The series opener for the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs had plenty of reasons why the Cubs should have won. They had won five straight, Jake Arrieta normally pitches well against the Mets, and David Peterson had been dreadful over his last two starts. Nevertheless, Peterson managed to bounce back to put together a terrific start to lead the Mets to a 5-2 victory.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 15, 2021
Peterson pitched with confidence and like he had something to prove throughout the night. It was evident when he reached back for a 96 mph fastball to strike out Kris Bryant in the first inning. Peterson went back to attacking hitters instead of hoping the hitters make weak contact. In six strong innings, he allowed one hit and struck out three on 73 pitches. The strong start dropped his ERA to 5.60 after it was up over six heading into the night.
Arrieta had a career 3.03 ERA against the Mets and lived up to it through the first three innings. After holding the Mets hitless, they broke out against him in the fourth inning. James McCann opened up the scoring with an RBI single, and Kevin Pillar made it a crooked number with his two-run double. Dominic Smith finished off Arrieta in the fifth with his solo home run into the black painted area behind the center field fence.
Confidence in the Matchup
Manager Luis Rojas Smith batted Smith third despite being in an 0-for-20 slump which was a questionable move. Rojas trusted Smith’s 7-for-16 against Arrieta, and the Mets benefitted greatly. Brandon Drury drove in the fifth run with his pinch-hit single in the sixth inning. Drury is now 4-for-8 as a pinch hitter this season.
Trevor May was handed a 5-0 lead to protect in the fifth inning in hopes of working out of his pitching slump. Unfortunately, May struggled once again by allowing back-to-back home runs to Anthony Rizzo and Patrick Wisdom. May has seen his ERA jumped from 1.83 to 4.57 over the last month. Luckily, it was all the offense the Cubs had on the night. Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his 13th save of the year.