Game One Hundred Twenty-Two: Cubs 3, Mets 7
WP – Jon Niese (7-8) LP – Dan Straily (1-3) Save – None
The Cubs had a bad night Saturday at Citi Field and dropped the second game of the series to the Mets. Dan Straily struggled in two of the six innings he pitched in, the offense could not cash in the numerous chances they had to score runs and the difference in the game ended up being a four-run sixth inning in which the Mets collected one hit.
Dan Straily made his Cubs debut in a spot start Saturday and retired the side in order in four of the six innings he pitched, but his command was off in the other two innings and the Mets took advantage. Straily had a rough second inning and gave up three runs. Straily missed his spots and left too many pitches out over the plate. Straily did not get any help from his defense in the three-run second or in the four-run sixth that he was not able to complete.
After the three-run second, Dan Straily retired 12 batters in a row and appeared to find a rhythm with Welington Castillo. Straily plunked David Wright with a 2-2 pitch and could not regain his command. Straily walked two of the next three batters he faced with the second walk forcing in Wright with the Mets fourth run. Rick Renteria went to his pen and an error by Arismendy Alcantara opened the door for the Mets. By the time Wesley Wright could record the third out in the sixth, the Mets had scored four runs on one hit.
Dan Straily was charged with seven runs, five earned, on four hits with three walks, a HBP and four strikeouts. Straily threw 89 pitches, 49 for strikes, in 5 1/3 innings.
Kyuji Fujikawa had another rough outing and allowed three inherited runners to score. Wesley Wright was called on to record the last out in the sixth inning. Carlos Villanueva threw two scoreless innings and gave the Cubs a chance to mount a comeback.
Cubs’ pitching allowed seven runs, five earned, on four hits with five walks, a HBP and four strikeouts.
The Mets tried to give the Cubs runs, but the offense could not string together enough hits. The Cubs went 2-for-10 with RISP and left six men on base. And the team struck out 10 more times Saturday night with only 2 walks.
Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a home run) put the Cubs on the board in the fifth inning with a solo home run, his ninth longball of the season. Justin Ruggiano (1-for-4 with a home run) hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Cubs second run but the Cubs managed only run after loading the bases in the seventh with no outs. Ryan Sweeney (1-for-1 with a RBI) drove in Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a run scored) with an infield single off the body of Jon Niese.
Javier Baez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout and was on base two times. And four of the Cubs last six outs were via a strikeout.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 52-70 on the season.
Dan Straily retired the Mets in order in the first inning on 12 pitches, eight for strikes. After the Cubs went down in order quickly in the top of the second, Dan Straily walked Lucas Duda to start the Mets second. Travis d’Arnaud chopped a 2-0 pitch toward third. Chris Valaika backed up to make the play, and that step cost the Cubs a double play. Duda was forced at second, but d’Arnaud beat Baez’s throw. The light hitting Matt den Dekker pulled Straily’s first pitch into right field. With runners on first and second with one out, Juan Lagares drove a 2-1 pitch to right center. Ruggiano appeared to be playing extremely shallow. The ball hit on the edge of the warning track and hopped over the wall. d’Arnaud scored on Lagares’s ground rule double, 1-0 Mets. Straily jumped ahead of Wilmer Flores 1-2, but could not put him away. Flores worked a full count before ripping a single into left center. den Dekker and Lagares scored, 3-0 Mets. Niese popped up a bunt to Valaika for the first out. Arismendy Alcantara bailed out Straily with an excellent catch at the wall just to the right of straight away center to end the inning. Alcantara ranged back on the deep fly and caught the ball just before he hit the blue padding. Straily needed 36 pitches, 19 for strikes, to complete two innings.
The Cubs trailed 3-0 after two innings.
Dan Straily retired the Mets in order in the third and fourth innings. Straily needed 51 pitches, 29 for strikes, to complete four innings Saturday night.
Welington Castillo led off the fifth and cranked his ninth home run of the season over the wall in left center (2-1 pitch). Castillo cut the deficit to 3-1. Niese struck out Valaika and Straily swinging before Coghlan grounded out to short for the third out … 71 pitches for Niese after five innings, 47 for strikes.
Dan Straily set the Mets down 1-2-3 in the fifth. Straily threw 68 pitches, 40 for strikes, and retired 11 in a row after the Flores two-run single in the second.
After five complete, the Cubs were down 3-1.
The Cubs did nothing in the sixth and Straily induced a grounder off the bat of Murphy to Rizzo for the first out in the sixth, the 12th straight Metropolitan retired by Straily. David Wright fell behind 1-2 before Straily plunked him with a 2-2 pitch. Straily lost his command after hitting Wright. Lucas Duda walked and Travis d’Arnaud pulled the first pitch from Straily into left. Wright was held at third and the light hitting Matt den Dekker walked. Wright trotted in and the Mets took a 4-1 lead. Rick Renteria decided that was enough for Straily and went to his pen for Kyuji Fujikawa.
Juan Lagares drove a 1-1 pitch into right center. Alcantara ran over and got a glove on the sinking liner, but the ball hit off the end and both Duda and d’Arnaud scored, 6-1 Mets, on what was ruled correctly as an error on Alcantara. With runners on second and third and only one out, Fujikawa intentionally walked Flores to load the bases. Jon Niese pulled Fujikawa’s first pitch down the first baseline. Rizzo fielded the ball, stepped on the bag and threw home. den Dekker slid in safe, 7-1 Mets. Renteria went back to his pen for Wesley Wright. Curtis Granderson grounded out to Baez to end the inning.
The Mets scored four runs in the sixth on one hit. And after six inning, the Mets had a commanding 7-1 lead.
Justin Ruggiano led off the seventh and pulled a 1-0 pitch from Niese into the stands in center, 7-2 Mets. Arismendy Alcantara followed with a single and Welington Castillo pounded a single into left. Chris Valaika singled to center on a 0-2 pitch and the Cubs had the bases loaded with no outs. Ryan Sweeney hit for Wright and smoked a 2-1 pitch back up the middle and off Niese’s right forearm. Alcantara scored on the infield single, 7-3 Mets. With the bases loaded and no outs, Terry Collins checked on his lefty before going to his bullpen for Vic Black. Chris Coghlan flied out to medium-depth left field. Castillo did not tag. Javier Baez popped a 1-1 pitch up to Duda at first for the second out and Anthony Rizzo popped out to Flores in shallow left to end the inning.
Carlos Villanueva issued a two-out walk to Duda in the seventh, but that was all for the Mets.
The Cubs trailed 7-3 after seven innings … and were 2-for-10 with RISP and left six men on base through seven innings.
And that is the way the game ended. Carlos Villanueva tossed two scoreless innings, but the Cubs offense had trouble putting the ball in play against the Mets’ pen (four of last six outs were strikeouts).
Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face rookie right-hander Rafael Montero on Sunday afternoon (12:10pm CDT).