Chicago at New York

Chi. Cubs (95-60) «0106100019140
N.Y. Mets (86-70)0110002015110

Marquis' GS helps Cubs top Mets, clinch home-field advantage wire reports

NEW YORK -- If the New York Mets miss the playoffs after another late collapse, they'll look back and bemoan a pair of improbable homers that contributed to their demise.

Cubs should cross fingers they meet troubled Mets again
by Danny Knobler
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Jason Marquis became the second pitcher to hit a grand slam against the Mets this season, and the Chicago Cubs clinched home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs with a 9-5 victory Monday night that damaged New York's postseason chances.

Struggling to avoid a second consecutive September slide, the Mets dropped 2½ games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East and had their wild-card lead cut to one game over idle Milwaukee.

"It has nothing to do with being tight. It has nothing to do with last year. It has to do with we're struggling," David Wright said. "We need to just look at the big picture. There's no need to panic. Everything we want to accomplish is right out there for our grabbing and right out there in front of us."

Jonathon Niese (1-1) lasted only three-plus innings in his third major league start and New York lost its third straight since moving into first place Friday with a win at Atlanta.

Marquis (11-9) drove in five runs and pitched effectively into the seventh, a big game in his hometown after he left nearly 30 tickets for friends and family. In fact, the Cubs had a vocal band of rooters in the Shea Stadium crowd.

"This was really special," Marquis said.

Derrek Lee also homered and Reed Johnson had a pair of RBI singles for the NL Central champions in the opener of a four-game series that could be a postseason preview.

New York would play Chicago (95-60) in the first round if the NL standings don't change.

But the Mets are having a hard time holding on -- just like last September, when they squandered a seven-game cushion with 17 to play and missed the playoffs as Philadelphia charged past them to win the division title.

New York went 1-6 at Shea Stadium during the final week last year and got off to a foreboding start Monday night as they began another season-ending, seven-game homestand.

"Last year is over with. It's done with. It was a failed opportunity. This year we have a golden opportunity," Wright said.

But once again, when the Mets desperately need wins they're having all kinds of trouble beating teams that don't.

"When you sign on with the Mets, you sign on with being a part of what happened last year," manager Jerry Manuel said. "We have to exorcise those demons at some point, there's no question. Some big ones, too."

Wright hit a two-run homer and Daniel Murphy had an RBI double for New York. Kerry Wood struck out Luis Castillo with two on for his 33rd save in 39 tries.

Marquis connected off Niese in a six-run fourth, snapping a 2-all tie with his fifth career homer and second this season. Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez also cracked a grand slam at Shea Stadium this year, on June 23 off Johan Santana.

"I knew he was a good-hitting pitcher. That's a reason I threw breaking balls to him," Niese said. "Obviously, I didn't want to hang it. But I hung it and he put a good swing on it."

The 1977 Cubs were the previous team to give up two grand slams to pitchers in one season. Montreal's Don Stanhouse and Philadelphia's Larry Christenson hit those long balls, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Marquis added an RBI groundout in the fifth to make it 8-2. The last Cubs pitcher to drive in five runs was Milt Pappas on Aug. 11, 1972, against the Mets at Wrigley Field.

"Anytime you have a chance to help yourself, why not?" Marquis said. "I consider myself an athlete and I try very hard to do everything I can."

Kevin Tapani hit the previous grand slam by a Cubs pitcher on July 20, 1998, at Atlanta off Denny Neagle.

The five RBI were a career high for Marquis, who entered the game with a .205 career batting average and 35 RBI -- including five this season.

Chicago improved to 3-0 against the Mets this year after sweeping a two-game series at Wrigley Field from April 21-22.


  • Mets CF Carlos Beltran was shaken up after banging into the fence on a seventh-inning catch, but stayed in the game. His knee was swollen and sore, yet Beltran expects to play Tuesday.
  • New York RHP John Maine, on the disabled list with a bone spur in his pitching shoulder, faced five batters in a simulated inning before the game. The Mets hope he might be able give them an inning or two out of the bullpen during the last few days of the season.
  • The Cubs adjusted their pitching rotation to begin preparing for the playoffs. LHP Sean Marshall will start Tuesday night, bumping RHP Rich Harden back to Thursday.
  • Lee gave the Cubs five players with 20 homers.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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The Mets suffer a scare when Carlos Beltran crumples to the ground after running hard into the wall.  (AP)
The Mets suffer a scare when Carlos Beltran crumples to the ground after running hard into the wall. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Wright
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

J. Marquis
IP 6.2
H 8
ER 4
BB 4
K 4

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5000032 .286
Ronny Cedeno, 2B5000011 .276
Derrek Lee, 1B4111120 .293
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5120001 .287
Geovany Soto, C3110011 .286
    Koyie Hill, C2000011 .167
Mark DeRosa, RF4230000 .285
    Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .000
   a- Daryle Ward, PH0000100 .223
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
Reed Johnson, CF2122000 .303
    Felix Pie, CF3111011 .247
Ryan Theriot, SS3130200 .301
Jason Marquis, P3115002 .203
    Kosuke Fukudome, RF2000004 .259
a-walked for Samardzija in the 9th
2B - Aramis Ramirez 2 (44, Figueroa, Ayala), Geovany Soto (35, Niese), Mark DeRosa (29, Niese)
HR - Derrek Lee (20, Figueroa), Jason Marquis (2, Niese)
RBI - Derrek Lee (89), Reed Johnson 2 (48), Felix Pie (10), Jason Marquis 5 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (20), Reed Johnson (15), Felix Pie (8)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Theriot-Cedeno-Lee, Theriot-Cedeno-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis (W,11-9) 6.2844441 4.43
Neal Cotts 0.1200000 4.13
Jeff Samardzija 1000010 2.08
Carlos Marmol 0.2111210 2.72
Kerry Wood (S,33) 0.1000010 3.36
IBB - Delgado by Jason Marquis
HBP - Castillo (by Neal Cotts)
WP - Jason Marquis (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 109-61, Neal Cotts 12-7, Jeff Samardzija 13-8, Carlos Marmol 27-15, Kerry Wood 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 9-5, Carlos Marmol 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 30, Neal Cotts 4, Jeff Samardzija 3, Carlos Marmol 5, Kerry Wood 1
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5220001 .299
Daniel Murphy, LF5011011 .336
David Wright, 3B4222101 .299
Carlos Delgado, 1B3120211 .273
Carlos Beltran, CF5021023 .282
Ryan Church, RF3020202 .282
Luis Castillo, 2B3000115 .249
Brian Schneider, C3000013 .258
   a- Damion Easley, PH1000011 .271
    Ramon Castro, C0000000 .248
Jonathon Niese, P1000000 .167
    Nelson Figueroa, P0000000 .083
   b- Nick Evans, PH1000001 .267
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
    Duaner Sanchez, P0000000 .000
   c- Marlon Anderson, PH1000000 .215
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   d- Endy Chavez, PH1000001 .269
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Ricardo Rincon, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Schneider in the 8th
b-flied out for Figueroa in the 4th
c-grounded out for Sanchez in the 7th
d-lined out for Heilman in the 8th
2B - Jose Reyes (36, Marquis), Daniel Murphy (9, Marquis)
HR - David Wright (33, Marquis)
RBI - Daniel Murphy (17), David Wright 2 (120), Carlos Beltran (109)
2-OUT RBI - David Wright 2 (48)
Team LOB - 11
New York Mets
Jonathon Niese (L,1-1) 3766221 7.07
Nelson Figueroa 1211021 4.67
Bobby Parnell 2211020 2.45
Duaner Sanchez 1000020 4.37
Aaron Heilman 1000100 5.26
Luis Ayala 0.2311110 5.53
Ricardo Rincon 0.1000000 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathon Niese 78-46, Nelson Figueroa 14-11, Bobby Parnell 41-30, Duaner Sanchez 12-9, Aaron Heilman 15-8, Luis Ayala 19-13, Ricardo Rincon 2-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathon Niese 6-1, Nelson Figueroa 1-0, Bobby Parnell 2-2, Aaron Heilman 1-2, Luis Ayala 1-0
Batters Faced - Jonathon Niese 18, Nelson Figueroa 5, Bobby Parnell 8, Duaner Sanchez 3, Aaron Heilman 4, Luis Ayala 6, Ricardo Rincon 1
Game Information
Attendance - 51137
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Jerry Layne