In anti-climactic fashion, Chris Coghlan drew a bases-loaded walk, sending the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 win over the New York Mets in the bottom of the ninth, making it three-straight wins for the North Siders over the first-place Mets.
A leadoff single off the bat of Anthony Rizzo got things started in the ninth for the Cubs. After lifting Rizzo in favor of pinch-runner Matt Szczur, Starlin Castro delivered on a hit-and-run, giving Chicago runners at the corners and nobody out. After intentionally walking Miguel Montero, Carlos Torres was lifted in favor of Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who battled with the strikeout-prone Soler.
After the Soler strikeout, Familia walked Coghlan, giving Chicago a big win and pulling the Cubs within five games of the first-place St. Louis Cardinals, who were nearly no-hit by Corey Kluber earlier in the evening.
Hammel pitched eight innings of one-run ball, and although he did not factor into the decision, he matched Mets’ ace Matt Harvey blow-for-blow all night-long. He allowed just the one earned run on five hits, striking out six and walking just one.
Harvey, meanwhile, was his typical self, turning in seven shutout innings before being lifted for a reliever by manager Terry Collins. On the night, the right-hander struck out nine and walked two, while scattering a handful of base hits. Several of the Cubs’ young hitters were flailing at the breaking pitches offered by the New York ace all night-long.
Chicago tied things up 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth when Dexter Fowler singled to right field, scoring Addison Russell and ending Harvey’s shot at becoming the third pitcher in Major League Baseball with six wins.
No Cubs player tallied more than one base hit and the team went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Hector Rondon pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his second win of the season.