On paper going in to last night’s game, it looked like we’d have a pretty good pitching matchup with Jake Arrieta and the Mets’ top prospect Noah Syndergaard on the hill.
Through five innings, that was definitely the case.
Syndergaard, making his MLB debut, escaped some two-out trouble to go scoreless through 5. But then he gave up a single to Jorge Soler in the bottom of the sixth, followed by a Starlin Castro double. Chris Coghlan then came up and blasted a two-run home run to right.
Before giving up the three runs, the rookie looked pretty nasty, throwing routinely in the mid- to upper-90s. Should be a fun, exciting pitcher to follow. Thankfully he isn’t residing in the NL Central.
For Arrieta’s part, he was outstanding. He was basically unhittable through the first seven. He then gave up a couple singles and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Arrieta finished the night with 8 IP, 1 run, 10 strikeouts and only 3 hits; very similar to what we saw so much last season from him. If he and Jon Lester can continue this roll they’re on, this top of the rotation will be a force to be reckoned with.
Overall, it was another fun win for the Cubs. They managed to put both parts of their game together with dominant pitching and patient, timely hitting.
Trade talks with the Mets
The Cubs have had trade talks with the Mets and Jed Hoyer admits the two teams would match up well as trade partners, writes Patrick Mooney.
“We’ve had conversations with them,” Hoyer said before Monday’s game. “We haven’t made a deal yet. But there’s been matches that made sense. And I’m sure we’ll talk to them in the future.”
The well-known rumors have been that the Mets want one of the Cubs’ shortstops (Starlin Castro, Addison Russell or Javier Baez), and they have plenty of young pitching that would interest the Cubs.
I don’t see the Cubs dealing any of those players this year. Russell is probably untouchable and Baez probably wouldn’t bring back a good enough return at this time. Even if the Cubs eventually decide to deal Castro and move Russell to short, I don’t think it would happen until after this season.
And I still think Castro is extremely valuable and would require a team to make a blow-away offer to pry him from Chicago.
* Kris Bryant has been great since being called up to MLB, but last night was perhaps his best game as a Cub. Bryant hit his third home run of the year, and second in as many games. He also smacked a line-drive triple to right field that ended up hitting the wall on the fly. Off the bat, I thought the ball would fall in short of the warning track, but it dented the fence in the right-field corner. His power is ridiculous. On the flip-side, he also beat out a routine grounder to third base with two outs. The Cubs didn’t end up scoring, but the infield hit extended the inning and forced Syndergaard to throw a number of additional pitches. Bryant finished the night 3-for-4 with a walk.
* Infielder Tommy La Stella made his first appearance in Arizona since going on the disabled list with a side injury, according to the Cub Reporter. That’s good news. I was expecting La Stella to make it back quicker, but this is a good sign.
* LHP Tsuyoshi Wada, still on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Iowa, had his start last night bumped back. Tommy Birch says Wada will start on Thursday. Have to wonder whether that would be in Chicago in place of Travis Wood.
* Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with a home run last night for the Iowa Cubs. The homer was his second on the year.
* For Double-A Tennessee, Kyle Schwarber hit his sixth home run on the year and Dan Vogelbach has gotten hot again. He went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs in Game 1 of a double-header yesterday.