Game 1 of the NLCS did not go the Cubs way. Jon Lester had a bad night and admitted he let his teammates down. When the Cubs were able to square up Matt Harvey the ball was hit right at a fielder while the ball seemed to drop in every time the Mets put it in play.
As was the case in the NLDS, a series is more than one game. If the Cubs can win Game 2 behind Jake Arrieta and fly back to Chicago with the best of seven series tied at one it will be considered a good trip to New York.
The Cubs took the loss seriously but with the right perspective. It’s one game.
Kyle Schwarber said after the game, “It’s a seven game series. We’ve got time, we don’t have to panic. They beat us today. It happens.” And Dexter Fowler said, “Don’t panic, c’mon. We hit balls way harder tonight than we hit off [John] Lackey.”
Saturday was the second loss for the Cubs since Sept. 27.
Reports from Game 1 of NLCS
Anthony Rizzo reached base two times Saturday night and scored a run. Between getting hit in the right arm by Matt Harvey and an errant throw from Daniel Murphy hitting him in the hand in the seventh inning as he tried to keep from being doubled off first base, Rizzo should be rather sore Sunday. Rizzo told ESPN Chicago that he did not feel “any lingering effects of taking a ball of his hand.” Rizzo said “it felt numb for a few minutes” but according to the report he did not have any X-rays on the hand.
- ESPN: Jon Lester beats himself up after Game 1 NLCS loss
- The Tribune: Jon Lester doesn’t live up to his playoff rep in NLCS-opening loss
- ESPN Chicago: For the Cubs, Game 1 turned on a pair of plays at the plate
- ESPN Chicago: How well did the Cubs hit Matt Harvey?
- Comcast SportsNet: Matt Harvey shuts down Cubs as Mets take 1-0 NLCS lead
- The Sun-Times: Matt Harvey, Mets win in Game 1 put Cubs in a familiar place
- Jayson Stark: Matt Harvey plays hero, wins back Gotham in Game 1
Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-4 with a home run in Game 1. Schwarber should have had a second hit in the fourth inning when he smoked a 0-2 pitch back up the middle that Wilmer Flores was in perfect position to catch.
Schwarber put his name in the history book with the long home run off Matt Harvey in the eighth inning. Schwarber joined Miguel Cabrera (2003) as the second player 22 years or younger in Major League history to hit four home runs in the same post-season.
Kyle Schwarber became part of another rather exclusive club with the solo blast off Harvey. Schwarber became the fifth player in the history of the game to hit four home runs in the same post-season before the age of 23. Schwarber joined Mickey Mantle, Bryce Harper, Miguel Cabrera and Andruw Jones as the only players to accomplish the feat.
Counting the post-season, Kyle Schwarber has hit 20 home runs in his first 75 games in the big leagues.
• Report from Comcast SportsNet – Cubs Drafting Kyle Schwarber over Michael Conforto could tilt NLCS
Stadium Journey posted its updated ballpark rankings for the 2015 season on Friday. Wrigley Field checked in at No. 5 on the list behind Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Orioles), PNC Park (Pirates), Busch Stadium (Cardinals) and Fenway Park (Red Sox).
Stadium Journey noted how good the results are from the first phase of The 1060 Project.
News and Notes
• The Mets announced Saturday that Jacob deGrom will start Game 3 and Steven Matz is scheduled for Game 4 of the NLCS.
• Mets’ closer Jeurys Familia might not be available for Sunday’s game according to Joel Sherman, and Sherman asked where would the Mets be without him.
• Joe Maddon did not make it official but it appears Kyle Hendricks will start Game 3 and Jason Hammel will go in Game 4. Maddon would not commit to one or the other following Jake Arrieta for Game 3 at Wrigley. According to Carrie Muskat, Maddon was waiting for Chris Bosio to “talk to both pitchers before announcing how they would handle the rotation.”
• During an interview Saturday on Inside the Clubhouse (670 The Score), Andre Dawson told Bruce Levine and Jordan Bernfield that he will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the NLCS.
• According to Jesse Rogers, Joe Maddon, John Mallee and Brandon Hyde are dealing with colds. None of the players were feeling under the weather before Game 1.
• Bruce Levine reported the Cubs will stay relaxed no matter the outcome.
This Day In Cubstory
2000 – Cubs granted free agency to Tarrik Brock, Raul Gonzalez, Brent Hinchliffe, Keith Luuloa, Vincente Palacios, Danny Young and Mark Dalesandro
1986 – Cubs granted free agency to Terry Francona
1966 – Cubs released Joey Amalfitano
1966 – Cubs released Marty Keough
1955 – Ralph Kiner announced his retirement. The Hall of Famer played for the Cubs in 1953-54.
1949 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Andy Varga
1939 – Cubs released Jack Russell
1939 – Cubs released Earl Whitehill
1886 – The Chicago National League Ball Club won the opener of the Championship Series by beating the Browns 6-0 behind John Clarkson at West Side Park.