Mets' Robert Gsellman innefective in loss to Cubs

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It marks the 13th time in the last 17 seasons that the Cubs have opened the season away from home.

Unlike the Mets, the Cubs are still playing for something, finding themselves locked in a dogfight as they try to fend off the charging Cardinals and Brewers in what has become a hectic race for the NL Central. Jon Lester gets the ball, and he is 10-7 with a 4.35 ERA and 164 strikeouts this season. The right-hander walked five and was charged with four runs and five hits. The Mets have allowed 19 runs in their last three games and four or more runs in eight of their last 12 games. Contreras could be the spark the Cubs need to turn this back around.

"KB's home run really turned the tide", manager Joe Maddon said. The St. Louis Cardinals, whose own dedication to inconsistency has helped to facilitate the Cubs' continued survival atop the division, are trending upward as their final trip to Wrigley Field nears this weekend.

Pitching, however, hasn't been the Cubs' biggest worry lately. Kyle Schwarber added a solo shot in the fifth inning, while Ian Happ followed with a solo homer in the seventh. What is most pertinent is that they snap out of the immediate haze they are performing in, where save for an 8-2 victory last Thursday, they have managed a grand total of seven runs in the last eight days.

"It happens to every team at some point", Maddon said "It's contagious to hit as well as it is contagious to not hit". "You just can't keep letting leadoff hitters on and beat a team like that". It's going to come back to us.

The biggest names at the heart of the Cubs' lineup have struggled at the plate in September.

With two outs and runners on first and second, Bryant drove a 3-2 pitch from Gsellman to left-center for his 26th homer. His four RBIs also were his first of the month.

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He added that HMS Ocean, Britain's biggest warship in service, is heading to the Caribbean and should be there within 10 days. He told the House of Commons there were 997 troops and 47 police officers in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

"We've just got to realize he's a young guy and he's got a lot to learn", manager Terry Collins said before the loss.

Anthony Rizzo did that on Tuesday afternoon, sending a message through the reporters crowded around his locker inside the Wrigley Field clubhouse. This season he established a career high with 16 homers at Triple-A Las Vegas.

The Next Level: For the first three and a half innings, the game was less than ideal for the Cubs. He hit in the cleanup spot and went 0-for-1 with three walks. Syndergaard has been out since May 1 due to a torn right lat muscle.

"Even though he hit some homers this year at Triple-A, that is a league conducive to home runs", Collins said. This start will be his third season returning from the DL. He missed six weeks because of a stress injury in his right shoulder blade. He played first base August 9 when he went down with injury.

Quintana didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start last Wednesday, when he allowed six hits over six scoreless innings in the Cubs' 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

NY recalled catcher Tomas Nido from Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday, but he didn't play.

Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits for NY.