Jake Arrieta (2-1, 3.18 ERA) took the mound in the series opener against Taijuan Walker (0-0, 2.61 ERA), looking to bounce back after a subpar outing in Milwaukee last Wednesday. He threw 84 pitches in five innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs in a loss to the Brewers. As a member of the Phillies, Arrieta was 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA last year against the Mets.
The Cubs got on the board in the 3rd inning after a throwing error by Davis allowed Eric Sogard to score from second base. They added to their lead in the fourth when Jason Heyward touched home thanks to a Sogard RBI single, followed by a Willson Contreras bases-loaded walk to put the Cubs ahead 3-0.
Arrieta looked sharp through the first four innings with pinpoint accuracy and outstanding movement on his pitches, allowing only one hit.
He ran into trouble in the 5th when he served up a leadoff home run to J.D. Davis followed by a pinch-hit single to Jonathan Villar who then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. But Arrieta escaped with minimal damage and finished the night going five innings, allowing one earned run, three hits, and three walks with four strikeouts on 88 pitches.
The bullpen backed Arrieta with four scoreless frames, giving up three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Craig Kimbrel loaded the bases after allowing two walks and a single in the ninth but ultimately finished off the Mets and the Cubs won by a final of 3-1. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Won
Just enough offense and great pitching led to tonight’s victory. Some shoddy defense from the Mets certainly helped the cause.
After the Cubs started the 4th inning with two strikeouts, Jason Heyward singled, stole second base, and was brought home by an RBI knock from Eric Sogard. The Cubs then drew three straight walks, increasing their lead to 3-0 and chasing Walker from the game. This provided the Cubs just enough of a cushion to secure the win.
Stats That Matter
- Joc Pederson and Javier Baez went 0-8 and accounted for seven of the Cubs’ 12 strikeouts.
- Sogard finished the night going 2-3 with one run, one walk, and one RBI.
- Kimbrel gave up his first hit of the season but has yet to surrender a run. He’s recorded 12 Ks and five walks.
On a cold night with the wind blowing in, the Cubs were unable to rely on the long ball as they typically do. Being able to manufacture runs was essential and that’s exactly what they accomplished as they worked deep into counts and produced quality at-bats. Hopefully, they’re able to learn from tonight and apply this approach moving forward. It was also a great sign to see the Cubs do damage with two outs.
Zach Davies (1-2, 10.32 ERA) squares off against David Peterson (1-1, 6.30 ERA) on Wednesday. Davies is 3-3 with a 5.61 ERA in seven career starts versus the Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.