The Cubs Vs Mets series, a rematch with possible playoff implications. Coming into their four game series, the Mets had lost three straight games to their NL East rivals the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile the Cubs had won three straight versus their NL Central rivals the Cincinnati Reds. Going into this four game series, it was not expected to be as one sided as it turned out to be.
Both the Mets and the Cubs are among the top teams in the National League. Many expected this to be a good series and a possible playoff preview. As the All-Star break approaches, every game counts and this series was no different.
When all was said and done, the Cubs dropped all four games to the Mets and were completely dismantled. The Cubs lost 3-4, 2-10, 3-4, and 3-14 in the series. The Cubs failed to pull through when they needed to and did not have too many positives come out of this series. Not much seemed to work in the Cubs favor.
The Cubs rotation was completely derailed. Jon Lester was given honors for his performance in recent outings, being named Pitcher of the Month for June, but had his shortest career outing in the final game of the Mets series, being pulled during the second inning. Jake Arrieta failed to get into a rhythm, gave up four runs and lost his first road start in 14 months according to ESPN. Jason Hammel also had a tough go of it. He gave up a career high five home runs in less than five innings.
To this point, the Cubs’ pitching concerns have primarily come from the bullpen, but in this series a fair amount of the blame falls to the starters as well. Hammel and Lester especially disappointed in their starts in the series. The Cubs will play less stiff competition in the next week before the All-Star break. Hopefully this will be enough time for the starters to regain the form.
The bats of the Cubs went cold. The team scored no more than three runs in any one game in the Mets series. When runners did get on base, the Cubs failed to knock them in. According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs were 0-for-17 with men in scoring position. There were a few offensive highlights in the series, home runs by Zobrist and Bryant, but overall the offense was lacking.
The Mets on the other hand were on fire. They scored ten or more runs in two of the four games and hit a barrage of home runs off Cubs pitchers. It couldn’t have gotten much better for the Mets offensively. The best offensive performance by the team come from Wilmer Flores, who went 6-for-6 in the series finale.
The Cubs were overwhelmed and under performed. If there is any consolation, however, it is that the Mets were swept by the Cubs last year in the regular season before revenge was exacted in the NLCS. If recent history has a say, the Cubs may have the last laugh in October. It is, however, far too early to make an accurate postseason prediction. The All-Star break will come next week and after that, the second half of the MLB season will begin.