Cubs Maul The Mets
This game was probably over as soon as Anthony Rizzo lead off the game with a homer. If it wasn’t then, it was over in the second inning. Zack Wheeler just didn’t have it, and he got knocked out in the second inning. His final line was 1.2 innings, six hits, eight runs, eight earned, three walks, and three strikeouts.
It was irresponsible for Terry Collins to leave Wheeler in as long as he did. After missing two years due to Tommy John surgery, he let Wheeler throw 46 pitches in the fourth inning.
Look at it this way, Wheeler loaded the bases, walked in a run, and then allowed a grand slam to Ian Happ to make it 6-1. Collins left him in to put on two more runners who scored on an Addison Russell bases clearing double making it 8-1.
Then Collins went to Josh Smoker, and he abused his arm. Smoker threw 81 pitches over four innings. That’s 40 pitches more than his career high.
Sure you don’t want to burn your bullpen in these games, but you don’t risk a player’s health. Smoker is a guy who can get it up to 98 MPH. By the time he was pulled, he was struggling to hit 89 MPH. This gets pitchers hurt, and it’s inexcusable. Yes, it’s even inexcusable when a pitcher has a 7.45 ERA. You don’t mess with careers for one game.
By the way, it was unnecessary. The bullpen is rested with the last four Mets starters pitching into the seventh, and Jacob deGrom throwing a complete game yesterday.
At least Collins wasn’t irresponsible with everyone. Yoenis Cespedes was lifted after the fifth because the Mets were losing 8-1.
It was that type of night. Gary, Keith, and Ron broke out the baseball cards. Keith was sighing loudly into the mic. Darling was taking pot shots at sabermetrians. Both Smoker and Neil Ramirez pitched.
But you know what? The Mets deserved this loss. Joe Maddon tried to wake up his team and get them going by mixing up the lineup. That included hitting Rizzo lead-off.
On the Mets part, Jose Reyes played in his fifth straight game. And guess what, he’s going to play in at least nine more because Asdrubal Cabrera went on the DL with a thumb injury. Yes, it is the same thing that landed him in the DL earlier this year.
Rather than the Mets using as an opportunity to call up Amed Rosario, the Mets said, “We’re good with Reyes hitting under the Mendoza Line and playing bad defense.”
Organizations like that deserve to lose 14-3.
To make matters worse, the Nationals pen didn’t blow another one, so the Mets fell to 9.5 games out.
Game Notes: Michael Conforto missed a second straight game with a back issue. With the left-handed Jon Lester on the mound, Juan Lagares got the start in center and lead-off. He went 1-4 scoring a run on a Cespedes first inning double. Neil Walker and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back homers in the ninth.