Written by Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Series Recap: August 15th – August 18th
Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets
Game 1: Cubs 2 Mets 3
Game 2: Cubs 3 Mets 7
Game 3: Cubs 2 Mets 1
Game 4 Cubs 4 Mets 1
The Mets and Cubs split their wraparound four game series at Citi Field, as the Mets took the opening two games and the Cubs won the last two. It was a tale of two teams for the Mets, as the first two games they had great pitching and timely hitting; the final two both of those things disappeared.
In the opening game of the series, Zack Wheeler tossed a dominant game. He struck out 10 Cubs, allowing only two earned runs on four hits and four walks in 6.2 innings pitched.
The Mets offense wasn’t strong in the game, but Eric Campbell delivered a timely three-run homer in the fourth inning to put the Mets ahead 3-2 and end the scoring in the game.
In Game 2 it was much of the same for the Mets, as Jon Niese fired a quality start to get the win and even his record at 8-8 on the season. Once again the Mets offense was far from a juggernaut, but they got the timely hits when they needed. The Mets only had four hits in the game, but two of them plated three runs.
Vic Black needs some recognition as well, as he got out of a bases loaded, no out situation in the seventh inning and got three straight outs without surrendering a run.
The Mets received a scare in this game though, as David Wright was forced to leave with a shoulder injury. Wright was hit in the shoulder with a pitch in the seventh inning and was forced to leave the game. He would sit out Game 3, but returned for the series finale Monday afternoon.
The Mets luck would run out the remainder of the series offensively, as they were able to scratch out only two runs in the two games combined. In Game 3, Rafael Montero tossed the best game of his young MLB career, finishing 7.1 innings and allowing only one run on five hits, two walks and striking out six.
The Mets were able to only scratch out four hits in the game, two of which came off the bat of Ruben Tejada, as Jake Arrieta threw a gem for the Cubs. He fired seven shutout innings, striking out nine Mets and giving up only two hits and two walks.
In the series finale Monday afternoon, the Mets were put in a tough spot with Bartolo Colon being scratched and put on the bereavement list so he could attend to his ailing mother. Carlos Torres, fresh off an appearance Sunday, stepped up and gave the Mets a great outing.
Torres actually performed exceptionally well for the Mets, throwing five shutout innings. The rest of the bullpen could not pick up where Torres left off though, as Dana Eveland and Buddy Carlyle both surrendered runs and the lead to the Cubs. Jenrry Mejia didn’t fare much better, as he surrendered two runs in the ninth inning to get to the final 4-1 score as Cubs youngster Javier Baez launched a moon shot into the second deck in left field.
Outside of a Lucas Duda homer, Kyle Hendricks was dominant for the Cubs. He finished the game with seven innings, surrendering only that one run and two other hits to go with two walks and three strikeouts.
This was a series the Mets needed to come out with more than a split if they were to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Things will not get any easier for the Mets this week, as they will head out west to take on the Oakland Athletics for two games and then the Los Angeles Dodgers for three.