The Chicago Cubs (56-37) held a 1-0 lead until the sixth inning on the strength of Willson Contreras’ two-out double, stolen third base and subsequent wild throw by Mets’ catcher Rene Rivera. It never should have been that difficult, as the Cubs left 10 men on base and were 2-for-13 with RISP on their way to a gut wrenching 2-1 loss (Box Score).
Jake Arrieta looked a lot better tonight than he has lately – he had given up 15 earned runs in his last three games – surrendering only two hits and a walk until the sixth inning, when Jose Reyes hit a lead-off triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly. That tied the game up 1-1.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Joe Maddon decided to pinch hit for Jake, instead opting for Javier Baez to bat. Arrieta had given up two hits in the top of the seventh inning but was only at 85 pitches when he got pulled. It was a certainly a strategic call by Maddon hoping to scratch out a run in a tight game but, nonetheless, a very tough call given the circumstances and one that the Cubs couldn’t capitalize on.
With Arrieta out of the game and the score tied in the ninth inning, the Cubs put the ball in the hands of Hector Rondon. He gave up three singles and the Mets scored the only other run they would need.
The Cubs had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the ninth inning against Mets’ closer Jeurys Familia when they loaded the bases with no outs. A force out at home and double play later and Familia and the Mets were able to squeak out the win.
Stats that mattered
- Jake was back to his old self and even hit a double – 7.0IP, 1R, 5H, 1BB, 8Ks
- Cubs were 2-for-13 with RISP and left 10 men on base – very difficult to win when that happens
That was an ugly loss. The Cubs had a lot of trouble hitting with men on base, a recurring theme lately. They had two runners on with no outs in each of the first two innings and were unable to get a single run across the plate.
It’s frustrating to watch a team as good as the Cubs fail to score runs when they’re being productive on offense, but it’s also positive that they continue to keep putting themselves in scoring situations. They’ll break through eventually and, when they do, it may feel like the flood gates have opened. At least that’s what I’m hoping it feels like.
The Cubs play the Mets in the rubber match tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 PM CDT. The Cubs top gun, Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41 ERA), will be on the hill.