Game One Hundred Twenty-Three: Cubs 2, Mets 1
WP – Pedro Strop (2-4, BS 3) LP – Jenrry Mejia (5-6) Save – Hector Rondon (17)
Jake Arrieta pitched seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts and Starlin Castro led off the ninth with a solo home run that ended up being the difference in the game as the Cubs snapped their three-game losing streak with a win over the Mets on Sunday afternoon.
After the Mets tied the game in the bottom of the eighth against Pedro Strop on a passed ball and a two-out single by Curtis Granderson, Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a home run) led off the ninth and hit the first pitch he saw down the right field line and into the seats.
Jake Arrieta dominated the Mets for seven innings Sunday afternoon. Arrieta was in total control throughout his outing and the Mets made very little solid contact against him. Arrieta issued two walks in seven innings while striking out the side in the second and fourth innings. The Mets put two runners on base one time in seven innings against Arrieta and that was due to an error by Anthony Rizzo in the third. And an excellent double play turned by Starlin Castro and Javier Baez ended the threat in the third inning.
Of the nine strikeouts Jake Arrieta recorded Sunday afternoon, the first eight were on his curve. Arrieta had a devastating curveball Sunday.
Jake Arrieta gave up two hits Sunday with two walks and nine strikeouts. Arrieta kept the Mets off the board for seven innings on 98 pitches, 61 for strikes.
The Mets tied the game in the bottom of the eighth against Pedro Strop on two singles and a passed ball by John Baker. Hector Rondon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.
The offense did very little against Rafael Montero in 7 1/3 innings. Javier Baez (0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored) led off the fourth inning with his first walk and scored on a two-out single by Luis Valbuena (1-for-4 with a RBI). The Cubs had a chance to add to their one-run lead in the eighth but Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4) struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Ryan Sweeney (2-for-3) collected two hits and Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4) singled in the eighth.
Matt Szczur (0-for-1) made his big league debut when he pinch-ran for Sweeney in the eighth and grounded into a four-unassisted fielder’s choice in the ninth.
The Cubs managed seven hits, three walks and nine strikeouts Sunday and went 1-for-3 with RISP and left six men on base.
With Sunday’s win (7-12 on Sunday in 2014), the Cubs improved to 53-70 on the season.
Javier Baez led off the fourth inning of the scoreless game with the first walk of his big league career (3-1 pitch). Anthony Rizzo flied out to deep center (0-2 pitch) for the first out. Starlin Castro tried to check his swing, but tapped back to Rafael Montero. Baez advanced to second as Castro was being thrown out at first base. Luis Valbuena pulled a 2-1 pitch into right. Baez scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Alcantara tapped back to the mound for the third out. The Cubs made Montero work a little and it took the Mets’ right hander 58 pitches, 36 for strikes, to complete four innings on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs led 1-0 after four innings.
Jake Arrieta kept pounding the strike zone and the Mets could not put anything together against him in the fifth, sixth or seventh innings.
Pedro Strop replaced Arrieta for the eighth inning with the Cubs up 1-0 after the offense was unable to add to the lead in the top half. Strop struck out Anthony Recker for the first out. Ruben Tejada singled to center on a 2-1 pitch. Terry Collins sent in Eric Young Jr. to run for Tejada at first base. Kirk Nieuwenhuis lined a 2-0 pitch into right center. Alcantara made a sensational diving catch running toward the infield for the out. Curtis Granderson stepped in and the first pitch got past John Baker. And the wild pitch (changed to passed ball before the bottom of the ninth) allowed Young to move to second base with two outs. Curtis Granderson worked a full count before ripping a single into center. Young rounded third and scored the tying run. Granderson advanced to second on Alcantara’s throw to the plate. Juan Lagares grounded out to Castro to end the inning.
The game was tied at one after eight innings.
Starlin Castro led off the ninth and drove the first pitch from Jenrry Mejia down the right field line … and just over the wall. Castro’s 13th longball of the season gave the Cubs a one-run lead again. After Valbuena grounded out to Duda at first, Arismendy Alcantara singled to center. Matt Szczur stepped in a big league batter’s box for the first time. Szczur grounded out to Murphy behind the bag at second base. Murphy stepped on second but could not complete the double play. With Szczur at first, John Baker struck out swinging to end the inning.
Hector Rondon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth on 14 pitches, nine for strikes, to close it out for the Cubs.
Kyle Hendricks faces Bartolo Colon in the finale of the four-game, wrap-around series on Monday morning (11:10am CDT).