National League Championship Series Game 1: Cubs (97-65, 4-1) vs. Mets (90-72, 3-2)
- Game Time – 7:07pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: TBS – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183 (Cubs), 844 (Cubs), 89 (Mets), 80 (National) and ESPN Radio
- Location – Citi Field
- Jon Lester (11-12, 3.34/1.12/2.92) vs. Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71/1.02/3.05)
The National League Championship Series – Game 1
Cubs Baseball is On the Air! It’s the first game of the National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Mets from Citi Field.
The Cubs and Mets have a storied past and the old NL Eastern Division rivals square off for the first time in post-season play.
The Mets won the NL East this season with a 90-72 record and were 49-32 at Citi Field, just a game over .500 (41-40) outside of New York. The Cubs finished the regular season third in the NL Central despite winning seven more games than the Mets. Joe Maddon’s team was 48-33 on the road and 49-32 at Wrigley Field.
The weather could play a factor throughout the series and especially the first two games in Flushing. The forecast calls for temperatures in the high-40s during the game and dry.
The Cubs must set a tone early that the offense is going to make Matt Harvey work. A quck first inning will play right into the Mets’ hands and feed the crowd. Jon Lester must keep the Mets off the board in the first inning. Lester has a tendency, like most good pitchers, to give up early runs before he settles in. During the first inning in the regular season, Lester had a 4.50 ERA and a 3.94 ERA in the second inning. Teams hit .254/.280/.437 against him in the opening frame and .276/.336/.431 in the second inning.
Joe Maddon is going with a right-handed heavy lineup against Matt Harvey … Fowler CF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro 2B, Soler RF, Baez SS, Ross C and Lester P.
The Cubs must get into the Mets bullpen early and often during the series. Terry Collins does not trust his pen outside of his closer and Bartolo Colon.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester had a very good outing in Game 1 of the NLDS and pitched better than his final line indicates. Lester had the only quality start for the Cubs staff in the NLDS and was charged with three runs on five hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Lester limited the Cardinals to one run in the first seven innings. A solo home run and a walk in the eighth accounted for the other two runs Lester was charged with at Busch Stadium.
Lester was 3-2 in his last six starts of the regular season with a 2.36 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. And on the road this year, Lester was 4-3 in 12 starts with a 2.93 ERA and 0.98 WHIP (29 runs, 26 earned, on 63 hits with 15 walks and 82 strikeouts in 80 innings). Lester pitched better outside of Wrigley in eight less starts.
Jon Lester makes his third start of the year against the Mets tonight. Lester was 1-0 in two starts against the Mets in the regular season with a 2.08 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Lester allowed three runs on 10 hits, two home runs, with five walks and 13 strikeouts in 13 innings. Lester received a no decision in his start at Citi Field after pitching seven innings of shutout ball while allowing five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.
For his career, Lester is 2-0 in three starts versus the Metropolitans with a 2.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP (five runs, 14 hits, 10 walks, 18 strikeouts in 18 innings). Lester has made only one start at Citi Field.
Mets Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Curtis Granderson: 12-for-44 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and three walks
- Michael Cuddyer: 5-for-19 with two doubles and one walk
- Kelly Johnson: 1-for-15 with two walks
- Yoenis Cespedes: 2-for-13 with two walks
- Lucas Duda: 2-for-6 with one home run
- Wilmer Flores: 1-for-5 with one home run and one walk
- Juan Lagares: 1-for-4 with one double and one walk
- Daniel Murphy: 1-for-6
- David Wright: 0-for-2 with one walk
The Cubs get their second look of the season at Matt Harvey tonight. Harvey held the Cubs in check for seven innings at Wrigley back in May. The Cubs won the game and Harvey received a no-decision.
Matt Harvey is coming off a solid start in Game 3 of the NLDS. Harvey struggled early before he settled down and completed five innings in the Mets 13-7 win over the Dodgers. Harvey allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
At Citi Field this year, Harvey was the Dark Knight and posted an 8-3 record in 17 starts with a 2.23 ERA and 0.94 WHIP (30 runs, 28 earned, on 90 hits with 16 walks and 116 strikeouts in 113 innings).
Matt Harvey is not on an innings limit and figures to pitch as long as he is effective tonight. The Cubs must make him work and wear him down.
Matt Harvey is 1-0 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 1.26 ERA and 0.70 WHIP (two runs on eight hits with two walks and 15 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings). Harvey was more effective against right handers (.218/.242/.286) than left handers (.226/.287/.355) this season. And lefties hit 15 of the 18 home runs that Harvey allowed this year.
Cubs Career Numbers against Matt Harvey
- Chris Coghlan: 3-for-8 with one double
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-9
- Miguel Montero: 3-for-5 with one double and three walks
- Starlin Castro: 2-for-6
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-4 with one double and one walk
- Austin Jackson: 1-for-4
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-3
- Chris Denorfia: 0-for-3
- David Ross: 1-for-2 with one double and one walk
- Jorge Soler: 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …