Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs had the makings the Mets ending their four game losing streak…until the game actually started. They had one of their aces on the mound against Kyle Hendricks, who has been notoriously bad on the road this season. The game even started with a Noah Syndergaard strikeout, but after that it all went down hill for Thor and the Mets.
After the strikeout, things started to break in the Cubs direction. Nicholas Castellanos was drilled in the hand and Kris Bryant followed with a single. Javy Baez weakly hit a broken bat ground ball to Amed Rosario and he tried to make a quick throw to Joe Panik at second, but threw the ball into right field to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Instead of simply trying to get the force at second Rosario tried to rush a double play, which would not have been completed due to the speed of Baez.
After going 22 games between errors, Amed Rosario has two in his past four games. #Mets
— jake_seiner (@Jake_Seiner) August 28, 2019
From there the flood gates opened for the Cubs as they put up a six spot against Syndergaard in the first inning. It ended his streak of eight straight quality starts. The Mets answered back with a run in the bottom of the first, but they seemed lifeless through first three innings of the game. Two-run home runs from Kyle Schwarber in the second and Castellanos in the third gave the Cubs a commanding 10-1 lead.
The Bullpen/Bats Attempt at a Comeback
Paul Seward and Brad Brach gave the Mets four shutout innings out of the bullpen to keep the Mets small hopes of coming back alive. The Mets put up five in the fifth to knock out Hendricks and make it a 10-6 game. After Brach pitched a one, two, three top of the sixth inning it felt like the Mets were going to complete their comeback in the bottom half.
It is now a 4 run game. pic.twitter.com/1Lmk1SH3FA
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 29, 2019
Todd Frazier and Jeff McNeil both hit singles to start the bottom of the sixth and put the tying run on deck for J.D. Davis. Davis had a favorable matchup against a lefty and homered earlier in the game. He grounded into a double play which seemed to suck all the energy out of the building. Davis smoked the ball but Baez did not have to move to complete the double play. Michael Conforto had a chance to boost the energy with two outs but grounded out to strand Frazier at third base.
The Mets narrowed the deficit to 10-7 heading into the ninth and set the stage for a comeback against Craig Kimbrel. Wilson Ramos ambushed Kimbrel with a leadoff single and Rajai Davis brought the tying run to the plate with a walk. Rosario was due up, but for some reason it felt like the comeback was not really going to happen throughout. Almost as if it was fake energy resonating from the fans and the players who were drained from even getting this close to tying the game. Kimbrel settled down to retired Rosario, Lagares and Frazier in order to push the Mets four games out of the second wild card spot.
Where are the Positives?
First, the Mets bullpen did a terrific job of giving their offense a fighting chance. The threw six shutout innings and Edwin Diaz looked like the closer who had 57 games last year. He struck out the side in the eighth inning and showed there were no ill effects to his trap injury. Everything with Diaz needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but the outing was thee best he looked since April.
Edwin Diaz has started using Jacob deGrom's slider grip, which Diaz credits for some of what's gone right for him in recent outings.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 29, 2019
In almost any other situation the headline would read, “Cubs put the nail in the Met coffin,” but there is only one reason to think they Mets still have a chance to comeback. This reason goes by the name of Jacob deGrom. He has been their steady ace for the last two season and they will depend on him to stop their losing streak. Should the Mets lose you can close the chapter on the unfinished comeback this year. If they win, they will be three games out with 29 games out of the second wild card spot, which is very capable of coming back from. The Mets have shown their ability to dig out of holes the entire second half and need one last push to get themselves back on track.