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the Mets couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead and were done in by a two-run single by
pitcher Jon Lester, who gave the Cubs the lead. Ben Zobrist snapped a 4-4 tie in
the seventh inning with an RBI double.On Tuesday, the Mets will counter with
Jacob DeGrom, whose performance this year has been much better than his 8-8
record suggests. DeGrom touts a major league-best 1.71 ERA in 26 appearances
this year and 174 innings pitched. He is coming off a tough-luck loss to the San
Francisco Giants in which he allowed two runs (one earned) with 10 strikeouts.
DeGrom is 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs.Despite
often struggling to receive much run support from the Mets’ offense, DeGrom has
done his part to keep the team competitive. Between the lack of offensive help
and having the bullpen implode after some of DeGrom’s solid starts, he is stuck
with the .500 record when his stuff has been good enough to make him a bona fide
Cy Young contender if the Mets would have held up their end of the
bargain.Rather than getting wrapped up in hypotheticals, DeGrom instead focuses
on himself. “If you’re the best you can be, you’re going to help the team win,”
DeGrom said earlier this month, according to ESPN.com. “That’s how I take it.
I’m going to go out there and be the best that I can be and if I am, it’s going
to put us in pretty good position to win.” HOUSTON — The standard of expectation
is so high for the Houston Astros http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-ozzie-guillen-jersey ,
reigning World Series champions and possessors of the second-best record in
baseball, that any unusually poor performance subsequently demands a lengthy
explanation from all the involved parties.On Wednesday, the Astros (95-67)
closed their season series against the Seattle Mariners with a thud, suffering a
9-0 loss that matched their largest defeat by margin on the season. Houston
suffered a pair of nine-run setbacks in the span of six days in late July and
are a robust 35-8 in blowouts (games decided by five or more runs) this season.
Yet, with a postseason berth nearly clinched and the hard-charging Oakland
Athletics in dogged pursuit for the American League West title and the No. 2
seed in the playoff picture, the timing of the performance troubled.“September
baseball,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, whose club is 13-4 this month. “I
know that’s kind of a thing this year where everybody is using a lot of
pitchers. It’s a lot easier to do it in September. It’s a challenge. It’s no
different than when you run into a spot starter, you run into a game where they
can utilize their whole bullpen depending on their schedule.”Article continues
below ...Right-hander Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.88 ERA) will start on eight days of
rest on Friday when the Astros host the Los Angeles Angels for their final
series of the regular season at Minute Maid Park. Cole was slated to start on
Tuesday against the Mariners but was pushed back in deference to additional rest
for the stretch run. He has allowed two runs in each of his last three starts
and is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA this month. Cole has faced the Angels three times in
2018, going 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA. He is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA over five career
starts against the Angels.Left-hander Andrew Heaney (9-9 Bill
Melton Jersey
, 3.97 ERA) gets the starting nod for the Angels. He
faced the Astros in consecutive starts to close August, twirling six shutout
innings with six strikeouts in a 5-2 victory at Minute Maid Park on Aug. 30
after surrendering five runs on eight hits and one walk over six innings in a
9-3 loss six days earlier at Angel Stadium. Heaney is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA over
four starts against the Astros this season and 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA against
Houston over six career starts.The Angels (75-78) suffered the worst loss in
franchise history on Thursday, falling to the Athletics 21-3 and enabling
Oakland to close to within 3 1/2 games of the Astros in the division. They have
dropped five of seven games after winning seven of nine to climb back to
.500.The lone interesting footnote for the Angels from their blowout loss to
Oakland: Francisco Arcia became the first player in league history to catch,
pitch, and homer in the same game. Arcia, who started the afternoon behind the
plate, allowed three runs on four hits while pitching the seventh and eighth
innings. He then slugged a solo home run, his sixth home run on the season, with
two outs in the ninth inning off Athletics right-hander Chris Hatcher.
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