|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 28, 2019
Citi Field, Flushing, New York Attendance: 33,987
Cubs look to pile on vs. slumping Mets
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he won't know if his team's Tuesday win was a tone-setter until Wednesday. The New York Mets better hope it wasn't.
The Cubs will look to further cement their grip on a National League wild-card spot Wednesday night when they visit the Mets in the middle game of a three-game series.
Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.20 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Chicago against New York's Noah Syndergaard (9-6, 3.71) in a battle of right-handers.
The Cubs earned a 5-2 win in the series opener Tuesday, when Yu Darvish allowed one run over a season-high eight innings and Addison Russell and Javier Baez each hit two-run homers.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cubs, who didn't gain any ground on the scorching St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. The Cardinals maintained their three-game lead with their sixth straight victory, a 6-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
However, the Cubs were the only NL wild-card contender that began the day over .500 to win Tuesday night. In addition to the Mets and Brewers, the Philadelphia Phillies and the wild-card-leading Washington Nationals also lost. Chicago is three games behind the Nationals, two games ahead of the Phillies, three ahead of New York and 3 1/2 up on Milwaukee.
Still, Maddon wasn't quite ready to declare the Cubs had made a statement.
"We're going to find out (Wednesday)," Maddon said. "I don't get overly overwhelmed either way. I like the way we played tonight. We've kind of been playing like that, we just got the hits that we needed tonight."
The loss was the fourth straight for the Mets, who surged back into contention by going a baseball-best 27-10 in the first 37 games after the All-Star break. But their bats have gone quiet at an inopportune time. New York has scored just nine runs -- six via the home run -- in the last four games.
The Mets missed a prime chance to take an early lead Tuesday, when Michael Conforto hit a leadoff triple in the second inning but was stranded after Wilson Ramos lined out to a leaping Baez at shortstop and J.D. Davis and Joe Panik both flied out.
"We're missing the timely hit," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "They hit two homers; they were both two-run homers. Our two home runs are solos. We stranded that runner at third. We're just not getting the timely hit or the big hit when we need it to keep us rolling.
"It will change. Tough four games, but we'll come out (Wednesday) and put it behind us."
Both Hendricks and Syndergaard earned wins with scoreless outings in their most recent starts last Thursday. Hendricks allowed just three hits over seven innings as the Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 1-0. Syndergaard gave up only two hits over six innings as the Mets beat the Cleveland Indians 2-0 in a game shortened to 7 1/2 innings by rain.
Hendricks is 3-0 with an 0.47 ERA in three regular-season starts against the Mets. Syndergaard is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four regular-season starts against the Cubs.
--Field Level Media
Updated August 28, 2019