Game One Hundred Twenty-Four: Cubs 4, Mets 1
WP – Kyle Hendricks (5-1) LP – Buddy Carlyle (1-1) Save – Hector Rondon (18)
Kyle Hendricks made one mistake over seven excellent innings, Anthony Rizzo hit a go ahead homer in the eighth and Javier Baez added a two-run blast in the ninth as the Cubs beat the Mets on Monday afternoon to earn a split the four-game series at Citi Field.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk and two runs scored) broke out of his slump in a big way Monday. Rizzo doubled and scored the Cubs first run in the sixth on a single by Luis Valbuena (3-for-4 with a RBI) that tied the game at one. Rizzo launched a solo shot with one out in the eighth, and his 28th longball of the season gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Javier Baez (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) ended his first trip to New York with an exclamation point. Baez crushed a 1-0 pitch from Jenrry Mejia in the ninth with Ryan Sweeney on board that ended up in the second deck of Citi Field after traveling 434 feet.
Kyle Hendricks kept the Mets off balance his entire outing and the only mistake he made Monday afternoon Lucas Duda deposited in the Cubs’ bullpen beyond the wall in right center. Hendricks found a rhythm early and the Mets made little solid contact during his seven innings on the mound. Hendricks limited the Mets to one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Hendricks recorded two eight-pitch innings and threw 94 pitches, 59 for strikes, in seven innings.
Neil Ramirez retired all three batters he faced in the eighth with two strikeouts and Hector Rondon picked up the save after working around a leadoff double.
Cubs pitching held the Mets to four hits in each of the four games.
Bartolo Colon was a late scratch and Carlos Torres made quick work of the Cubs offense through the first five innings. Torres struck out five of the first 10 batters he faced in a spot start. Torres became the first pitcher this season to pitch on back-to-back days after he appeared out of the Mets’ pen in Sunday’s game.
The Cubs managed nine hits on the afternoon and won a game in which the offense left the bases loaded twice, once in the fourth and again in the eighth.
Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a walk) and Justin Ruggiano (1-for-4) also collected hits and the Cubs struck out 11 times in the finale with the Mets.
With Monday’s victory, the Cubs won the season series against the Mets (5-2) and improved to 54-70 on the season.
Anthony Rizzo worked a one-out walk with one down in the fourth inning. After Starlin Castro flied out to deep right center, Luis Valbuena singled to right (2-1) and the Cubs had two on with two down in a scoreless game. Justin Ruggiano hit a 3-2 pitch back up the middle that Carlos Torres tried to make a kick save on. The ball hit off his foot toward third but David Wright did not have a play. The Cubs loaded the bases for Welington Castillo. But Carlos Torres struck out Castillo swinging to end the inning. The Cubs were 1-for-2 with RISP and left four on base in the first four innings … and allowed the spot-starter, Carlos Torres to throw 72 pitches, 42 for strikes, in four innings.
After throwing 40 pitches, 26 for strikes, in the first three innings, Kyle Hendricks retired David Wright on a flyout to center for the first out in the fifth. Lucas Duda crushed a 1-2 pitch. The ball ended up in the Cubs’ pen beyond the right field wall and the Mets took a 1-0 lead. Travis d’Arnaud popped out to Castillo behind the plate. Hendricks issued a four-pitch walk to Matt den Dekker. The Mets’ left fielder took off for second on a 1-1 pitch to Juan Lagares. Welington Castillo made an excellent throw and Javier Baez made a quick tag, but den Dekker was called safe. Rick Renteria challenged the call and it was overturned to end the inning. Hendricks threw 56 pitches, 34 for strikes, in four innings.
After four complete, the Cubs trailed 1-0.
Terry Collins replaced Carlos Torres in the top of the sixth with Dana Eveland after his spot starter completed five innings of shutout ball. Anthony Rizzo greeted Eveland with a double to right. After Castro could not check his swing on a 3-2 pitch, Luis Valbuena pulled a 2-1 pitch into right. Rizzo was waived in and scored, game tied at one. Collins decided that was enough for Eveland and went to his pen for Buddy Carlyle. Ruggiano struck out swinging and Castillo flied out to right to end the inning.
Kyle Hendricks set down Granderson, Murphy and Wright in order on eight pitches in the sixth inning. Hendricks threw 79 pitches, 51 for strikes, in six innings.
The Cubs and Mets were tied at one after six innings.
Javier Baez could not check his swing on a 3-2 pitch from Buddy Carlyle and was called out to start the eighth inning. Anthony Rizzo stepped in and pulled a 1-1 pitch to deep right … and Rizzo’s 28th longball of the season put the Cubs up 2-1. Starlin Castro walked, Luis Valbuena (0-2 pitch) singled to center and with runners on first and second with one out, Terry Collins went to his pen for Vic Black. And Kirk Nieuwenhuis replaced den Dekker in left on the double switch. Justin Ruggiano struck out swinging for the second out. A passed ball on a 2-1 offering to Castillo allowed Castro and Valbuena to move up ninety feet. Welington Castillo walked to load the bases. Rick Renteria went to his bench and sent up Chris Coghlan to hit for Matt Szczur. Coghlan grounded a 1-2 pitch to Murphy at second for the third out.
Neil Ramirez replaced Hendricks for the eighth inning and struck out two of the three batters he faced.
After eight innings the Cubs led 2-1.
Ryan Sweeney hit for Neil Ramirez to start the ninth. Sweeney singled to center. Alcantara popped out to center for the first out. Javier Baez stepped in and crushed a 1-0 pitch from Jenrry Mejia. The ball ended up in the second deck of the big yard in Flushing and the Cubs took a 4-1 lead on Baez’s fifth blast of the season. Rizzo grounded out to short and Castro flied out to left to end the inning.
Hector Rondon took the hill for the ninth and gave up a leadoff double to Daniel Murphy (3-2 pitch) on the eighth pitch of the at bat. David Wright worked a full count before striking out. Duda flied out to center and Rondon caught d’Arnaud looking at a 0-2 pitch to end the game.
The Cubs open a six-game homestand Tuesday night (7:05pm CDT) with the first of three against the Giants. Tsuyoshi Wada is scheduled to face Ryan Vogelsong.