Chicago-Entering the series winners of three in a row, the New York Mets looked to build some momentum against the worst team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs. The Mets have failed to do that. After dropping the series opener 2-1, the Mets (28-31) lost again to the Cubs (22-34) 5-4.
The Mets jumped out to an early lead again as the Mets took advantage of poor Chicago defense. Bobby Abreu reached base on an error by Cubs' shortstop Starlin Castro, allowing Daniel Murphy to score and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Lucas Duda followed with a two run double to make it 3-0 in favor of the visitors. The Cubs answered right back in the bottom of the frame as Castro atoned for his error with an RBI single to make it 3-1. An RBI single from Nate Schierholtz cut the Mets lead to 1.
The Mets added another run in the top of the fourth inning when Ruben Tejada homered to left field off of Cubs' starter Edwin Jackson. The solo shot, Tejada's second homer of the season, gave the Mets a 4-2 lead. That would be all the damage Jackson (W, 4-5) would allow on the evening, as he went five innings and allowed four runs (only one earned thanks to the Castro error) on five hits while walking five and striking out four.
Mets' starter Daisuke Matsuzaka was fine for the first four innings, but he couldn't make it out of the fifth. Matsuzaka recorded the first out, but then gave up a single to Emilio Bonifacio and walked Chris Coghlan. With Matsuzaka struggling with his control and nearing 100 pitches, manager Terry Collins went to his bullpen and brought in Dana Eveland. Eveland (L, 0-1) couldn't get out of the jam, allowing a single to Anthony Rizzo to load the bases and a two run single to Castro to tie the game at four. After Nate Schierholtz advanced the runners to second and third with a groundout, Collins went back to his bullpen and turned to Jeurys Familia to get out of the inning. That backfired as well as Familia uncorked a wild pitch to bring home Rizzo and give the Cubs the lead.
That lead would hold as the Mets' offense again went quiet against the Cubs' bullpen. The Mets blew an opportunity to tie the game in the sixth after they loaded the bases with two outs, but Curtis Granderson struck out to leave all three men on base to end the inning. The Mets only got one base runner after the sixth inning and were never close to taking the lead again. Hector Rondon would pitch a scoreless ninth to record his seventh save of the year.
This game is not only a bad loss for the Mets, but also part of a very bad pattern the team has developed this season. The Mets do well offensively in the first few innings of the game, but the bats take the rest of the night off afterwards. This was the case last night and happened again tonight, when the Mets scored four runs and didn't score again for the rest of the evening. It's hard to tell whether this is a result of players who can't hit in the clutch or players who are simply bad, but either way the failure to add on runs is leading to loss after loss for the Mets.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game award goes to Cubs' shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro made up for a critical error in the first inning by going 3 for 4 at the plate and driving in three runs.
Post Game Notes:
- Cubs' skipper Rick Renteria was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor in the third inning.
- The Mets left 10 men on base and went 1-8 with runners in scoring position.
- Daniel Murphy led the way with three hits on the night, while Granderson had two. The rest of the team had two hits combined.
- Tejada has now established a career high in homers for a single season.
- The Mets designated Buddy Carlyle for assignment to make room for Andrew Brown on the roster. Carlyle pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief in tonight's game.
The Mets will look to avoid being swept by the Cubs tonight as the two teams wrap up their three game series. Jacob deGrom (0-2, 2.42 ERA) will look to pick up his first career big league win for the Mets, while the Cubs will counter with lefty Travis Wood (5-5, 5.15 ERA). First pitch at Wrigley Field is slated for 7:05 pm.Tags: Baseball, Bobby Abreu, Buddy Carlyle, Chicago Cubs, Curtis Granderson, Dana Eveland, Daniel Murphy, Edwin Jackson, Hector Rondon, Lucas Duda, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Ruben Tejada, Starlin Castro