Okay the title is a little dramatic. The season is hardly over and this blip might merely be annoying by the end of the 2019 campaign. However, the Cubs have blown a chance to get back on track against two sub .500 teams and today in spectacular fashion in this team loss. And I am publishing this late and so forgive me for being slightly click-baity to make up for the fact that a lot fewer people tend to read after both a weekend game and a blowout loss.
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The graph really does show how this one went. Pete Alonso homered with one out to give the Mets a quick 1-0 lead again. Jose Quintana walked Todd Frazier with two outs but managed to work around the free base runner to keep the Cubs in it. Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant each jumped on the first pitch they saw from Zack Wheeler in the bottom half to put two runners on. Javier Báez grounded into the double play and after that the Cubs never seriously threatened to win this game. Willson Contreras struck out for the first of five punchouts from the power righty.
The rules of baseball were temporarily changed as Wilson Ramos was the beneficiary of the new 4 strike rule in earning a base on balls to start the second inning. Amed Rosario doubled to move Ramos to third inning. Juan Lagares and Zack Wheeler struck out as the rules reverted to the more traditional 3 strike rule. Jeff McNeil hit a grounder that cleared the bases. McNeil was tossed out trying to advance second, but the damage had been done by this point.
The Cubs offense kicked back into gear against the struggling right hander. Jason Heyward had the Cubs third hit of the game to start the frame, and an error by Jeff McNeil allowed Albert Almora Jr. to reach. But Wheeler retired the next 15 batters. That took the Cubs offense into the seventh inning with a goose egg still on the board.
The Mets offense had none of these issues. J.D. Davis singled with one out and Todd Frazier hit one into the stands to extend the Mets lead to 5-0. Amed Rosario led off the fourth inning with a base hit. Q managed to retire the next two batters, but McNeil delivered in the clutch once again with a run scoring double. The team loss was amplified by Victor Caratini's error to start the fifth inning allowing J.D. Davis to reach second. Michael Conforto singled to score Davis. Wilson Ramos homered to put the Mets ahead 9-0 and ended Q's afternoon.
Rowan Wick was inserted into the game and retired four straight batters. Wick allowed yet another two out run to score in the sixth inning. The Mets scored in each of the first six innings. The Cubs relievers combined to post three zeroes on the board to finish the game. Brad Brach and Kyle Ryan each worked around a single base runner and the Cubs finally got a clean inning from Victor Caratini. The highlight for the Cubs was that clean inning and a nice defensive play from the Victory Carrot to help end the inning.
The Cubs did finally break through the seventh inning. Willson Contreras singled to the start the inning against Wheeler. Jason Heyward kept things going with a single and Carlos Gonzalez walked to load the bases with no outs. Victor Caratini "drove" in a run by grounding into a double play. David Bote hit a ball hard to end the inning. Jason Heyward doubled to start the ninth inning. A passed ball and a wild pitch allowed J-Hey to score the Cubs second run. And that was it.
Jeff McNeil has had a hell of a series that is the latest highlights in a breakout season. He certainly would look good at the top of the Cubs lineup with his extreme bat to ball skills to set the table. So Mets: