Jameson Taillon and Carlos Carrasco entered Tuesday night with a combined ERA of nearly 6.00 but ended up in a pitcher's duel
Taillon recovered from a rocky first inning to earn the win Tuesday, when he retired the final 16 batters he faced in the Cubs' 3-2 victory
The game was tied when Taillon threw his final pitch; however, Mike Tauchman homered with one out in the top of the eighth off Drew Smith as Chicago improved to a National League-best 17-8 since the All-Star Break
The Cubs, who were 6 1/2 games out of the National League's third wild-card spot entering the All-Star break, moved into a virtual tie for the last playoff spot with the Cincinnati Reds due to Chicago's win and the Reds' 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. Chicago also is 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central
"As a team right now, the chemistry is so good," said Cubs closer Adbert Alzolay, who earned the save with a one-hit ninth. "It's fun. You're coming to the field to see your brothers every single day. We treat each other here like we're family right now. I feel like that's a big part of the success we've been having lately.
The loss was the seventh in eight games for the Mets, who were among the NL's favorites entering the season but have been below .500 every day since June 6
Carrasco, who began Tuesday with a 6.60 ERA, gave up two runs over five solid innings on Tuesday. New York, however, was held to three or fewer runs for the sixth time this month
Pete Alonso hit a two-run homer in the first inning before the Mets got just two more runners into scoring position against Taillon, set-up man Julian Merryweather and Alzolay
"We went quite a while without getting a hit there," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "If you look out there, just pure ERA and stuff, you think you're supposed to do this. Same thing with Carlos. Sometimes guys pitch like they're capable of.
Hendricks took the loss last Friday after surrendering a season-high seven runs over a campaign-low four innings in an 8-0 setback to the Atlanta Braves. He is 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA over his last six starts, a span in which his ERA has risen from 2.64 to 3.98
Peterson made his first start in almost a month last Friday, but he didn't factor into the decision after tossing three scoreless innings in the Mets' 10-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He is 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 10 games (four starts) since returning from Triple-A Syracuse on June 27
Hendricks is 4-1 with a 2.62 ERA in six regular-season starts against the Mets. He also gave up two runs over four innings and didn't factor into the decision when the Cubs fell to New York 5-2 in Game 3 of the 2015 NL Championship Series
Peterson is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs
--Field Level Medi