Baseball can really make you look and/or sound silly. Certainly, I got right in line with most of the critics and was burying the Cubs for an abysmal start to the season. It wasn’t just that they were losing games to the expected to be terrible Pirates that was alarming. The offense was all but dead in the water, failing to score more than five runs in a game at any point in the first two weeks. The pitching was starting to look pretty rough over the last week, particularly the starters.
Poor starting pitching and an impotent offense is a recipe for a lot of losses. That’s where this team looked like it was heading. And then on Saturday afternoon, they hauled out the beating sticks, slugged six homers and pounded the surprisingly slow starting Braves. After getting crushed in the rebound game, the Cubs grinded out a 3-1 win on Tuesday night to open the series against the Mets.
Then Wednesday night happened. It didn’t look great early. Zach Davies labored a bit again, allowing a pair of runs in four innings of work. The Cubs had been set down in order for the first three innings. The recipe was there again. The subpar start? Check. The inept offense? Check. But then in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cubs bats got a conga line going, scoring seven runs without the aid of an extra-base hit. That’s a fairly rare occurrence.
They would add three more in the fifth and four more in the sixth on a Javier Baez grand slam. At that point, the rout was on. The Cubs pulverized the Mets and won back-to-back games for the first time since they were winning three straight on April 3, 4 and 5. More than two weeks without consecutive wins is pretty sad in baseball. But, here we are. The Cubs are one game under break even and have a favorable pitching matchup in the series finale.
If the Cubs could pull off the sweep, they’d be back at the break-even point. After the way the first two weeks of the season felt, this would feel pretty good. The Mets are surely going to have some pent-up aggression after getting the snot knocked out of them Wednesday night. But maybe, just maybe they will reach for the stars and travel amongst the heavens.
Game 17, April 21: Cubs 16, Mets 4 (8-9)
- Superhero: Anthony Rizzo (.159). 1-2, 3BB, 3R
- Hero: David Bote (.156). 3-4, HBP, 4RBI, R, K
- Sidekick: Matt Duffy (.111). 3-4, 3RBI, 2R, BB, DP
- Billy Goat: Rex Brothers (-.072). ⅔IP (5 batters faced), 2H, BB, 2R, K
- Goat: Zach Davies (-.046). 4IP (19 batters faced), 5H, 2BB, 2R, 2K
- Kid: Ian Happ (-.022). 1-4, 2BB, 2R, 2K
WPA Play of the Game: David Bote batted in a 2-2 game with the bases loaded and one out. He delivered a two-run single, putting the Cubs in front for the first time.
*Mets Play of the Game: J.D. Davis batted with runners on first and second and two outs in the fourth inning. The Mets were, at that point, leading 1-0. Davis singled, driving in a run to make it 2-0 Mets.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Alec Mills (3IP, 9 batters faced)
Heroes and Goats; Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Willson Contreras +10.5
- Craig Kimbrel +9
- Dillon Maples +4
- Jason Adam/Ian Happ/Brandon Workman -3
- Zach Davies -8
Up Next: The third and final game of the three-game set between the Cubs and Mets. Trevor WIlliams is scheduled to make the start for the Cubs as they go for the sweep.