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Mets vs. Cubs Recap: The Good First Baseman and Mr. 300 take down the Cubbies

Matt Harvey didn’t have it, but the lefty bats did.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets showed some resilience on Wednesday evening, not letting an instant deficit or a truly crappy starting pitching performance deter them from picking up the win, which they eventually did on the backs of their veteran sluggers and scraped-together bullpen.

WIN, 9-4

Matt Harvey started for the Mets and instantly gave up back-to-back home runs to Anthony Rizzo and Ian Happ, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead just six pitches into the game. Harvey never looked comfortable, and his fastball was topping out in the low 90s. Even when he had scoreless innings, as he did in the second and third, he just looked like a shell of his former self.

It didn’t help matters when Kyle Schwarber hit a fly ball that nearly scraped the sun, landing beyond Shea Bridge, in the bottom of the fourth with John Jay on base. Harvey finished out the inning but didn’t come back out for the fifth. He managed to strike out five, while also walking one and giving up four hits en route to his four earned runs.

The Mets first got to Cubs starter Mike Montgomery in the second, when Jay Bruce and T.J. Rivera both singled to start the inning. Bruce eventually scored when Jose Reyes hit a ball that was bobbled by Kris Bryant. In the third inning, Neil Walker attempted to bunt Juan Lagares over to second, but came up limp running to first. He left the game with a leg injury, the severity of which is not yet known. Both Walker and Harvey are set to see doctors.

In the fourth inning, Rivera led off with a single. One batter later, Curtis Granderson singled, and then Jose Reyes walked for the first of two times in the game, which is shocking in and of itself, loading the bases. Because of the decimated state of the Mets’ bench—Lucas Duda had entered the game when Walker exited, Michael Conforto still out with a stiff back, and Yoenis Cespedes with a scheduled day off—Steven Matz pinch hit for Harvey and drove in Rivera on an infield hit. Juan Lagares followed with a sacrifice fly, bringing the Mets to within a run of the Cubs.

In the sixth, after Montgomery had departed, Lagares drove in Granderson with a triple, tying the game. The Mets’ bullpen was excellent after Harvey departed. Paul Sewald pitched the fifth and the sixth and only gave up one hit and no walks, while striking out one. Fernando Salas got out the first two batters in the seventh before giving way to Jerry Blevins, who struck out three of the four batters he faced.

In the bottom of the eighth, Curtis Granderson hit his 300th career home run, putting the Mets ahead with a flourish. The fans demanded a curtain call, which was a nice moment for the Met who has quietly been the best hitter on the team over the past 30 days—wait, am I Chris McShane?

After the second walk of the night for Reyes, Cespedes got a pinch hit, and was replaced on the basepaths by Robert Gsellman. Duda then hit his 12th home run of the season, putting the game likely out of reach. Wilmer Flores and Bruce then singled, before Rivera drove in Flores with the Mets’ ninth and final run.

For reasons that really make little sense, Terry Collins brought Addison Reed in for the ninth, and he promptly gave up two quick hits. Reed eventually loaded the bases with two outs before inducing a Rizzo ground ball to end the game.

After taking two of three from the World Series champs, the Mets welcome the slumping Nationals to Citi Field for a four-game series beginning tonight. If the Mets have a good weekend, the division no longer seems so out of reach for them. That would’ve been a foreign concept even a few days ago.

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Win Probability Added

Mets/Cubs 6/14/17 WPA

What’s WPA?

Big winners: Curtis Granderson, +33.9% WPA, Juan Lagares, +20.2% WPA, Jose Reyes, +15.8% WPA, Jerry Blevins, +14.1% WPA, Steven Matz, +11.2% WPA, Paul Sewald, +10.0% WPA
Big losers: Matt Harvey, -25.8% WPA, Wilmer Flores, -15.9% WPA, Travis d’Arnaud, -15.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Curtis Granderson’s 300th home run
Teh sux0rest play: Wilmer Flores strikes out in the sixth inning
Total pitcher WPA: +3.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +46.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Curtis Granderson