The Mets and the Cubs played three and a half innings of a back and forth pitchers’ duel before the wheels fell off for the Mets, dropping the game 8-3 at Wrigley Field. After walking a tightrope for the first few innings, Robert Gsellman faltered in the fourth, allowing the Cubs to go out in front and never look back.
In the first inning, Gsellman gave up a lead off double to Ben Zobrist, and then walked two of the next three batters. A double-play ground ball off the bat of Ian Happ got Gsellman out of that jam. The Cubs would load the bases again in the third on Zobrist and Wilson Contreras walks and an Anthony Rizzo single, but Happ struck out to, again, kill the Cubs rally.
In the top of the fourth inning, Juan Lagares led off the inning with a double. A botched play allowed Amed Rosario to reach first and pushed Lagares to third. Travis Taijeron then grounded out, but a good break off third allowed Lagares to score the first run of the game.
When the Cubs came to bat, Gsellman, again, got into trouble, walking Kyle Schwarber and giving up a single to Jason Heyward, pushing Schwarber to third. Cubs’ starter Jose Quintana put down a bunt to the first base side, and Dominic Smith was not quite playing in enough, allowing Quintana to reach and Schwarber to score, tying the game. Two batters later, Kris Bryant hit a towering home run to put the Cubs up 4-1.
In the fifth, Quintana hit Nori Aoki with a pitch, and then threw a wild pitch, allowing Aoki to advance to second. An Asdrubal Cabrera single pushed Aoki to third, and a Travis d’Arnaud sacrifice fly scored him.
When the Cubs’ turn at bat came, they took their run right back, with Schwarber hitting a home run to right field off of second Met pitcher Tommy Milone to put the Cubs up 5-2. The inning could have been worse, but Contrearas was picked off, and called out for running outside the base pads for the second time in one game.
Jacob Rhame pitched the sixth for the Mets, and was quickly greeted with a broken bat double off the bat of Javier Baez. A sacrifice bunt by Quintana and a hard struck single by Zobrist plated Baez with just one out. A 5-4-3 double play got Rhame out of more serious trouble.
In the top of the seventh, Jose Reyes reached on a glove-assisted single, but was quickly picked off first base. Quintana went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Josh Smoker pitched the seventh for the Mets, and after recording two quick outs, gave up a bomb to Happ, a no doubter into the left field stands. The inning might have ended worse had Amed Rosario not made an outstanding, leaping catch to rob Heyward of a hit.
Carl Edwards Jr relieved Quintana, and between hitting Lagares and a nearly dropped fly ball by Dominic Smith, almost gave up a run, but escaped unscathed. Chris Flexen pitched the bottom of the eighth for the Mets in his first relief outing since he was a Brooklyn Cyclone, and he gave up yet another run, this time a sacrifice fly off Bryant’s bat that missed being a grand slam by just a few feet.
Justin Wilson gave up a lead-off hit to Rosario and walks to Matt Reynolds and Reyes loaded the bases with one out. Pedro Strop relieved Wilson, and got Norichika Aoki to ground out, which drove in the third run for the Mets. Strop brought the count full to Cabrera, before inducing a weak ground out to end the game.
The Mets sent five pitchers to the mound, and every one gave up at least one run. This was not a fun game, folks.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Robert Gsellman, -26.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: The RBI double in the fourth by Juan Lagares
Teh sux0rest play: Kris Bryant’s three run home run in the fourth
Total pitcher WPA: -35.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: -14.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Kris Bryant