All day Saturday I paced the house and looked at the clock. Gametime couldn’t come fast enough. I had it all lined up. I was going to a friend’s house who is a big Mets fan with a few other guys, some of them Cub fans, to watch the game on his big screen. All day I was looking forward to it. Then it all started to unravel. My friend sent a text around dinner that he was not feeling well and was going to have to take a rain check, which left me watching at home. I fired up the Roku box (we’re recently cord cutters) and loaded my Sling App that I’m on a free trial of, and the internet was having some speed issues. Thankfully those cleared up before first pitch, but another thing going wrong. Then the first few innings happened and it was basically all down hill from there.
I knew the Mets had a good starting staff and I knew that Matt Harvey, last night’s starter, was really good. I went into the series knowing this, but I still felt like we could out slug them. It just didn’t happen. Harvey pitched like a boss and basically tied the leash on the lineup. They couldn’t do a thing. Even when it seemed like we were going to get something going when a ball was lined off of Harvey, he picked it up, made the play at first base, and kept on sticking it to us. In his one other start against us, he pitched really well as well, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise as more of a disappointment.
Jon Lester took the ball for the second series in a row for game one and for a second time, the Cubs left the park with a loss. Like last time, I didn’t feel like Lester pitched bad, but when you’re being called on to get a win, you have to pitch better. You have to raise your game up a notch and will yourself to put up zeros. Lester was just too hittable and the Mets capitalized with a couple home runs and a key base hit with runners in scoring position. They put more guys on base than we did all night and took advantage when needed. It happens and it needs to go in the books and stay in the books. Lester didn’t get the win, but unlike in the NLDS, he’ll get another shot and he needs to take advantage.
As for the bullpen, they did what could do, with Justin Grimm, Clayton Richard and Trevor Cahill all chipping in to patch up the remaining outs, but it didn’t matter much. I’m still amazed that the Cubs have been able to get positive things from Richard and Cahill, two guys that were left in the baseball dump to rot. I don’t know what will happen to either of them, as both are free agents at year end, but it’s been interesting to see this front office hit on more lottery tickets.
Not much to talk about here, with the exception of two runs. For the first few innings I worried seriously that I was going to see a no hitter. There just wasn’t any offensive firepower coming from the bats. David Ross was in at catcher since Lester was on the mound, so that weakened the bottom of the order, although Ross did just miss a home run by about five feet. Lester came up with a big situation at the plate, but was unable to take advantage. It is what it is. Did you expect a bad hitter to find a nut in that sitiatuion? If you did, you set yourself up for dissappointment. In the end, there were just two plays to discuss.
First, was the 5th inning. After Anthony Rizzo led off the inning with a hit by pitch off the right elbow, Starlin Castro came to the plate and hit a rocket line drive over the head of Juan Lagaras and Rizzo came around to score. In the box score it looks great, but should Castro have been on 3rd? Take a look at the highlight.
You’ll notice, especially on the slo mo replay after the play, that Castro was very slow out of the box watching the ball. Had he hustled from the first step out of the box, he probably reaches 3rd as the throw goes to the plate to try to get Rizzo. That was a big play, because the very next play, this happened.
If Castro is standing on 3rd base after his hit, he scores easily on that play. It’s little things like this that drive Cub fans bananas, and I don’t blame them. I’m a Castro supporter. I like him and I want to keep him, but I say that knowing things like this happen. I’m not blind to it and I don’t take the approach that it will suddenly get better with age. Some guys are smart baseball players and some are not. Some play with their head up and some play with their head down. Castro is a head down kind of player with a lot of raw talent and last night it got us a run and it cost us a run.
The other offensive note to mention was Kyle Schwarber‘s monster shot. This guy is a beast and he continues to hit moon balls.
We turn our eyes and our hopes to Jake Arrieta. While it’s not a series ender if he can’t win tonight, it would be quite damaging and dig us a pretty deep hole to come back from. Here is your pitching matchup for tonight.
Met’s Fans are dumb. That’s all I have to say about that. Here is the only evidence I need and then I can drop the mic.
— Magnificent2 (@Indomitable69) October 17, 2015