Cubs send ace to mound as they look to square NLCS

Oct 18, 2015 6:43 AM

National League Championship Series

Take 953 Chicago Cubs -165 over 958 New York Mets

The Cubs send their ace to the mound as they look to square the National League Championship Series with the Mets at Citi Field in New York. Chicago sends Cy Young contender Jake Arrieta to the hill while New York will counter with Noah Syndergaard.

The Cubs (101-67) came up short in the opener dropping a 4-2 decision for their first loss to the Mets in eight games this season. Winning pitcher Matt Harvey worked into the 8thallowing two runs and four hits with nine strikeouts to pick up the victory. Jeurys Familia, two nights removed from a six-out save in the decisive Game 5 against LA, allowed a walk and a hit in recording the final four outs. David Murphy, who was a thorn in the side of the Dodgers, stayed hot with a homer off losing pitcher Jon Lester.

Arrieta was 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA and hasn’t lost since July 25 when Cole Hamels tossed a no-hitter to beat him. He actually looked human against the Cardinals on Monday allowing allowed four runs, matching the total he had given up in his previous 13 starts, but the Cubs still picked up the victory.

Syndergaard, 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA over 24 starts and 150 innings, allowed three runs in the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS last Saturday. The fire-balling right-hander, who touched 101 mph in Game 2 at Chavez Ravine, made his MLB debut against the Cubs on May 12, allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. The Cubs won 6-1 behind Arrieta.

Encore: Before Saturday, the last time the Cubs played a game this late in October was 1910, when Chicago lost Game 5 of the World Series on Oct. 23.

Bob Harvey joins GamingToday bringing with him over 40 years of sports writing and radio broadcasting experience. Check out my blog at Bob Harvey SportsEmail: [email protected].