The Mets pitchers were overpowered by the Cubs bats this evening as they lost by a score of 4-3. The Mets (20-12) offense showed 2 brief signs of life as Duda and Flores went back-to-back off of Jon Lester but that was about all they could muster. While Lester’s struggles seemed to be based more on the awful strike zone and his escalating displeasure with the home plate umpire, deGrom continued to show command issues with his fastball, minuscule strike zone or not. Too many pitches were up and centered and the Cubs jumped all over him early hitting back-to-back shots of their own in the first inning. After Kris Bryant christened the new bleacher seats, Rizzo went way back on the very next pitch and that was pretty much all they needed.
Jacob deGrom (3-4) continues to search for the command that he featured in his rookie campaign. He seems to alternate good start, bad start, but is very inconsistent, especially with his fastball control. The arm is obviously healthy as he lights up the radar gun with high 90’s heat, but the pinpoint control is nowhere to be found. More alarming than the home run rate (6 HR allowed this season compared to 7 HR allowed all last season) this year is the walks, which seem to be coming in bunches. deGrom was over 80 pitches through 4 innings and allowed 4 walks while striking out 5 Cubs. He ended with an impressive 1-2-3 5th inning, striking out the side, and it will be interesting to see how he can take that into his next outing.
Lucas Duda can’t hit lefties? Wasn’t this all of the talk coming into this season and how the Mets would and should platoon Cuddyer with him at first base? Well how about Lucas Duda crushing lefties so far this season. Small sample size or not, Duda has more than held his own against the southpaws, crushing an impressive homer into the Chicago night off of Jon Lester. Duda is now batting .289 with 3 home runs and 13 batted in. Duda is now batting nearly .400 with 2 deep balls against lefties so far this year.
Mets pitchers uncharacteristically walked 6 batters in this game. They are at or near the top in many pitching categories, including least amount of walks. Anytime you give away at-bats during the course of a ball game, they will come back to haunt you and usually lead to unpleasant results.