The New York Mets suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 walk off defeat at the hands of the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. Mets lefty reliever Scott Rice gave up the game-winning line drive hit in the bottom of the ninth to right fielder Nate Schierholtz scoring Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo from second.
Rice took the loss dropping to 1-2 on the year, while Cubs closer Hector Rendon picked up the win improving to 1-1. The Mets wasted numerous scoring chances throughout the game going 1-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler was the star of the game. The young right-hander pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings allowing just 2 hits (both to Nate Schierholtz), 2 walks and striking out 7 batters.
Leading off the game, centerfielder Matt den Dekker singled up the middle. Second baseman Daniel Murphy then lined a pitch down the left field line, but Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena dove and caught the ball for the first out. den Dekker then stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. Third baseman David Wright followed with a walk and right fielder Curtis Granderson skied a ball to center for the second out. den Dekker scored to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead. Left fielder Chris Young then flied to left to retire the side. The Cubs were retired in order in the bottom of the first.
In the top of the second first baseman Lucas Duda and shortstop Wilmer Flores singled to lead off. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud then popped out to first. Zack Wheeler then laid down a sacrifice bunt moving the runners into scoring position at second and third. But den Dekker weakly grounded to third to retire the side. Chicago did not score in the bottom of the second.
Daniel Murphy led off the top of the third with a groundball to short. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro back handed the ball but could not field it cleanly and Murphy was safe at first. David Wright followed with a walk, and Curtis Granderson lined a single to right. Murphy misread the ball and held up at third. Chris Young then grounded to first. Anthony Rizzo threw home to force Murphy out at the plate, but the return throw from catcher John Baker was not in time and Young was safe at first. Duda then popped out to short, and Flores lined a shot up the middle but Jake Arrieta snagged it out of the air to retire the side. The Cubs failed to bring home a run in the bottom half of the third. Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth inning.
David Wright struck out looking to start the top of the fifth. Curtis Granderson then singled up the middle and stole second base. Chris Young then flied out to right but Lucas Duda followed with a walk. That would be the final batter for Arrieta and in came reliever Brian Schlitter who struck out Wilmer Flores looking to retire the side. Chicago failed to bring in a run in the bottom of the fifth.
It took until the bottom of the eighth for either team to score again. After striking out the final batter in the bottom of the seventh inning, Mets lefty reliever Josh Edgin allowed a solo shot to left fielder Chris Coghlan. It was the first home run Coghlan hit off any left-handed pitcher since May 14th 2010 when Coghlan, as a member of the then Florida Marlins, blasted a shot off Mets starter Oliver Perez. Jeff Baker then struck out swinging for the first out. But Edgin was pulled for Vic Black. Outfielder Justin Ruggiano then pinch-hit for reliever Neil Ramirez who got the final two outs of the eighth inning for Chicago. Ruggiano struck out swinging, but second baseman Emilio Bonnifacio singled to left and immediately stole second. Centerfielder Jeff Lake then struck out swinging to end the inning. The Mets failed to score in the top of the ninth.
Lefty reliever Scott Rice replaced Black to start the bottom of the ninth and allowed a single to Anthony Rizzo to lead off. Starlin Castro then grounded a ball to third for what looked like a potential double play ball. David Wright then bobbled the ball, but recovered enough to throw Castro out at first. Luis Valbuena then struck out swinging but Nate Schierholtz lined a pitch into the corner in right, easily scoring Rizzo to win the game for the Cubs 2-1.
After the game the Mets announced that outfielder Andrew Brown would be called up from AAA Las Vegas. No corresponding roster move has been announced. The two teams return to action tomorrow night when Mets veteran Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his second start of the season, squaring off against veteran starter Edwin Jackson for the Cubs.
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