On a night when the wind was blowing out, things did not look good for Jon Lester early on. He had difficulties finding the zone and was getting hit hard in the first two innings of the game. However, the lefty was able to bear down and pitch six strong innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks, striking out three.
Lester also had a pretty sweet pickoff and made a great defensive play to record the last out of his start. The offense was able to knock Noah Syndergaard around, scoring four runs against him on nine hits and three walks. They also scored three runs off of the bullpen, which allowed the Cubs to win their sixth straight game.
The Cubs bullpen was decent, though they ran into some trouble in the 9th. Pedro Strop walked Jose Bautista, then induced a groundout and allowed a single before he got the hook. Justin Wilson came in against Jay Bruce and allowed a sharp single up the middle to load the bases. Jesse Chavez took the ball and got Amed Rosario and Austin Jackson to strike out swinging to end the game (box score)
Why the Cubs Won
It was a true team effort tonight. While Lester was getting knocked around, the Cubs were able to provide support for him by doing the same to Syndergaard. After the offense was able to get the lead, Lester and Co. took over and limited the Mets offense to one run over the last six innings of the game.
With two outs, men on first and third, and Lester on deck in the bottom of the 3rd, the Mets decided to intentionally walk Kyle Schwarber to load the bases. Big Jon must not have appreciated that, since he smashed a 99 mph Syndergaard offering into left, driving in two runs. This allowed Lester to work with a lead for the remainder of his outing and he looked really good doing so.
Stats that Matter
- Every starter, the pitcher included, got a hit for the Cubs.
- The top four hitters in the lineup (Daniel Murphy, Javy Baez, Rizzo, and Ben Zobrist) went 9-for-19 (.474) with five runs scored and three driven in.
- Rizzo got his 1,000th hit as a Cub, a ground-rule double in the bottom of the 7th.
The Cubs were able to beat another inferior opponent. Syndergaard is by no means an inferior starting pitcher, but the Mets as a whole are a dumpster fire. The Cubs currently stand at 77-53 and lead the Cardinals by 4.5 games in the NL Central.
Cole Hamels will try to continue his wonderful play as a Cub and lead the team to their seventh straight win. The offense, however, will have to come to play, as the tough Jacob deGrom starts for the Mets. The 7:05pm CT start will be broadcast on WGN.