Cubs Show Mets How Much Better They Are
For three and a half innings, the Mets had fight, and they were actually leading the Cubs 1-0. They were in that position for unlikely reasons.
The first is Travis Taijeron, who has struggled mightily since he was called up, delivered his first non-HR RBI as a major leaguer. That rally got started due to a Juan Lagares hustle double to start that inning.
At the time the run was scored, you figured it wasn’t going to be enough for Robert Gsellman who was flirting with disaster only to be bailed out by some good defense and good luck.
In the first, the Cubs had bases loaded and one out. With Willson Contreras having been ruled to have gone out of the baseline to avoid a Jose Reyes tag, Ian Happ grounded into an inning ending double play.
The Mets turned their second double play in the third with Travis d’Arnaud throwing out Ben Zobrist after a Kris Bryant strikeout for the strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play. Before you get too excited by d’Arnaud, Zobrist was running at maybe half speed.
Through three Gsellman was well over 60 pitches, and despite him throwing three straight scoreless innings, he was laboring. For those three innings, he bent. In the fourth, he broke.
The Cubs tied the game on a Jose Quintana perfectly placed sacrifice bunt down the first base line. It not only allowed himself to reach safely, but he moved Jason Heyward to second. More than that, Kyle Schwarber scored on the play.
He scored because Dominic Smith somehow got a late break and still tried to get Schwarber at the plate. Many will disagree, but trying to get Schwarber wasn’t a bad play because a better throw gets him.
From there, the Cubs played Home Run Derby blowing the doors off the Mets. The first was a three run homer by Bryant off Gsellman.
By the time the fourth inning was over, the Mets were down 4-1, and Gsellman had thrown 93 pitches. His final line in the loss was 4.0 innings, five hits, four runs, four earned, five walks, and four strikeouts.
In sum, the Mets would use four relievers to pitch the final four innings. All of them, Milone, Smoker, Jacob Rhame, and Chris Flexen, would pitch an inning and allow a run. They all contributed to the 8-3 loss.
If you’re looking at a positive from this loss, Asdrubal Cabrera was 3-4 with a double. However, the contributions of Reyes and Cabrera don’t mean much in what should be a 90 loss season.
Other than Cabrera, you’re looking at Lagares and Amed Rosario each making terrific plays in the field. Short of that, there’s not much to be enthusiastic about in this loss. That is unless you think d’Arnaud throwing out a base runner and his fifth inning sacrifice fly was a big deal.