National League Championship Series Game 3 – Cubs 2, Mets 5
WP – Jacob deGrom (1-0) LP – Trevor Cahill (0-1) Save – Jeurys Familia (3)
The Cubs defensive issues caught up with them Tuesday night and it cost them Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. The Cubs gave the Mets too many outs in the sixth and seventh innings that led to three runs and ended up being the difference in the game.
The Cubs were only charged with one error but it was the mistakes that do not show up in a box score that lost them the game. With the score tied at two in the sixth, two down and Yoenis Cespedes on third base, Michael Conforto swung at and missed at a 2-2 pitch in the dirt from Trevor Cahill. The ball got past Miguel Montero and Cespedes scored what would be the winning run.
The Mets were given two more runs in the seventh after mistakes by Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber prolonged the inning. It is really hard to keep a team from scoring when they are handed two or three extra outs in an inning. And that’s what happened on Tuesday night.
Kyle Schwarber (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk) tied the game at one in the bottom of the first inning with his fifth home run of the postseason. The Cubs let Jacob deGrom off the hook in the first inning and could not string together anymore hits the rest of the night.
Jorge Soler (1-for-4 with a home run) tied the game at two in the fourth with a solo home run to right, the Cubs last hit of the game off Jacob deGrom. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4), Starlin Castro (1-for-4) and Dexter Fowler (1-for-4 with a double) had the Cubs other three hits.
The Cubs continued to struggle offensively and managed only one hit after the fourth inning. The Cubs were unable to put the leadoff man on base in any inning Tuesday … and Joe Maddon’s team has not had a lead at all in the first three games of the series.
Kyle Hendricks lasted just four innings Tuesday. Hendricks gave up two runs and several hard hit balls, including another home run to Daniel Murphy. Hendricks could not give his skipper what he was hoping for in Game 3. But Hendricks still turned the game over to the bullpen tied at two.
Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in four innings.
Clayton Richard kept the Mets off the board in the fifth. Richard was not sharp but got a double play to end the inning.
Trevor Cahill and Travis Wood were charged with the three runs allowed by the Cubs defense in the sixth and seventh innings. Justin Grimm picked up the last two outs in the seventh after two inherited runs scored while he was on the mound.
Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon put zeros on the board in the last two innings.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs are down 0-3 to the Mets in NLCS.
Game 3 started on a bad note for the Cubs. The Mets jumped out to an early lead after the night began with an error by Javier Baez on a routine play. Granderson dribbled a 0-1 pitch toward Baez, who was in the shift, and the ball went off the end of his glove. With Granderson at first base, Hendricks jumped ahead of Wright 0-2. Granderson took off for second on a 1-2 pitch to Wright. Montero threw a strike to Castro and nailed Granderson. David Wright singled to left on Hendricks’ next pitch. Hendricks caught Daniel Murphy looking (0-2 pitch) for the second out.
With David Wright sprinting off first base, Yoenis Cespedes pulled a 1-1 pitch into left center. Wright scored and the Mets took a 1-0 lead. Lucas Duda flied out to left (2-2 pitch) for the third out.
Dexter Fowler was called out on strikes (3-2 pitch) leading off the first inning. It was at that point Ted Barrett, the home plate ump, showed it would be a long night for the Cubs. Barrett called a very low strike and as it turns out cost the Cubs a run.
Kyle Schwarber worked a full count before he reached out and poked a 96 mph fastball into the bleachers in left center. And Schwarber’s fifth homer of the post-season tied the game at one.
After Bryant flied out to right, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro reached with back-to-back two-out singles to left. Jorge Soler grounded out to the hole at short (3-2 pitch) to end the inning. The Cubs forced Jacob deGrom to throw 29 pitches in the first, 19 for strikes.
After one complete, Game 3 was tied at one.
The game went to the third inning tied at one. Hendricks struck out Granderson and Wright swinging for the first two outs. Hendricks fell behind Murphy 2-1. Daniel Murphy drilled Hendricks’ next pitch out to center. And another Murphy homer gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. Cespedes launched a deep fly to center that Fowler tracked down two steps from the wall for the third out.
The Cubs managed a one-out walk by Schwarber in the third. But that was all. Bryant struck out swinging and Rizzo rolled out to short. deGrom made 57 pitches, 36 for strikes, in three innings.
The Mets led 2-1 after three innings.
Kyle Hendricks gave up a leadoff single to Lucas Duda in the fourth. Duda pulled a 3-1 pitch through the shift into right. Hendricks retired the next three batters he faced (d’Arnaud, Conforto and Flores) to end the fourth.
After Castro smashed a one-hopper to Murphy at second to start the fourth, Jorge Soler launched a 3-1 pitch to deep right. And Soler’s solo shot tied the game at two.
Miguel Montero flied out to center. Chris Coghlan batted for Hendricks. Coghlan went down swinging (1-2 pitch) for the third out.
Game 3 of the NLCS was tied a two after four innings.
With the game still tied at two, Trevor Cahill took over for Clayton Richard in the sixth. The Cubs handed the Mets the game in the inning before a ground rule double led to a ton of controversy.
Yoenis Cespedes led off with a single to right center. Duda tried to bunt for a hit. Montero picked the ball up and threw him out at first as Cespedes advanced to second. Cespedes stole third on a 0-1 pitch to d’Arnaud. Maddon brought his infield in with the go ahead run on third base. d’Arnaud bounced a 1-2 toward third. Bryant knocked the ball down, looked Cespedes back and threw out the Mets’ catcher at first base.
Trevor Cahill got Michael Conforto to chase a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. The rookie swung at it and missed. But the ball skipped past Montero. Cespedes scored the go ahead run on a dropped third strike, 3-2 Mets. With Conforto at first, Wilmer Flores drove a 0-1 pitch to right. Soler dove and tried to catch the sinking liner. The ball hit, hopped over Soler and rolled all the way to the wall. The ball stuck in the ivy, Fowler threw up his hands and no matter how much Terry Collins argued and acted like a buffoon, it was a ground rule double. With runners on second and third and two down, deGrom popped out to left to finally end the horrible inning.
The Cubs went down quickly in the sixth. And after six innings, the Mets led 3-2.
The game got out of hand in the seventh. The Cubs defense gave the Mets two more runs. Travis Wood struck out Granderson for the first out. Wright doubled to left. Murphy reached on an infield single to third. Bryant could not get the ball out of his glove and it cost the Cubs. Maddon went to his pen and replaced Wood with Justin Grimm.
With runners on the corners and one down, Cespedes hit a liner into left. Schwarber misplayed the ball. It hit off the top of his glove. Wright scored easily, 4-2 Mets. Murphy stopped at third and Cespedes ended up at second with one down. Duda hit a chopper to Rizzo near the bag. Rizzo fielded the ball and stepped on first. Rizzo threw home but his throw was late and Murphy scored, 5-2 Mets. Grimm struck out d’Arnaud swinging for the third out.
The Cubs did nothing in the seventh … 1-2-3 for deGrom and the game went to the eighth with the Mets in command, 5-2.
And that would be the final score. The Cubs managed a Dexter Fowler double in the eighth, the only hit after Soler’s homer that tied the game at two in the fourth inning.
Game 4 of the NLCS is Wednesday night (7:07pm CDT) … Jason Hammel is scheduled to face lefty Steven Matz.