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deGrom’s gem wasted in opener, but Frazier and Vargas led the Mets to an afternoon win in the Windy City

Skyrockets in flight...

MLB: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1:

The Mets continued their trend of not giving Jacob deGrom a stitch of run support, dropping the second game of their three-game series with the Cubs, 2-1. The game, which was suspended in the tenth inning last night, was picked up this afternoon before the Mets’ scheduled day game.

deGrom started for the Mets, and continued his absolutely dominant 2018 campaign with an eight inning, 10 strikeout performance. deGrom scattered eight hits and one walk over his start, and even drove in the Mets’ sole run of the game.

The Mets wasted a number of scoring opportunities throughout the game, starting with Amed Rosario’s lead-off double. After a Jeff McNeil ground out, and an Austin Jackson walk, the Mets had first and third with one out, but nothing came of it.

deGrom’s RBI single came in the sixth inning, after Todd Frazier singled and Jay Bruce walked. The Mets’ best scoring opportunity came just one inning later, when McNeil led off the inning with a triple. However, although hitting the ball hard twice, plus an intentional walk to Todd Frazier, the Mets didn’t score.

That would represent the last time the Mets had a runner in scoring position.

deGrom’s seventh inning was the only blemish on his day, when he gave up singles to both Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist, before David Bote hit a sacrifice fly, plating Schwarber.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the 11th, when Paul Sewald entered the game and promptly walked Javier Baez. Victor Caratini laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Sewald threw the ball away, putting two men on with no outs. Schwarber was then intentionally walked to load the bases.

Albert Almora Jr. struck out for the first out of the inning. Daniel Zamora then entered the game and, on the first pitch thrown, gave up an RBI single to Ben Zobrist, putting the first game of the day to bed.

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Game 2:

After dropping the suspended game earlier this afternoon, the Mets rebounded and defeated the Cubs behind the pitching prowess of [checks notes for a fifth time] Jason Vargas? Yeah, that somehow checks out. Well, okay then!

The Mets wasted no time getting on the board. Amed Rosario led off the game with a single, but he was erased on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jeff McNeil. Austin Jackson then singled and, after a Jay Bruce strikeout, Michael Conforto walked to load the bases. Todd Frazier then sent a ball over the center field wall for a grand slam, putting the Mets up 4-0.

Vargy turned in his third straight start where he gave up one or less runs and pitched at least into the sixth inning. The lone run that crossed the plate during his performance came in the second inning. Wilson Contreras led off the inning with a double, and then was moved to third base by a ground out from Cubs’ starter Alec Mills. Ian Happ then drove him in with a single.

In the third inning, Bruce continued his hot streak since coming off the disabled list with a double. Next, Conforto walked to put two men on with two out. With Frazier batting, however, Conforto was picked off first base, ending the inning.

Vargas briefly got into trouble in the fifth inning, when, with one out, he walked Kyle Schwarber and then hit Albert Almora Jr. with a pitch. However, he induced a ground ball off the bat of Ben Zobrist to end the inning.

After retiring Anthony Rizzo for the first out in the sixth, Vargas was replaced by Corey Oswalt who, despite walking Contreras, got out of the inning unscathed.

In the top of the seventh, Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Plawecki made quick outs to start the inning. Wilmer Flores singled off reliever Randy Rosario; with Amed Rosario batting, Flores moved up to second on a passed ball. Rosario then singled, scoring Flores. McNeil walked, and Randy Rosario was pulled from the game.

Brandon Kintzler then entered the game, and promptly gave up a single to Jackson, before pinch hitter Jose Reyes hit a triple, driving in McNeil and Jackson, putting the Mets up 8-1.

The Mets’ bullpen was solid, with Oswalt, Tyler Bashlor and Drew Smith all not giving up runs over their two and two thirds innings of work. In the ninth inning, James Norwood entered the game for the Cubs. After striking out Jackson, pinch hitter Tomas Nido reached base on a fielding error by Norwood. Conforto and Frazier then singled, with Nido coming around to score. Nimmo then singled home Conforto, with the Mets now leading 10-1.

In the bottom of the ninth, Jacob Rhame entered the game. Rhame gave up a single to Contreras, before serving up a home run to Victor Carlini, slightly closing the gap. Rhame then rebounded to strike out Happ, putting the game to bed, 10-3.

The Mets have tomorrow off, before heading to San Francisco to begin a series with the Giants. Zack Wheeler will start Friday night against the Giants’ Andrew Suarez.

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Win Probability Added

Mets vs Cubs WPA Chart 8/29/18 Fangraphs.com

hat’s WPA?

Big winners: Todd Frazier, +24.3% WPA, Jason Vargas, +20.2% WPA
Big losers: None
Teh aw3s0mest play: Todd Frazier’s first inning granny, +28.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ian Happ’s second inning single, -5.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +24.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +25.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Todd Frazier