New York-This afternoon's game between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs turned into a dynamic pitcher's duel. Starters Rafael Montero and Jake Arrieta were outstanding, and the game fittingly was tied 1-1 headed into the top of the ninth inning. That changed quickly as a solo homer from Starlin Castro helped the Cubs (53-70) defeat the Mets (59-66) 2-1.
Offense was hard to come by in this game. The Cubs grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI single from Luis Valbuena. That would be the only damage against Rafael Montero, who looked dramatically better than he did in his last outing. Montero lasted 7.1 innings, allowing only the one run on five hits while walking two and striking out six.
Montero looked like he would be on the hook for the loss as Jake Arrieta dominated the Mets' lineup. Arrieta cruised through the first seven innings, limiting the Mets to only two hits and two walks without giving up a run. Arrieta struck out nine Mets and handed his lead to the bullpen in the eighth inning. Pedro Strop (W, 2-4) came in and gave up a one out single to Ruben Tejada. Eric Young Jr pinch ran for Tejada, and moved to second on a passed ball with two outs. Curtis Granderson then came through with a two out single to bring EY home and tie the game at one.
Jenrry Mejia then came in for the top of the ninth to preserve the tie. That didn't last long at all, as Starlin Castro took the first pitch of the inning the opposite way for a solo homer. Castro's 13th homer of the year put Chicago in front 2-1. Mejia (L, 5-6) was able to limit the damage to one run, but he took the loss when the Mets couldn't do anything in the bottom of the inning against Cubs' closer Hector Rondon. Rondon retired the side in order to pick up his 17th save of the season.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game Award goes to Cubs' shortstop Starlin Castro, who hit the game winning homer in the top of the ninth inning. Castro would go 2 for 4 on the day.
Post Game Notes:
- David Wright sat out with a shoulder injury. Manager Terry Collins told reporters after the game he is concerned Wright may need to miss more time with the injury.
- The Mets are now 5-16 in games that are tied after eight innings.
- The Mets have been held to four hits in four consecutive games. Astonishingly, the Mets are 2-2 in those contests.
- Collins told reporters after the game that he wants to get Daniel Murphy a day off soon since he looks tired. Murphy went 0 for 4 on the afternoon with two strikeouts.
The Mets will wrap up their homestand tomorrow afternoon and will try to win their series with the Cubs. Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85 ERA) and Kyle Hendricks (4-1, 1.73 ERA) will be on the bump. First pitch at Citi Field is scheduled for 12:10 pm.
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