The series had two premier pitching matchups to start it, but the first one was hardly as billed. Jon Lester struggled with his fastball command early. Amed Rosario jumped on the first pitch for a single. He turned it into a double with a stolen base. Austin Action Jackson rolled a groundball single back up the middle to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead. Lester got his first out from Willson Contreras' arm on a stolen base attempt. Wilmer Flores and Todd Frazier hit back to back pop flies to second for the end of the inning.
However, Thor was also not nearly as sharp as you'd expect with his stuff. Daniel Murphy hit a double to lead off the game. Javier Báez singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Báez really wants that 30-30 season and took off too early on the deliberate Syndergaard. Thor threw behind Javy for the first out. Anthony Rizzo doubled to tie the game. Ben Zobrist singled, but the inning fizzled after that.
Michael Conforto crushed a pitch to lead off the second and untied the game once again. Lester retired the next two Mets, but his command struggles continued by walking the number eight hitter and opposing pitcher. Amed Rosario swung on the second pitch he saw that night, and extended the Mets lead to 3-1.
Thor put the first zero on the board in the bottom of the second. Something happened as Lester settled in after that point. He pitched a Lackey where he somehow managed to gut through a quality start despite the 3 runs given up. Thor ran into trouble in the third inning. Báez doubled to start the inning. He moved to third on a Rizzo groundout. Ben Zobrist grounded out to first for the second out. Jason Heyward coaxed a walk to keep the inning alive. A wild pitch scored Báez to cut the Mets lead to one. Willson Contreras singled to bring Jon Lester to the plate. Lester floated a ball into left to score a pair of runs to flip the score 4-3. A David Bote strike out ended the third inning.
Thor and Lester settled into the game we thought we were getting at the start. Zeroes went up on the board through six innings. Lester had the more eventful frames. Lester picked off Rosario with a snap throw to first in the fifth inning. The last out came on a Jose Reyes smash right back at him. The game was still 4-3 heading into the seventh inning. Steve Cishek was the first reliever in the game and he was greeted by Kevin Plawecki absotuley crushing a pitch. Cishek retired the next three batters to keep the game tied.
Jeremy Blevins came in to face lefty Anthony Rizzo and the strategy backfired as Rizzo hit a ball exactly on the left field line. Originally the call was foul, but review confirmed the ball clearly landing on the line. Umpires correctly placed Rizzo at second. Ben Zobrist switched places with Rizzo by smacking a double off the ivy on the fly. A Jason Heyward infield single ended Blevins evening.
Drew Smith didn't fare much better. A Willson Contreras groundball scored an insurance run for the Cubs. Schwarber singled, but Smith didn't break any further. The Mets coughed another lead up with the score 6-4 in the eighth inning. Carl Edwards Jr. made quick work of the Mets in the eighth inning. Daniel Zamora recorded two quick outs to start the bottom of the eighth inning, but Rizzo launched a home run to extend the Cubs lead to 7-4.
Pedro Strop was called upon once again as the Finisher. This was another struggle as he walked Jose Bautista to start the inning. Jose Reyes bounced into a fielder's choice for the first out. However, Plawecki singled and that was enough for Joe. Justin Wilson entered to face pinch hitter Jay Bruce. The plan didn't work when Bruce singled to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. Jesse Chavez was the last Cubs pitcher summoned. Chavez struck out Rosario swinging and Jackson looking to close it out for the Cubs sixth win.
Another day off the calendar and the division lead only continues to grow at this point.