Man, that was cold.
Sure, it was cold on the field, with many of the Cubs looking like mummies auditioning for Blue Man Group, but it was also cold in the way the game played with the hearts of Cubs fans. Tonight the Mets beat the Cubs in game one of the National League Championship Series, 4-2. But let me remind you all that it's just one game of a seven-game series. The Cubs lost game one of a five-game series and won that one easily. This series isn't close to being over.
The Mets needed a big start from Matt Harvey and they got it, although a lot of that was a result of the babip gods having the Cubs hit line drives right at Mets fielders. Give the Amazin's credit for good positioning, but if the Cubs continue to scald the ball, things will turn around.
What can't continue to happen is the Mets putting the ball into the outfield seats. The Mets jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run by Daniel Murphy. They extended their lead to 3-1 in the sixth inning when Travis d'Arnaud launched a laser on top of the apple in center field. In between, the Mets re-took the lead with a run in the fifth inning when Jon Lester got too much of the plate on an 0-2 pitch to Curtis Granderson and he lined it into center field for an RBI single.
Harvey retired the first 12 Cubs batters in order until Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth. Starlin Castro would then tied up the game with a line drive that sailed over the head of Mets center fielder Juan Lagares.
Javier Baez then singled to left field and in a play that is going to be debated for a while, Cubs third base coach Gary Jones sent Castro. That's a tough send with only one out and the cannon-armed Yoenis Cespedes fielding the ball. But with David Ross and Jon Lester due up next, it was certainly a defensible decision. The odds of Ross getting the ball to the outfield off of Harvey, the way he was throwing in the fifth inning, were not good. So it was out of the frying pan and into the fire.
The Mets would add a fourth run in the bottom of the seventh when Lagares singled, went to second on a bunt, stole third and slid just under the tag on a sac fly to left field. But Kyle Schwarber would get that one run back in the top of the eighth with a 459-foot solo blast to right field, his fourth home run in six playoff games. That chased Harvey from the game.
The Cubs had a chance to get to Jeurys Familia in the ninth, but a wide strike zone cost Starlin Castro a walk. Miguel Montero singled with two outs, but Tommy La Stella's bullet was speared by second baseman Murphy and he threw to first to end the game.
But as I said, it's one game of a seven-game series. The goal was to split the first two games at Citi Field and the Cubs have Jake Arrieta going tomorrow night. Nothing to do but put this behind them and win tomorrow.