Final Recap: Mets 2 – Cubs 1

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The New York Mets (50-43) defeated the Chicago Cubs (56-37) tonight by the final score of 2-1. For a full boxscore recap follow the link below…

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2016_07_19_nynmlb_chnmlb_1#game=2016_07_19_nynmlb_chnmlb_1,game_tab=box,game_state=Wrapup

Game Notes:

  • Rene Rivera had the clutch hit tonight with a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 9th. He finished the night 3-4.
  • Jose Reyes went 1-4 with a triple and a run scored.
  • Curtis Granderson was 0-3 with a sacrifice fly.
  • Noah Syndergaard went 5.2 innings while allowing 1 run on 7 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 8.
  • Jeurys Familia converted his league leading 33rd save.

Wow. What. A. Game. We can all breathe a sigh of relief now after how the bottom of the ninth inning unfolded. Jeurys Familia completed a Houdini act tonight after loading the bases with no outs. Familia who was struggling with finding the strike zone provided the Cubs with two walks, and Jose Reyes misplayed a ball which was going foul to allow the Cubs a chance to steal a win from the Mets tonight. With no outs, Familia got pinch-hitter Matt Szczur to ground into a force out at home plate due to a great stop by first baseman James Loney. Familia then got Kris Bryant to ground out into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game. Reyes redeemed himself on that final double play and an energized Familia was able to exhale after throwing a stressful 22 pitches. 

Rene Rivera came up huge for the Mets tonight with the go-ahead RBI single off of Cubs closer Hector Rondon in the top of the ninth inning. With a tied ballgame and two outs with runners on second and first base, Rivera punched a first pitch fastball into right field which allowed Neil Walker to score from second base and put the Mets ahead. In what was a common theme tonight with the Mets struggling to produce runs with runners in scoring position, Rivera saved the Mets tonight with a rare base knock in that situation.

I didn’t agree with Collins pinch-hitting options tonight, as he batted Alejandro De Aza with runners on first and second base in the top of the seventh, and Kelly Johnson with runners on first and third base in the top of the ninth. De Aza ended up striking out swinging and Johnson grounded out. I believe Collins should’ve used one of his two hot-hitting hitters in Wilmer Flores or Juan Lagares in those situations. But the Mets won so it’s all for naught. But the Mets are still a dreadful 3-33 with RISP since the All Star break which is an area they are going to have to continue to clean up if they want to contend. 

Noah Syndergaard looked great tonight as his fastball was constantly in the upper 90’s, even touching 100 mph early on in the game. The Cubs did get a few hits off of him which upped his pitch count, but he gutted it out tonight and put any worries about his arm to bed tonight with his performance. Syndergaard ended up throwing 105 pitches but did not lose any velocity as the game wore on. As I’ve said a million times, the All Star break could not have benefited the Mets staff at a better time and I believe we can relax and enjoy Thor’s performances going forward for the rest of the season. 

A couple of milestones occurred tonight as Jose Reyes hit his 100th career triple as a member of the Mets, which is a franchise record. Noah Syndergaard also reached 300 career strikeouts tonight in his 43rd career game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, both Syndergaard and Koji Uehara are the only pitchers with 50 or fewer walks at the time of their 300th strikeout since the pitcher’s mound was relocated to its current distance in 1893. What an incredible statistic, and it goes to show the great command as well as dominance that Syndergaard has possessed since his arrival in the Majors. 

  • The Mets and Cubs will play a matinee rubber game tomorrow afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2:20 pm et. The Mets will wear 1986 road uniforms for the first time all season, and you can watch them in those great looking uni’s on SNY and ESPN.
  • Bartolo Colon (8-4, 3.11 ERA) will take the hill for the Mets and face Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41 ERA).

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