Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Cubs Cleaned Up Early To Finish Sweep Of Mets

Christopher Morel and Seiya Suzuki after crossing home plate with the first runs of the game, as Mets starter David Peterson (23)  awaits the ball from the umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Chicago Cubs came out and scored six runs in the first inning against the Mets on Wednesday night at Citi Field, and that was more than enough, as they went on to win, 6-3, and complete the three-game sweep.

The Mets have now lost five in a row at home, and they fell to 89-55, still a half-game ahead of the Atlanta Braves (88-55) in the National League East race. However, they missed a golden opportunity to gain ground, as the Braves lost their afternoon game to the San Francisco Giants, 4-1, before the Mets took the field.

Mets starting pitcher David Peterson didn't have it, as he opened the top of the first inning by walking Christopher Morel, Seiya Suzuki, and Franmil Reyes to load the bases.

Patrick Wisdom then struck out, but that proved not to be the start of one of Peterson's Houdini acts, as he allowed a two-run single to Yan Gomes, which brought in Morel and Suzuki, and a two-run double to P.J. Higgins to bring in Reyes and Gomes, and just like that, it was 4-0 Chicago.

That was it for Peterson, and in came Trevor Williams, who was greeted by an RBI double from Michael Hermosillo, and then he scored on Nelson Velaquez's RBI single to make it 6-0 Cubs.

Williams then struck out David Bote, and with the lineup turned over, Morel to end the long inning.

Peterson's final line was: 1/3 of an inning, 2 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 1 strikeout, as his record fell to 7-5, with his ERA (earned run average) jumping nearly half a run, from 3.47 to 3.91.

Chicago starter Drew Smyly had no trouble getting through the first two innings, but Tomas Nido got the Mets on the board in the third with a solo shot, his second of the season, second in as many games, and second in as many at-bats, to make it 6-1.

Williams kept the Mets in it, as he pitched until there was two outs in the fifth, going 4 1/3, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk, with an astonishing eight strikeouts. He got a nice ovation from the crowd, aware that if the Mets came back, he was a big part of the reason why.

The Mets had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the fifth, as Eduardo Escobar and Darin Ruf led off with singles, and Nido was up next, but as has been the Mets' luck of late, instead of a home run, he hit into a double play.

Francisco Lindor was up next, and he hit one that got under the glove of Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom, so Lindor reached on an error and Escobar scored to make it 6-2. 

Smyly then got Canha to ground out to third base, and Wisdom had no trouble this time, to end the inning.

That closed out the night for the Cubs' veteran lefty, who went five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. He earned the win to improve to 7-8 and lower his ERA to 3.48 from 3.57. 

Drew Smyly pitching to Mark Vientos, who was making his Citi Field debut, in the fourth inning. He got Vientos, who was 0-for-4, to fly out to left. Photo by Jason Schott.

Tommy Hunter relieved Williams in the fifth, and he then retired Chicago in the sixth, notching two strikeouts, before Trevor May pitched a scoreless seventh, and left-hander Alex Claudio pitched a perfect eighth to keep the Mets in it.

With Michael Rucker in for Chicago in the eighth, Canha opened the inning with a single, but was erased when Lindor hit into a 6-5-3 double play at second base with the shift on (won't see that next year with the shift done away with).

Pete Alonso was up next, and he launched a blast to left-center field for his 35th home run of the season, to cut the Cubs' lead to 6-3.

After Mychal Givens pitched a perfect top of the ninth, Chicago turned to Mark Leiter, Jr., to finish it in the bottom half, which he opened by hitting Jeff McNeil with a pitch in the back.

Escobar was up next, and he blasted one to right field, which Hermosillo, the Cubs center fielder, had a beat on, and he leaped up and grabbed it as he crashed into the bullpen fence, nearly colliding with Suzuki, the right fielder.

Luis Guillorme, who had pinch-hit for Ruf in the seventh, then hit into a double play to end it.

The Mets host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game set beginning Thursday night, which is Roberto Clemente Day, in honor of the Pirates legendary outfielder.

This four-game series will conclude the Mets' 16-game stretch against the National League's bottom feeders, in which they are now 5-7, something nobody could have anticipated coming off their series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of it.

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