The Cubs shut out the Mets for the 2nd night in a row and won by a score of 2-0 in 11 innings.
Starlin Castro was today’s big hero with the game-winning RBI infield single with 2 outs in the top of the 11th. This was right after a baserunning blunder by Kris Bryant that saw him get thrown out at 2nd after heading to 3rd for the 2nd out of the inning. Bryant thought Anthony Rizzo was going to score and he thought the throw was going to go all the way home, but when it was cut off he was hung out to dry and Rizzo didn’t score until Castro’s infield hit.
What made the hit by Castro so remarkable was the way he absolutely busted it out of the batter’s box on the dribbler to 3rd. It was a close play, but he beat it and gave the Cubs the 1-0 lead. Miguel Montero added an insurance run with his own 2-out single, but Castro’s was obviously the key play.
Jon Lester was very good tonight, though he did labor through some of the early innings of work. He finished with 7 scoreless innings, giving up 5 hits, 1 walk and 7 Ks. The effort lowered his ERA to 3.74 and he will get the Cardinals the next time he starts.
Anthony Rizzo led off the top of the 9th with his 24th double but then had the slide of the day on a double steal after Coghlan reached on a walk. He slid just short of the bag, pulled his lead foot in and then extended it just in time to beat the tag by Daniel Murphy. It threw off the ump at first and they did review it, but he was safe and it was his 12th stolen base of the year.
The pen was solid again tonight (though Justin Grimm did make things more interesting than necessary in the bottom of the 11th). Strop, Rondon, Motte, Russell and Grim finished out the final 4 innings with scoreless work. They gave up just 2 hits and 1 walk with 5 Ks. Motte got the W and Grimm got his first ever MLB save.
The offense is just anemic right now and it is very hard to watch as a fan. The Cubs had several opportunities tonight and were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position (through the first 9 innings), including with the go-ahead run at 3rd with 1 out in the top of the 9th. When 1 run will win and it and you can’t get the job done, it makes for a frustrating situation (which I noticed Chris Coghlan slamming the hell out of his helmet when he grounded out to 2nd earlier in the game).
Getaway day tomorrow with game 3 starting at 12:10 PM (CST) on WGN. Jake Arrieta (7-5, 2.94) gets the call for the Cubs against Jacob deGrom (8-5, 2.15) for the Mets in what should be a very good pitching matchup.