On any other night, your first thoughts on this game would be about just how well Jason Hammel pitched. Sure, he got into some jams, but he wriggled out, and held the Mets to just one run over eight innings of work. That’s incredible.
But, because Matt Harvey held the Cubs down for seven innings – as tentatively expected – and because the Cubs tied the game in the 8th off of the Mets’ bullpen, Hammel’s night probably wasn’t going to be the story.
And then, well, with the way it ended …
Joe Maddon drew the immediate, and universal ire of #CubsTwitter with his decision to pinch run for Anthony Rizzo after Rizzo singled to lead off the 9th inning, representing the winning run. Matt Szczur promptly took off for second, Starlin Castro singled to left, and Szczur reached third with nobody out, making Maddon look pretty darn smart. I think it was still probably the wrong move … but it’s hard to get grousy about it when the very thing Maddon was hoping to make happen did, in fact, happen.
From there, the Mets intentionally loaded the bases and brought in an extra infielder. Jorge Soler – on another bad, cold night for him – never saw a pitch in the strike zone and struck out anyway.
Chris Coghlan took his cue from that at bat, and …