That was more than enough for Nola


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CHICAGO — With the Chicago Cubs just starting a busy stretch during which they will play 23 games in 23 days [url=http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-francisco-liriano-jersey]Francisco Liriano Jersey[/url] , finding a way to remain fresh may seem tougher than normal.How well Chicago’s starting pitching holds up over the remainder of the regular season may play a major role in determining whether the Cubs can capture their third straight National League Central Division title.With Yu Darvish out for the season and Mike Montgomery sidelined with a shoulder injury, the last thing the Cubs needed was for their starting rotation to take another hit. But the injury bug continued to bite the Cubs on Thursday when Tyler Chatwood, who had been relegated to the bullpen after spending most of the season as a starter, was placed on the disabled list with hip tightness. The Cubs recalled right-hander Dillon Maples from Triple-A Iowa.Article continues below ...The starter shortfall also forced the Cubs to call up Alec Mills, who will make his first major league start on Friday at Wrigley Field against the Cincinnati Reds. Mills (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is 5-12 with a 4.84 ERA in 23 starts this season at Triple-A Iowa.Mills made an appearance for the Cubs earlier this season when he pitched two scoreless innings of relief and struck out two July 27 against the St. Louis Cardinals.While the Cubs’ pitching has stood up well during Chicago’s recent offensive struggles, manager Joe Maddon continued to keep newly acquired Daniel Murphy at the top of his lineup. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, who had thrived in the lead-off spot, has settled back into his normal No. 3 spot and homered for a third straight game and drove in three runs as the Cubs knocked off the Reds 7-1 in Thursday night’s series opener behind a complete-game effort from Cole Hamels.The addition of Murphy, who went 2-for-5 and scored a run in Thursday’s win, could be big for the Cubs down the stretch. Murphy is a career .413 hitter in 109 at-bats at Wrigley Field, where he played his first game as a member of the Cubs on Wednesday. With shortstop Addison Russell sidelined with an injury, Murphy’s addition bolsters a lineup that general manager Jed Hoyer believes is built to win.“We’ve tried to augment that group as much as we can during the course of the season [url=http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-charlie-morton-jersey]http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-charlie-morton-jersey[/url] ,” Hoyer told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “But this group is very capable of winning. We need to start playing better, more consistent baseball.”The Reds will head into Friday’s game expecting to send Matt Harvey to the mound despite reports that the veteran right-hander had been claimed off waivers by an unknown team Wednesday. A team has 48 hours to either trade him or pull him off of waivers from the time he is chosen. The Reds’ official website said that would force team officials to decide what to do with Harvey before Friday’s matinee.Harvey is 6-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 17 starts with the Reds this season after he was acquired from the New York Mets. Harvey is 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs, and is 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA in two starts against Chicago this season. Whether he makes another start against Chicago — at least as a member of the Reds — remains up in the air.“Obviously, if a trade is worked out, he won’t (pitch),” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman told reporters Thursday. “But we’re planning on having him start.” PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Once Aaron Nola got an early lead, he was home free.Nola struck out 11 in seven impressive innings to stay unbeaten at Citizens Bank Park, pitching the Philadelphia Phillies past the New York Mets 4-2 on Friday night.Asdrubal Cabrera hit an RBI double off former teammate Noah Syndergaard during a three-run first inning, and Nola made the early lead stand up.Nola (14-3) allowed one run on three hits with one walk while lowering his ERA in 2.24. The All-Star is even better at home, improving to 9-0 with a 2.00 mark in 12 starts in Philadelphia this season.“There’s been a lot of Cy Young Award chatter leading up to today. Obviously, you can see why,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.“He rises to the occasion. he’s ready for the biggest moment. And it’s just like no spot is too big. No spotlight is too bright. He just elevates his game [url=http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-andy-pettitte-jersey]Andy Pettitte Jersey[/url] , and we saw that tonight,” he said.Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save in as many chances.Syndergaard (8-3) allowed four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. The tall right-hander has battled injuries again in 2018, missing two months with a finger injury and then 10 days last month due to hand, foot and mouth disease.“Today was more of a step in the wrong direction,” he said.Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro also drove in runs for the playoff-contending Phillies.Austin Jackson had three hits and an RBI for the Mets.Cabrera’s double put the Phillies ahead and Williams followed with an RBI single. Cabrera, traded from the Mets to Philadelphia last month, scored on Carlos Santana’s double-play groundout.That was more than enough for Nola, who struck out the side in the first and retired nine of the first 10 Mets. The only batter that reached during that stretch, Jose Bautista, got on because of an error by second baseman Cesar Hernandez.“Just trying to make quality pitches,” Nola said.New York got its lone run off Nola in the fourth. Jeff McNeil led off with a single, the first hit off Nola, went to third on Jackson’s single and scored on Todd Frazier’s sacrifice fly.RUNNING WILDThe Phillies stole a season-high five bases [url=http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-cruz-jr.-jersey]Jose Cruz Jr. Jersey[/url] , including the first two of the season by the catcher Alfaro, against Syndergaard.“Definitely an Achilles’ heel,” Syndergaard said of holding runners. “Embarrassing tonight.”Mets manager Mickey Callaway said it’s an area Syndergaard will continue to work to improve.“Bottom line is he needs to get better and I think he will,” Callaway said.ERROR PRONEHernandez’s misplay made it 94 errors for Philadelphia, which began play second in the majors to St. Louis (95).TRAINER’S ROOMMets: An MRI on the left index finger of RF Brandon Nimmo revealed no structural damage. Nimmo, who was injured on Thursday, was not in the lineup Friday but could play on Saturday. … Reliever Bobby Wahl was placed on the DL with a right hamstring strain and LHP Daniel Zamora was recalled from Double-A Binghamton. Zamora made his major league debut, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.UP NEXTMets ace Jacob deGrom (7-7, major league-best 1.81 ERA) opposes RHP Jake Arrieta (9-7, 3.33) in the fourth game of the five-game set on Saturday afternoon. DeGrom is 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 career starts against the Phillies and struck out seven in eight shutout innings of a 3-0 win on July 11. Arrieta is 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Mets.


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