The Mets lost 7-1 and technically the bullpen was to blame but really the loss can be put squarely on the offense’s shoulders.
The offense was again stagnant, this time against lefty starter Mike Montgomery. Kevin Plawecki got the start at first in an attempt to get more offense against a lefty but boy did that move not work out to say the least. In the seventh Adrian Gonzalez pinch-hit for Jacob deGrom and stayed in the next inning. Plawecki moved to catcher and Devin Mesorco, who has shown some pop in the bat, especially late in games, was out of the game. This decision would loom large later on.
In the eighth when Jacob deGrom was replaced after seven brilliant innings and the game tied, this team seemed doomed to fail. That meant a reliance on the bullpen, but after walking Anthony Rizzo, Robert Gsellman struck out the next three batters to keep the game tied.
In the bottom of the inning is where yet another problem popped up. With lefty Justin Wilson in the Mets’ only pinch-hit options were Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, and Jose Lobaton. There are no winners there and an indictment on how poorly this team in put together right now. Mickey Callaway went with Jay Bruce and he struck out to end the inning.
In the ninth it was on Jeurys Familia’s shoulders to keep the game tied and he did just that despite allowing a couple of baserunners with two outs.
The bottom of the ninth is when the Cubs turned to Luke Farrell who turned into Cy Young right before our very eyes. He didn’t allow a hit until the twelfth but seemed to tire in the thirteenth. Jose Bautista doubled with two-out and Michael Conforto was intentionally walked. The only pinch-hitter left was Jose Lobaton who managed to work out a walk to load the bases.
That brought up Kevin Plawecki who was not having the best night. He committed two throwing errors that could’ve potentially allowed the Cubs to go ahead but each time the pitchers got out of it. This time, with a tiring pitcher on the mound who just walked Jose Lobaton, he swung at the first pitch to weakly ground out. Just an awful at bat that cost them the game.
Since Callaway had already used Gsellman, Familia, Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles, and Tim Peterson, that meant he had to go to the back end of an already bad bullpen. The bullpen was bending but never broke leading up to the fourteenth. They allowed baserunners but managed to keep the Cubs off the board. Unfortunately with limited options next up was Buddy Baumann, who reminder, was not good enough for the last place San Diego Padres this season, but Sandy Alderson scooped him up when he was DFA-ed.
With one out he gave up back-to-back singles to Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs were given just one too many chances. The dam broke. Albert Almora Jr. doubled home both runs and the Cubs were just getting started. After an intentional walk to Addison Russell and an unintentional walk to Ian Happ, Gerson Bautista entered the game. He allowed a double to Ben Zobrist that got past Adrian Gonzalez’s glove that allowed two more runs to score. Ian Happ was out at home and the Mets were mercifully one out away from ending the nightmare, but Javier Baez came up as a pinch-hitter and hit a very long home run to put an exclamation point on the inning.
Of course the lone bright spot was Jacob deGrom. He pitched seven innings, struck out thirteen, and continued to amaze with his wizardry. He loaded the bases with one out in the first after three soft hits, but he pitched out of it with back-to-back strikeouts. The Mets’ ace settled in after that and the strikeouts started piling up. The next time he got into trouble was the sixth when, again, some soft contact landed but this time it led to a run. Even with a run in and runners on with nobody out, deGrom weaved his way through the inning and ended with a repeat performance of the first with back-to-back strikeouts.
Unfortunately, his starts are a double edged sword at this point. As much of a joy it is to watch him pitch, it is just as agonizing to see the lack of talent placed around him. Sandy Alderson built a team with holes, but now with some key injuries, those holes are becoming massive craters that this team just can not find a way around. Put simply it is the reason why they are where they are at this point of the season. The Mets are cratering and not even their ace can pull them out of it.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Tim Peterson +26.2%, Jacob deGrom +24%, Jeurys Familia +13.1%, Jerry Blevins +13.1%, Hansel Robles +13.1%, Robert Gsellman +10.3%
Big losers: Buddy Baumann -45.8%, Brandon Nimmo -23.2%, Asdrubal Cabrera -19.2%, Amed Rosario -11.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto home run in sixth
Teh sux0rest play: Albert Almora double in fourteenth
Total pitcher WPA: +50%
Total batter WPA: -100%
GWRBI!: Albert Almora Jr.