Matt Harvey was pretty good on the night, and Jon Lester was just a touch more hittable than you’d like him to be. That, together with some items discussed below, was primarily the difference in the game.
The Cubs got on the board in the 5th with an Anthony Rizzo special (a HBP) and a Starlin Castro rocket double, tying the game at one after a Daniel Murphy blast had given the Mets the lead. We’ll probably always wonder if Castro should have been on third base, though, as the throw to the plate on Rizzo was errant, and Castro, um, didn’t exactly bust it out of the box. If so, it wound up costing the Cubs a run, as Javy Baez singled two batters later, and Castro was thrown out at the plate (easily) on a very aggressive send from second base.
The Mets’ second run stung quite a bit, as it came with two outs, on an o-2 blooper, immediately after Kris Bryant dropped a ball at third base on a transfer that likely would have resulted in a double play that ended the inning. They later added a third run on a Travis d’Arnaud monster homer to center, and a fourth on a sac fly to Kyle Schwarber on which he made a good throw, but Miguel Montero seemed to set up too deep behind the plate to have a shot to make the tag.
On the night, the Cubs were blistering the ball consistently from the third inning on, but the ball always seemed to find a Mets defender at the end of its 100mph+ flight. On some, the Mets made nice plays, too, to give them some credit. On the flip slide, the Mets got some bloopers to drop, and a couple of them translated to runs. It happens. It’s baseball.
Kyle Schwarber obliterated a pitch for the Cubs’ second run, so at least that was neat. Gotta get ’em tomorrow.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out how much this game felt like – in terms of the mood/tone/whatever – Game One of the NLDS, which the Cubs also lost with relative ease.