Jose Reyes

Mets Blew A Chance

With the Mets winning 8-6 yesterday in what was an odd and messy game between two also rans, the Mets took the season series against the Nationals for the first time since 2015.

This only underscores just how vulnerable the Nationals were this year.

There was an opportunity for the Mets to take this division. The Mets record against the rest of the NL East further proves this out:

  • Atlanta 4-12
  • Philadelphia 11-8
  • Miami 10-6

Even with their struggles against the Braves, the Mets are two games over .500 in the division. Seeing how well the Mets performed in their own division, you have to question what went wrong.

We all know the answer. It was that 5-21 June.

During that month, the Mets tried to play Jay Bruce despite him being too injured to play. Same for Asdrubal Cabrera. Neither played well.

Devin Mesoraco and Jose Reyes played more than younger counterparts, and they underperformed.

All of this offset a Jose Bautista return to form making him a surprise contributor. Still, that Bautista contributing highlights a key problem.

The Mets answer is always to go older, older and more injury prone. We see the Mets have a healthy foster, they can compete, but when are they ever healthy?

They’re not, and it continues to be an issue. The Mets keep getting older, and they make unnecessary gambles. For example, Reyes was playing over Luis Guillorme and Jeff McNeil.

The McNeil case was the worst of them all.

First, he wasn’t much of a prospect. Then, he couldn’t play third base. Now, the Mets are pinpointing second as a position they could upgrade at this offseason. They wouldn’t feel this way if they observed McNeil this season.

This is emblematic of how this organization’s views on how to build a roster. Worse yet, despite evidence to the contrary, they repeat this behavior.

This is why 2018 fell apart. That is why we should treat the 2019 version with skepticism, at least until such time as the Mets change the way they conduct their business.

That’s why, even with the this window opening, the Mets could not take advantage. If they continue operating the same way, they’ll continue not competing.

Addison Russell And MLB Taking Things Seriously

When Addison Russell‘s now ex-wife refused to cooperate with Major League Baseball, Russell avoided a domestic violence suspension.  Instead, he got to finish out the season for a Cubs team which lost to the Dodgers in the NLCS.  While Russell avoided suspension last time, you’d be hard pressed to believe he will avoid a suspension this time – certainly not after his ex-wife made all the mental and physical violence she sustained known publicly.

In response to the allegations, the Cubs released a statement saying, “We take allegations of domestic violence seriously and support the League’s decision to place Addison Russell on administrative leave given new details revealed today. We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”

It is difficult to take the Cubs position seriously when they gave up not just Gleyber Torres but also Billy McKinney, Rashad Crawford, and Adam Warren to get Aroldis Chapman.  The Cubs did this in the same season Chapman had his own domestic violence suspension.  They did this because after 108 years of not winning, they were willing to do anything to finally win one.

The Cubs are not alone.  We have seen the Mets do it with Jose Reyes.  With respect to the Mets, they not only keep Reyes around long after he has ceased being a good player, but they have held him out as a face of the franchise.  The Mets have done that despite their fully knowing Reyes threw his wife into a set of glass doors so hard it required her to be taken to the hospital.

The overriding point is Major League Baseball and their teams will talk tough whenever a player puts his hands on a woman.  However, when push comes to shove, Major League Baseball won’t give a long enough suspension to avoid a fight with the Players’ Association, and teams will continue to make trades and signings of players who have beaten women for a chance at winning.

So through everything everyone will say and do with respect to Russell, Reyes, past and future cases, we will hear tough rhetoric, but ultimately, it will continue to be empty rhetoric.

Red Sox No Match For Mets

One of the two teams tonight was the best team in baseball. The other was the Boston Red Sox.

It’s an absurd statement for sure, and yet with the bats going and Noah Syndergaard dealing, the Mets looked like world beaters.

Over seven innings, Syndergaard allowed just three hits and three walks while striking out six. He really kept the Red Sox at bay at the plate but not the basepaths.

There were three stolen bases with the most egregious being an Ian Kinsler stolen base. On the play, Kindler basically walked to second (not an exaggeration). Syndergaard would get his revenge by picking off Kinsler in the sixth.

The stolen bases wouldn’t matter as the Red Sox couldn’t touch Syndergaard. Simultaneously, the Red Sox could not get the Mets out.

Left-handed pitcher William Cuevas would make his first career start, and he wouldn’t last long partially because he couldn’t get left-handed hitters out.

Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back first inning doubles giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. That grew to 4-0 in the second when Bruce hit a second inning three run homer.

Brian Johnson would come on for the Red Sox and calm things down. Still Jeff McNeil would get to him hitting his third homer of the season. McNeil had yet another multi-hit game, and he had an incredible defensive play to end the seventh:

The Mets offense wasn’t done either. In the eighth inning against Tyler Thornburg, Austin Jackson and Amed Rosario would homer giving the Mets an 8-0 lead. The Rosario homer was a classic majestic shot over the Green Monster. Like McNeil, Rosario had yet another multi-hit game himself.

That left Jerry Blevins and Tyler Bashlor to close up shop. With their two scoreless innings, the Mets shut out the best offensive team in the majors. In fact, the Red Sox have the most runs and RBI with the best team batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS. They have the second highest wRC+.

For their part, the Mets had Thor. That’s why they won.

Game Notes: It was the sixth time all season the Red Sox were shut out. There was a rat running in the Mets dugout during the game. It was not a Wilpon or Jose Reyes.

Wheeler Drowns Marlins

It was supposed to be a doubleheader, but with the rain the best laid plans were washed out. With MLB not looking to schedule a triple-header for the Marlins last series at Citi Field, we waited over five hours for Mets baseball.

Zack Wheeler was worth the wait.

He needed just 35 pitches to get through the first four. With his dominance, he had a chance at The Maddux.

He was in that position partially because he induced Lewis Brinson to hit into an inning ending double play. With that 5-4-3 double play, Wheeler escaped a bases loaded jam.

Astonishingly, with Wheeler only throwing 89 pitches over eight innings, he didn’t get a chance to get the complete game. Paul Sewald would close this one out.

Wheeler’s incredible final line was 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.

Wheeler got the win because the Mets offense exploded.

Dominic Smith started a second inning rally with a leadoff double off Marlins starter Trevor Richards. He’d score on a double by the worst player in the National League.

Brian Anderson made an error on a Tomas Nido grounder to make it 2-0. Nido scored on a Jeff McNeil triple.

It was another big game for McNeil. For the third time over the past week, he had a three hit game. Overall, he was 3-for-4 with a run, triple, and three RBI.

Speaking of hot hitters, Amed Rosario absolutely launched a three run homer in the fourth:

Up 6-0, things would get completely out of hand on the sixth. The Marlins played terrible defense (no errors charged), and the Mets sent 11 batters to the plate.

The two big blows of the inning was a Jay Bruce grand slam and a Dom two run homer. All said and done, it was a seven run inning turning this into a 13-0 route.

It was just a brilliant performance by the Mets all around. It was the kind of performances we saw in April. We’re seeing them again now, and on nights like this, we can believe it’ll happen in 2019.

Game Notes: Michael Conforto‘s streak of three straight games with a homer was snapped leaving Richard Delgado‘s franchise best five game streak in tact.

Mets Blogger Roundtable: Level Of Anger Over Mets Handling Of Wright

When telling the history of the New York Mets, you will have to include the story of David Wright.  Wright was not only one of the best players in franchise history, but he was also one of the most beloved players.  More than that, Wright’s tale is a story of perseverance with respect to how he keeps battling back from spinal stenosis and a litany of other ailments.

Certainly, the end of Wright’s career is a story of tragedy with many looking for a story of redemption at the end.  With the Mets currently 12 games under .500, there is no better opportunity to finally allow Wright to play in front of his daughters.  It is also a good opportunity to allow Mets fans to say good-bye to one of the most beloved players in franchise history.

It seems that while the Mets will allow Wright to play in rehab and simulated games, they are not willing to let him play in Major League games.  The Mets will say he’s not physically ready to play while many believe this is just a way for the Mets to not give up the insurance money.  More than ever, there seems to be anger among Mets fans over the perception the team is allowing the insurance money to stand in the way of Wright playing again.

With that as the backdrop, our Mets Bloggers have offered their opinions and level of anger over the situation:

James Schapiro (Shea Bridge Report)

11 out of 10.

Good: let David play when he wants.

Bad: Don’t let David play because it’ll save you money. Worst: don’t let David play because it will save you money, but while doing so, put on a charade that you’re trying to let him play in a few days and that there’s still something he has do to. Of course the Wilpons chose the worst option.

Michael Mayer (MMO & MMN)

I have nothing to add to his perfect statement

Metstradamus (Metstradamus Blog)

Anger would eminate from passion … a will to fight. I’m not sure it’s worth it to fight the stupidity of an organization that specializes in same the bad optics that they love to bring up when Yoenis Cespedes plays golf on his off days. Especially when “bad optics” are the best case scenario with insurance fraud being the worst. What a depressing scale, eh?

Michael Baron (nym.news)

I actually choose to not be angry. I also don’t believe the Mets should activate David Wright for the hell of it either. I mean, it’s not like he’s saying publicly he’s ready. He himself has said he still has work to do to get to the place he needs to be in order to play at this level. And he knows his body, condition, and skill better than anyone. When he says he’s ready and the Mets are playing a game, that’s when I’ll get pissed. That doesn’t at all mean the Mets do things right, and aren’t messing with the finances of his contract right now. But I myself certainly don’t want to see a fractional version of Wright or Wright get hurt ten minutes after he gets activated. I trust him, and understand what all of this is and want him to play when he can actually be productive.

Metstradamus

Michael, these are very important points and you’re right. If they want a “major league player”, as they say, then they should have the guts to shut him down and then reason that there are two more years left on his contract and we’d rather have him 100% (or as close as possible) for those two seasons. Why would you rush him back for these three weeks? That’s why this all makes me feel like this is a stunt by the Mets to have the nostalgia night with him and Reyes, and then negotiate a buy out after the season or release him. And honestly, I don’t want nostalgia night. I’d guess that David doesn’t want that either. I think we do too much looking back and not enough looking forward anyway. And nostalgia night with David and Jose one last time on the left side of the infield would be an obvious contrived cash grab. That would make me sick to my stomach.

Michael Baron

I don’t know the Mets are looking for nostalgia night either. John Ricco has indicated they want a productive player when they activate Wright. I also don’t think they’re trying to rush him back. Remember, he got 40 AB and they took it very slow. And at one point he shut it down himself temporarily because he had trouble. This has been an excruciatingly slow and grueling process, for both his sake and the team’s sake. He’s close and I think a lot of people – including me – are itching to see him play. But the last thing anyone needs is for David to come back, get hurt and it all be over. So they’re going to make sure they do everything they can to get him back and get him back to a place this can be managed so he can stay healthy, on the field and can live a normal life after baseball.

Greg Prince (Faith and Fear in Flushing)

It’s such a sui generis situation. Any other player who’d been out two-plus years working his way through rehab would have been reinstated and been used accordingly (sparingly). But no other player would figure to have David’s kind of contract and there wouldn’t be this kind of insurance consideration on the table.

In that same vein, I don’t believe any other player at this stage of his career would have worked as hard as David Wright to get back. David takes his Metsdom and his captaincy very seriously, though I also believe if he was in any other profession, he’d approach it with the same level of dedication.

There’s also the matter of the physical ailment he’s trying to play through. It’s not the usual baseball injury, is it? Both the player and the team ought to be as careful as possible. This is a 35-year-old we’re talking about, with a life after baseball. I’d hate to see his determination backfire into something catastrophic (as if that could happen to a Met).

All that said, it’s clearly about the money. The Mets like getting those checks from the insurance company, this year and next. It’s a lot of money. To forfeit it for a few at-bats (I find the “he needs to come back as a complete player” jazz to be nonsense) is a legitimate if distasteful business consideration.

As a Mets fan, I will take my lead from David. If he thinks he can do it, if he’s not in agony, if he’s been putting in all this effort because playing baseball is what he does and what he’s contracted to do, I think it’s chintzy of the Mets to deny him the logical conclusion of his effort, which is playing baseball.

That, too, is part of doing business. Also, it’s a sport, for cryin’ out loud. David is being sporting about this. The Mets are being less so.

As for the notion that this is strictly about nostalgia, I don’t think so. Not for David, certainly. He’s an active player, as inactive as he’s been. He’s not Minnie Minoso coming out of retirement at the behest of Bill Veeck or something like that. It would certainly warm my sentimental heart to see No. 5 and No. 7 take the field together one last time, but I doubt that’s what’s driving the third baseman. If it was driving the Mets, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. He’d be on the roster already.

And let’s be real: the Mets are incapable of selling tickets for anything in September 2018. The modest bump they might (might) get from “oh boy, the Captain is back,” doesn’t measure up to whatever they’d be forfeiting in recovering on the insurance policy…neither of which should be our concern as fans, but baseball is indeed a business, our favorite team included.

In the end, when he does call it a day, we’ll remember David Wright for so much more than a month full of clouds. He was sunshine for so many seasons. No matter what happens, he shines on.

Mets Daddy

When looking at franchises, there just some players who matter more than others.  Most people subscribe to this theory, the Wilpons included.  How else could you explain all that they have done for Jose Reyes despite his proving for two years now he is no longer a Major League player.

In the end, when you look at how well the Mets treat Reyes, you have to ask why they are not extending the same courtesies to Wright.  Certainly, with all that Wright has given the franchise, including his signing an under-market extension to stay and keep payroll at a level where the Mets could add additional pieces, he has done all that has been asked of him and more.

Right now, he just wants to play in front of his daughters.  It’s a human request.  One that should not fall on deaf ears.  Ultimately, if Wright is not given this chance to at least end his career on the field instead of the trainer’s table, you may see a level of anger from Mets fans you have not seem in quite some time.  I know I will be as angry as I’ve ever been.

In the end, we all hope to see Wright play again.  Personally, I also hope you return the favor these excellent writers have given me by participating in this and other roundtables by visiting their sites.

Mets Host Pedophile And Wife Beater At Citi Field

Sometimes, you just have to wonder how to tone deaf this organization is. When you don’t think they can do anything dumber, they do it. Last night was another example how stupid this organization is:

Standing next to the wife beating Jose Reyes is rapper 6ix9ine whose offenses include “posting a lewd video of a half-dressed 13-year-old girl performing oral sex on a pal.” (New York Post).

He’s also been arrested for choking a teenage fan for using his phone to record him. Additionally, he was arrested for assaulting a police officer who had pulled him over for driving with a suspended license.

Moreover, he’s an admitted member of the 9 Trey Bloods, a gang whose offenses include weapons charges, murder, and drug and sex trafficking.

6ix9ine wasn’t just a fan who purchased a Mets ticket. No, this was someone invited to Citi Field. He met and took pictures with different players including Reyes.

Let’s Go Mets

deGrom Sets Mets and MLB Records In No Decision

When Justin Turner hit a first inning home run off of Jacob deGrom, it was evident deGrom did not have his best stuff.  After all, deGrom had not allowed a home run in his last 42 innings pitched.  As it turned out, it really was a struggle for deGrom with him needing 109 pitches to get through six innings.  That’s notably because he threw 108 pitches in each of his last three starts, and he went 9.0, 6.0, and 8.0 innings respectively.

Through all of his troubles tonight and him fighting it, deGrom’s final line was 6.0 innings, two hits, one run, one earned, one walk, and six strikeouts.

It’s at the point where deGrom is so good his inability to find himself and be on his A game leads him to having an absolutely terrific and dominant start.  He’s been having a lot of those lately.  In fact, with this quality start, deGrom set a new Mets record with 20 straight quality starts.  It gets better.  With deGrom allowing three earned runs or less in his past 25 starts, he has set a new MLB record.

And to think there are some people who don’t want to give him the Cy Young.  Of course, those people’s justification is wins.  Well, tonight was another exercise of how absurd that is.

While deGrom has been great all season, Alex Wood has been great of late, and the Mets do not hit left-handed batters well.  More to the point, for some reason when the Mets have been playing good teams of late, they find ways to shoot themselves in the foot.  Tonight was no exception.

In the first Wilmer Flores hit into an inning ending double play.  In the second, Todd Frazier, who had made a fine catch in the game diving into the stands,  was thrown out stealing to end the inning.  In the third, Austin Jackson struck out to end the inning with runners at second and third.  After all of that, deGrom needed to take control of things himself in the fifth inning.

After a Jay Bruce leadoff walk and a Devin Mesoraco single (he was lifted from the game and Jose Reyes pinch ran for him due to injury), Jeff McNeil hit into a double play leaving it up to deGrom to get Bruce home from third.  With him using McNeil’s bat, deGrom delivered the RBI single tying the game at 1-1.  Really, deGrom was doing all he could do out there with him combining his excellent pitching with him going 2-for-2 at the plate.

There was a chance deGrom was going to get into the seventh inning in this game to just allow him to hang around long enough to hope beyond hope the Mets put him in a position to win.  However with an Amed Rosario error in the sixth inning, that pretty much ended that hope meaning the 8-8 deGrom was saddled with another no decision, and this was going to become a battle of the bullpens.

The Mets would win that battle as the offense would eventually break through and because the Mets bullpen did not break.

In the seventh, the Mets were close.  They had the bases loaded with two outs, but Jackson couldn’t deliver the key hit.  Well, if the Mets thought they were close, the Dodgers were even closer.

Against Seth Lugo in the seventh, they had runners at the corners and no outs.  Lugo first struck out Yasmani Grandal, and then he induced Yasiel Puig to hit into the inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

In the eighth, Drew Smith issued a two out walk to Turner which almost blew up in his face.  If not for the low right field wall in Dodgers Stadium, it is likely Manny Machado‘s double gives the Dodgers a 2-1 lead instead of being a ground rule double putting runners at second and third with two outs.  After getting Enrique Hernandez to fly out to center, Smith officially dodged a bullet.

Kenta Maeda was not dodging the same bullet in the ninth.  After a Bruce leadoff double, Kevin Plawecki sacrificed him over to third base.  After McNeil was hit by a pitch, the Mets had runners at the corners with one out setting the stage for Brandon Nimmo, who came on to pinch hit for Smith:

With Nimmo’s pinch hit three run homer, the Mets had an unlikely 4-1 lead, which Robert Gsellman had the task to save.  It was not going to be easy for him and the Mets.  After a replay review, the Dodgers had runners at the corners with no outs.  The game was 4-2 after Grandal brought a run home with a sacrifice fly.  That would be the final score as Gsellman induced Matt Kemp to hit into the game ending 6-4-3 double play.

So overall, the Mets won a game partially because of the six dominant innings he gave them, but for some reason, there is going to be a voter out there who is not going to put him atop the Cy Young ballot because of his 8-8 record.

Game Notes: With the Dodgers starting the left-handed Wood, McNeil batted eighth, and Nimmo was on the bench.  Before the game, the Mets recalled Dominic Smith, Jack Reinheimer, and Drew Gagnon

Wheeler On, Wheels Off Offense and Bullpen

Zack Wheeler was back in San Francisco to pitch against the team who made him the sixth overall pick of the 2009 draft.  Like he has to most teams in baseball this year, especially in the second half of the season, Wheeler showed the Giants why he was drafted that high.

Even with him yielding two doubles over the first six innings, the Giants never truly threatened Wheeler.  Really, it wasn’t until the third triple of the game that Wheeler faced any real danger.

Brandon Belt would lead off the seventh with a double, and he would move to third on a ground out to shortstop.  It was a slow hit ball off the bat of Austin Slater, one which shortstop Jose Reyes made zero attempt to charge.  Therefore, even with the ball being hit to Reyes’ right, Belt would be able to advance.  This was important as Chris Shaw would hit a fly ball to center that easily scored Belt.

That run caused partially by a lackadaisical play by Reyes would be the dagger in this game despite Wheeler pitching seven innings allowing just the one run on four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

The reason why this was a dagger was that no Met other than Jeff McNeil could do anything against Giants starter Andrew Suarez. For his part, Suarez allowed no runs with just two hits, no walks, and five strikeouts.

Of course, it didn’t help that Reyes was starting for the red hot Amed Rosario because Rosario needed an emergency root canal.  It also didn’t help Michael Conforto was sitting and Devin Mesoraco was in the lineup as Kevin Plawecki went on paternity leave.

In the top of the eighth, the Mets would get their chance with Brandon Nimmo, who was once again curiously hitting in the bottom of the lineup again, hit a one out double.  Slater would have a difficult time fielding the ball in right, but Nimmo was unable to take advantage and get to third as he was already decelerating as he approached second.  It wouldn’t matter much as Reyes popped out, and Conforto would ground out to end the inning.

If there was any hopes the Mets would get back into the game, it was all dashed in a horrific bottom of the eighth with the Mets needing four relievers to record three outs.  Robert Gsellman did not record an out while allowing a homer and another hit.  Daniel Zamora relieved him striking out Joe Panik and Alen Hanson.

Rather than go to the bullpen to face Evan Longoria, Mickey Callaway ordered him intentionally walked to allow Zamora to face Belt.  Belt would crush a pitch off the right center field wall which would have been a homer in any other park.  At AT&T, it was a triple.

Drew Smith didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced leading to Jacob Rhame, who was called up for the 10th time this season, striking out Gregor Blanco to finally end the inning.

All told, the Mets went from a 1-0 deficit to a 7-0 loss.  It was an ugly loss in every way, shape, and form.

Game Notes: After hinting during Spring Training, Todd Frazier was finally tabbed as the leadoff hitter.  Former Met Curtis Granderson was traded to the Brewers.

Vargas Gets Run Support deGrom Never Had

The Mets had one of those odd not quite a doubleheader type of days with the Mets and Cubs needing to complete yesterday’s suspended game. The Mets would pick up where they left off by shouting themselves in the foot.

The 10th inning ended on a strike ’em out – throw ’em out double play. Jay Bruce struck out, and Michael Conforto was caught stealing.

In the 11th, Wilmer Flores lined into a double play.

As bad as that was Paul Sewald imploded in the 11th. He first walked Javier Baez and then threw away a sacrifice bunt attempt. That left no choice but to walk Kyle Schwarber to load the bases.

After he struck out Albert Almora, Jr., Mickey Callaway went to Daniel Zamora to get Ben Zobrist. He didn’t, and the Cubs won the suspended game 2-1.

After two close and heart wrenching losses in a row, the Mets set out to ensure there would be no room for late game heroics. They immediately put up a four spot courtesy of a Todd Frazier grand slam:

Of course, the Mets gave this type of run support to Jason Vargas and not Jacob deGrom.

What was interesting was Vargas actually let those four runs hold up even if he was a little shaky.

He escaped a first inning jam with runners at the corners by striking out David Bote. He allowed just run in the second after Willson Contreras led off with a double.

From there, Vargas really settled in, and he was surprisingly keeping the Cubs at bay. Vargas’ final line would be 5.1 innings, four hits, run, one earned, two walks, and six strikeouts.

With his four straight good start in a row, he’s lowered his ERA from 8.75 to 6.56. Perhaps more impressive than that was his retiring a batter the third time through the lineup for the first time all season.

Vargas got the win because not only did the bullpen make those runs hold up, but the Mets offense exploded in the seventh. Amazingly, it was all with two outs.

Wilmer Flores hit a single, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on an Amed Rosario bloop single.

Rosario scored after a Jeff McNeil walk and Austin Jackson RBI single. Both McNeil and Jackson scored on a Just Release Him Already RBI triple.

The Mets plated two more runs in the ninth on a rally started when Tomas Nido reached on a fielding error by Cubs reliever James Norwood. The rally culminated with Frazier and Brandon Nimmo hitting RBI singles to make it 10-1 Mets.

In the bottom of the ninth, 26th man Jacob Rhame who was called up for the ninth time this season allowed two runs before finally closing the door on the Mets 10-3 victory.

Overall, the Mets played 11 innings, scored 10 runs, and went 1-1. It’s been one of those seasons.

Game Notes: With the loss, Sewald is now 0-11 in his career with one save.

Cubs Make Thor Look Human

Despite the Phillies claiming Jose Bautista off waivers, the Mets risked getting a deal getting nixed due to injury by putting him in the lineup. The reason for the decision was Bautista’s numbers against Jon Lester.

Essentially, the Mets risked a possible piece for the future to win a meaningless August game.

Perhaps inspired the Mets got off and running. Amed Rosario hit a single on the first pitch of the game, stole second, and scored on an Austin Jackson RBI single.

In what would become a theme for the night, Noah Syndergaard immediately away the lead starting with a Daniel Murphy leadoff double.

Murphy did not seem as if he was initially going to second, but with Michael Conforto not fielding it cleanly with the backhand, Murphy took the extra base. He’d score on an Anthony Rizzo RBI double.

To his credit, Syndergaard got out of that jam partially because he picked Javier Baez off first, and the rundown was executed well enough to prevent Murphy from scoring from third. That was a moot point after the Rizzo double.

The Mets reclaimed the lead in the second with Conforto hitting an absolute monster home run:

The second inning rally began anew with Kevin Plawecki drawing a two out four pitch walk. Surprisingly, Lester then walked Syndergaard leading to Rosario hitting an RBI single to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

It was a very uneven game for Plawecki. Behind the plate, he struggled, but at the plate, he excelled.

In the third, Syndergaard seemed close to working his way around a Javier Baez leadoff double. With runners at the corners and two outs, Syndergaard threw a pitch in the dirt.

Rather than getting down to block the call, Plawecki tried to backhand it leading to a wild pitch and a run scoring. Subsequently that at-bat, Syndergaard threw one in the dirt, and Plawecki didn’t get down quick enough. Fortunately, Jason Heyward didn’t move up because he lost track of the ball.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t matter.

After a Willson Contreras infield single, Mickey Callaway ordered an intentional walk to load the bases. With two outs and Lester up, a career .092 hitter at the plate, it should have been inning over.

Instead, Syndergaard threw a fat pitch, and Lester hit a two RBI single giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead.

In total, Syndergaard pitched six uninspiring innings allowing four earned on nine hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Maybe it’s all the missed time, but Thor is not Thor right now.

When he departed, he was in line for the loss. That was until Plawecki got the run back he allowed with a game tying homer in the seventh:

With the much improved Mets bullpen, it seemed like the Mets were going to actually have a chance to pull this one out. Unfortunately, Jerry Blevins would have his first poor outing on over a month.

Rizzo led off the top of the seventh with a ground rule double which bounced off the tape:

Ben Zobrist, who has really become a Mets killer, gave the Cubs the lead with an RBI double. Heyward singled putting runners at the corners with no outs leading to Callaway bringing in Drew Smith.

Smith was able to navigate his way out of that jam by yielding just an RBI groundout to Contreras.

Daniel Zamora pitched the eighth, and he blew through the first two hitters he faced. Then his seemingly unhittable slider was hit by Rizzo for a home run giving the Cubs a 7-4 lead heading into the ninth.

Despite going 0-for-3 after being put in the lineup for his great numbers against Lester, Bautista would draw a leadoff walk off Pedro Strop.

Predictably, Jose Reyes didn’t come through instead hitting into a fielder’s choice.

That didn’t stop the Mets from loading the bases with one out. With the bases loaded, the Cubs went to Jesse Chavez for the save.

He dominated Rosario getting him to strike out. Chavez would then strike out Jackson on a couple of dubious strike calls, especially strike three, to end the game.

At the end of the day, Syndergaard looked less god than human, and Bautista went hitless in a game he played due to his bat.

Game Notes: Rosario was picked off by Lester for venturing way off first. Jeff McNeil‘s 11 game hitting streak ended with him popping out in a pinch hitting appearance.