Game 6 (NLCS 1): Mets 4 – Cubs 2
This game never felt like it was really in doubt, even though the score indicated otherwise. Harvey was dominant and the Cubs couldn’t do much with him. His line (7.2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K) is not indicative of how he looked and hurt by the Mets unwillingness to use any one out of the bullpen besides their closer. (That was a bit of a culture shock having been watching team that’ll use anyone at any time.) It was dependent on Lester matching zero against zeros, he could not, and that was that.
There’s nothing much you can do when a starter is pitching that well. The disappointing thing is how quickly the Cubs went down against Familia. Bringing him in for four outs in the first game suggests he’s going to pitch a lot in the series and any pitch they got him to throw last night might mean a worse one later on. Bryant forced him to throw eight pitches, but he got thru next five batters throwing only thirteen more pitches. Twenty one is not a long night for a closer, not something that’s going to prevent him from coming back out a day later.
The talk after the game is about the two outs at the plate, and really mostly the Castro send. I didn’t like it at first – Castro is not fast, Cesepedes is really good – but felt more ok when I realized Ross and Lester were next. And that’s the problem with Ross as Lester’s personal catcher in postseason, you’re stuck with hard gambles and worse at bats to make someone feel more comfortable. When more comfort still leaves the the team 4 runs after 6.2 IP, that doesn’t seem like a great tradeoff. I presume Ross will be back out there in Game 5 and it’ll still not be a good deal for two plate appearances.
Tonight is Arrieta and it feels like a near must win. 2-0 holes are escapable, but the Mets getting wins over the Cubs two best starters (with Hendricks and Hammel on deck) is a big one to climb out. If the Cubs do win, they’ve split in New York and everyone’s feeling much better about the chances.