44.2 IP, 28 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 7 BB, 44 K
1.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
On Saturday, Jon Lester was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for putting up the first line you see over six June starts. On Sunday, he vomited up the second line in his first July start. And the crazy thing is that almost all of the damage was done in the 2nd inning.
Curtis Granderson, the second batter of the game for the Mets, hit a solo shot to tie the game in the bottom of the first, but Lester cruised through the frame otherwise. When Wilmer Flores led off the 2nd with a homer there was still a sense that it was a bit of a fluke. Nothing to worry about, this was Jon Lester. That confidence was reinforced when he got James Loney looking.
That, however, would be the only Met Lester would retire in the inning. The big lefty allowed eight consecutive batters to reach, seven on hits. Matt Reynolds roped a double to deep right before Rene Rivera (Rene Rivera?!) lofted a homer to left center and Noah Syndergaard drew a walk. And then the Mets busted out the big BABIPs.
Juan Lagares looped a soft double to right and Curtis Granderson singled to center to score Syndergaard. Yoenis Cespedes singled on a broken-bat duck snort to left to push Lagares across before Lester skipped one in to move both runners to scoring position. Neil Walker singled to right to score Granderson before Flores collected his second hit of the inning, singling to left to push Cespedes across.
That was it for Lester, who looked like a defeated man as Spencer Patton came in from the bullpen in relief. He had never had such a short outing in 301 previous appearances, and that includes one relief stint. Sunday afternoon was absolutely brutal, there’s really no other way to say it.
“This is f—ed up,” Joe Maddon appeared to be saying as the camera panned to him following one of those many Mets hits. “Unbelievable.”
Correct on both counts, Joe. What it’s not is indicative of any bigger issues. I’m not putting a silver lining on what was an abject failure in Queens and I’m not even going to say that you shouldn’t be at least a little worried about the Cubs at this point. I don’t necessarily mean in the grand scheme of things, just that having a few starters exiting early in games with a suspect bullpen and another week before the next day off is troublesome.
As I finish these last lines, the Mets have collected a few more hits off of Spencer Patton to push the score to 9-1 and make me question why in the hell I’m still subjecting myself to this. But there’s beer in the fridge and Redbox movies queued up for later. So I’ll laugh off this joke of a game and hope the Cubs can once again try to get right against the Reds on Monday and beyond.