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Mets’ pitchers team down again as they fall below .500

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The Mets lost their second straight game to the Cubs thanks to some shoddy relief pitching.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets lost the second game of this four-game series against the Cubs 7-4. With these losses, the best that the Mets can hope for this weekend is a split if they can swipe these next two games from the Cubs.

LOSE, 7-4

To start this game, Zack Wheeler hoped to right the ship and keep the Mets from falling below .500 for the year. Again, Wheeler’s velocity was impressive as he sat around 97 to 98 miles per hour in his start, even approaching 99 in the earlier parts of the game. The first inning was a bit rough for Wheeler, but he worked around a hit and a walk to set down the Cubs without any runs coming home. In the bottom half of the first, the Mets found themselves with similar results as they were unable to capitalize on a walk and two singles against the struggling Tyler Chatwood.

The second inning came and went without many eventful moments for either side, but in the third inning the Cubs threatened again as they had men on first and second with two outs before Anthony Rizzo popped out to end the inning. The Mets quickly went to work in their half of the inning as Amed Rosario walked to lead off the inning and Brandon Nimmo came up with a chance to extend his hot streak and give the Mets the lead. Of course, he did just that as he smacked a two-run home run to left-center field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

That was the last eventful turn at bat for either team until the Mets’ half of the sixth inning. Michael Conforto and Devin Mesoraco drew back-to-back walks to start things off but, the Cubs got Jose Bautista and Adrian Gonzalez to fly out before coaxing a groundout from Luis Guillorme to end the inning.

Through six innings, Zack Wheeler was having an impressive start as he had only allowed five hits and two walks while shutting out the powerful Cub offense. But, as he came out to try to get through the seventh inning, that sparking start was tarnished quickly. Following consecutive singles by Addison Russell and Tommy La Stella, Wheeler was pulled and Paul Sewald entered with two men on and none out. Kyle Schwarber was the first batter Sewald faced and he hit a sacrifice fly which scored Russell and allowed La Stella to move up to second base on the throw from Conforto. The next batter was Ben Zobrist who promptly drove the second pitch he saw to right field and tied the game up at two. Sewald did manage to get Jason Heyward to ground out, but Kris Bryant followed that up with a single that sent Zobrist home.

The eighth inning wasn’t much better for Sewald and the Mets as three more runs came home. Albert Almora Jr. starting things off with a single before Sewald struck out Ian Happ and Addison Russell. Unfortunately, Sewald wasn’t able to get that third out as Willson Contreras singled and then Kyle Schwarber walloped a 365 foot home run to put the Cubs up 6-2 and score the deciding run.

The Mets had a similar start to their half of the eighth as Asdrubal Cabrera walked and that was followed by a strikeout and a fielder’s choice. The next batter, Jose Bautista, lined a double into left field to put runners on second and third with Adrian Gonzalez coming up. With new pitcher Brian Duensing in the game, Gonzo singled to center field to bring home two and cut the lead down to two.

Half of that work was quickly erased in the ninth as Jeurys Familia came in and allowed two singles and a double to make the score 7-4 in favor of the Cubs. In their last chance, the Mets went down without much trouble to officially lose the game and fall below the .500 mark for the first time all season.

Tomorrow, the Mets will try to climb back to .500 with their ace, Jacob deGrom, on the mound going up against Mike Montgomery and the Cubs.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Zack Wheeler, +12.4% WPA, Brandon Nimmo, +11.6% WPA
Big losers: Paul Sewald, -48.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo’s third inning home run, +18.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Kyle Schwarber’s eighth inning home run, -20.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -39.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: -10.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Kyle Schwarber