all for the Cubs.

After three innings, the Cubs trailed 1-0.

Jake Arrieta gave up a single to Travis d’Arnaud in the fourth, the fourth straight inning the Mets put the leadoff hitter on. Wheeler bunted d’Arnaud up ninety feet. Arrieta struck out den Dekker swinging and retired Murphy on a flyout to left to end the inning. Arrieta left another runner in scoring position and it took Arrieta 79 pitches, 48 for strikes, to complete four innings.

The Cubs went down in order in the fourth and Arrieta took the mound to start the fifth.

David Wright was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch for the first out in the fifth. Curtis Granderson singled center. Arrieta retired Chris Young on a flyout to right. With Duda at the plate, Granderson swiped second. The fifth straight inning the Mets put a runner in scoring position. Arrieta could not put Duda away and walked him. Rick Renteria made the slow walk, talked to Arrieta for a minute then went to his pen for Brian Schlitter with two on and two down. Schlitter struck out Flores swinging to end the inning.

The game remained 1-0 Mets until the eighth inning.

Josh Edgin stayed in for the eighth inning after replacing Zack Wheeler with two outs in the seventh. Chris Coghlan led off the eighth and took the lefty deep. Coghlan drove a 2-2 pitch into the first row of the bleachers in left center and tied the game at one. Baker struck out swinging and Terry Collins went to his pen as soon as Justin Ruggiano was announced as the pinch hitter for Neil Ramirez. Vic Black struck out Ruggiano swinging. Emilio Bonifacio singled to center and took second on a delayed steal. But Junior Lake struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Hector Rondon kept the Mets off the board in the ninth and Anthony Rizzo led off the ninth with a single to center off lefty Scott Rice. Castro hit a tailor made double play ball to Wright at third. But the ball ate up the Mets’ third baseman and he had to settle for first base. With Rizzo at second, Valbuena struck out swinging. Nate Schierholtz pulled a 0-2 pitch into right, Rizzo scored … game over.

Weather permitting … Edwin Jackson will square off against Daisuke Matsuzaka on Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT) at the old ballyard.

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver