Flushing, NY: Figure that Noah Syndergaard with his last eight quality starts would take the mound Wednesday night at Citi Field and provide the Mets with innings. In this big series that has implications for the second NL wild card the Mets needed another good start.
But the Chicago Cubs and Javier Baez came out swinging the bats. The Mets and partly do to Syndergaard giving up a career high 10-runs, six in the first inning, fell another game back in their bid for that wild card.
The Cubs took the second of these three crucial games,10-7,and Thursday night appears to be a must win for the Mets with Jacob deGrom on the mound trying to keep his team from falling five games back in this run for the wild card.
But when you don’t pitch it makes things more difficult. Syndergaard had difficulty getting the ball over the plate and the Cubs took advantage. They hit his fastball, slider, and changeup.
A first inning error in the infield from Amed Rosario on a throw to first also opened up the door for the Cubs. After 3.0 innings, 64 pitches, 9 hits, 10 runs of which nine were earned, a walk, five strikeouts, three home runs, wild pitch, and hitting a batter it was time for Callaway to use his bullpen and try and make this respectable.
“It’s ten runs you can’t continue to be in the hole,” Callaway said. The ERA for Syndergaard, 9-7, went from 3.71 to 4.14 and the brief outing had nothing to do with trouble gripping the ball or a wet mound that was caused from rain and a 20 minute delay to start the game.
The good thing, and the Mets are always looking at that, is how they fought back. To them that was important as they try and keep pace and play important games in September.
But time is running out. The Mets know the urgency is to get a win and salvage one game from the Cubs Thursday night. They lost their fifth straight and now trail the Cubs by four games for that second NL wild card spot.
“We’ve been in this situation before and risen up to the challenge,” Callaway said. “You focus on the next game.”
Aside from a five-run fifth inning, one that put the Mets back in it that included back-to–back home runs from Jeff McNeil and J. D. Davis off Cubs; starter Kyle Hendricks, there was the ninth inning and leaving the potential tying runs on base. In other words, the Mets showed their continued persistence to not quit.
Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 21 games, the longest streak in the majors this season. Rosario, despite that error, continued his torrid hitting, He went 3-for-5 and has 38 hits this month.
Edwin Diaz, the Latino Sports 2018 AL Relief Pitcher MVP, showed continued improvement, He recorded three strikeouts out of the Mets pen in the 8th inning and the slider according to his manager was his best of the year.
Rosario said he went to Jacob deGrom for some tips on improving his pitch. Apparently it worked and Diaz was able to keep the Mets within reach.
“Today felt like I had complete control on the mound,” Diaz said through an interpreter. “Going forward if I can throw my slider the way I did today. I can have a lot of success.”
But the Mets need to win Thursday evening. You get a sense there is a sense of urgency. Then again with 31 games remaining, and with a rough schedule still at hand, it seems every game is that more urgent for the Mets down this stretch.
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