Tha Sports Junkies 101

Mets’ Bullpen Outduels Cubs

Mets bullpen outduels Cubs planetexpress via


The New York Mets outlasted the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Tuesday night

With Noah Syndergaard and Jake Arrieta facing off for the first time since last year’s Game 1 of the NLCS, this one was expected to be a major pitchers’ duel – and to no surprise, it was. Syndergaard (9-4, 2.43 ERA) pitched 5.2 innings while giving up one unearned run, despite giving up seven hits to the Cubs’ lineup. Meanwhile, Arrieta  (12-4, 2.60 ERA) was thoroughly dominant throughout the game, pitching seven innings and giving up one earned run.

Arrieta looked like he may be returning to his 2015 second half form again. To say his command was good – even great – would be a major understatement. He threw 25 strikes in just 28 pitches, which is the fastest a pitcher has thrown 25 strikes in a game this season. This is great news for the Cubs, considering how badly Arrieta has struggled with walking people this season. Arrieta did not give up a run until the sixth inning, where he gave up a leadoff triple to Jose Reyes, who was then knocked in by a sacrifice fly by Curtis Granderson.

Syndergaard did not dominate the game, but he was in total control when the Cubs had runners in scoring position. In the first inning, he let the first two batters on, and then stranded them on first and second. Second inning came, he had two men on second and third with one out, and he found a way to not let either touch home plate. So while he did not own the Cubs’ lineup, he did own one thing – and that one thing was the runners standing in scoring position.

The Cubs’ lineup – to put it in a single word – looked incapable. Not incapable of getting on base, not incapable of making defensive plays, but incapable of getting runners in scoring position across the plate. They left ten (yes, ten!) runners on base. They just could not get timely hits, and that would spell disaster in the end.

Jeurys Familia came in to close out the bottom of the ninth with his team up 2-1, and boy did he make it hard on himself. He had 48 straight saves coming in, and for a while it looked as if that streak was about to be reset to zero. He loaded the bases with zero outs, giving up a walk to Addison Russell & Miguel Montero, and then a bunt single to Javier Baez. But a lot like his teammate Noah Syndergaard, he just would not allow those guys in scoring position to touch home plate.

Familia would force the pinch-hitting Matt Szczur to shoot a grounder to Mets 1B James Loney, who then fired a throw to home to get the easy force out. Then stood the NL home run leader Kris Bryant, who grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game, extending Familia’s save streak to 49, and pushing Cubs’ fans’ frustrations to a new season high.

Arrieta and Noah Syndergaard both got no-decisions, while Hansel Robels got the win to improve to 4-3. Rondon was given the loss, falling to 1-2 on the year. The Cubs are now 56-37 with a 7.5 game lead in the NL Central and the Mets now stand at 50-43 in 3rd place in the NL East, 5.5 games back of the first place Nationals.