The Cubs looked to clinch a winning road trip with a win Friday night at Citi Field against the Mets. The offense struggled early before rallying against New York’s suspect bullpen to earn their fifth win in the last six games.
The scuffling Tyler Chatwood got the start for Chicago and looked a bit better. The Mets took the lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Ahmed Rosario walked and scored on a two-run homer by Brandon Nimmo. Chatwood walked four, but made it to the 6th inning and showed somewhat better control. The Metropolitan lead remained at 2-0 into the 7th as starter Zach Wheeler pitched well.
The Cubs finally forced Wheeler out with two singles in that inning. Paul Sewald entered and allowed a Kyle Schwarber sac fly, a Ben Zobrist double, and a Kris Bryant single to give the road team a 3-2 lead. The assault against Sewald continued in the 8th, as Schwarber hit a three-run bomb to increase the Cubs lead to 6-2.
The Mets rallied against Pedro Strop and Brian Duensing in the bottom of the 8th, when Adrian Gonzalez singled home two runners to cut the lead in half. Everyday Steve Cishek entered to get the final out of the inning. Ian Happ singled home Anthony Rizzo for a 9th inning insurance run and Brandon Morrow saved the 7-4 victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
The Cubs took advantage of the Mets’ beleaguered relief corps late, scoring seven runs the last three innings. After Chatwood walked two to start the 6th inning, Randy Rosario retired the next three hitters to keep the deficit at 2-0.
With two on and two out in the top of the 8th inning, Schwarber stroked a home run to the left field seats. The opposite-field blast turned out to be the winning margin for the Cubs.
Stats That Matter
- Schwarber did not start the game, but entered on a double switch in the 6th inning. He ended the game with a homer and 4 runs batted in, pretty good work off the bench.
- Albert Almora Jr. had three more hits and another great sliding catch in center. He did almost collide with Jose Reyes at third on a Willson Contreras single in the 8th. He didn’t seem too banged up, but left the game early.
- Zobrist had three more hits and is now slashing .304/.392/.464 on the season. The whole lineup seems to flow better when Ben Zo is hitting like he is now.
- Not that anyone here at Cubs Insider was worried, but Bryant had three hits and it looks like his “slump” may be coming to an end.
The win moves the Cubs to a season-high eight games over the .500 mark at 31-23. Last season at this point they were only a single game over the break-even mark. The offense is really starting to come together from top to bottom.
The Cubs look to win the four-game series against the Mets Saturday night. Mike Montgomery makes his second start against New York ace Jacob deGrom at 6:15 pm CT. The game is aired exclusively on Fox.