The Mets have played some long, crummy games this season, so the fact that they played another one Wednesday night in Chicago should not be a surprise. The Mets coughed up the lead as the Cubs took their second straight from the Mets.
After failing with runners on base time and time again on Tuesday, the Mets made sure early on that it would not be a repeat performance. With one out in the first inning Daniel Murphy reached on an infield single. David Wright walked. Curtis Granderson grounded into a fielder’s choice to move Murphy to third. Bobby Abreu then hit a grounder that Starlin Castro could not handle. Murphy scored on the error to make it 1-0. Lucas Duda then doubled to the wall in left to plate two more runs to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.
But there was a repeat of shoddy fielding as the Mets gave back two of the runs in the bottom of the first. With runners on first and second with one out, Castro singled to score one run and move Anthony Rizzo to third. Nate Schierholtz then hit a grounder to Duda at first. Duda bobbled it, just like Wright did in the ninth inning Tuesday. He was able to get the out at first but Rizzo scored to make it 3-2. Had he been able to field it cleanly, Duda could have turned an inning-ending double play or at least gunned down Rizzo at home.
Ruben Tejada hit his second home run in a week in the fourth to extend the Mets lead to 4-1.
Daisuke Matsuzaka got lucky in the bottom of the fourth. With one out Chris Coghlan tripled to right. Mike Olt walked and Dice-K looked to be a bit rattled. Jeff Baker hit a shot up the middle that was ticketed for center field and an RBI. But it hit off of Matsuzaka’s leg, ricocheting right to Tejada who started the inning-ending double play.
The Mets loaded the bases against Edwin Jackson with two outs in the fifth but Anthony Recker popped up in foul territory to end the inning.
After allowing a hit and a walk, Matsuzaka was chased from the game with one out in the fifth. Dana Eveland allowed a single to load the bases. Castro then snuck a grounder past Tejada to score two to tie the game at four. With two outs Eveland allowed a walk to load the bases. He was done, lifted in favor of Jeurys Familia. He promptly threw a pitch in the dirt that Recker could not corral. A run scored on the wild pitch to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead.
Tejada led off the sixth with a walk. With two outs Murphy doubled to move Tejada to third. Wright was intentionally walked to load the bases but Granderson struck out as the Mets left the bases loaded, again, as the Mets reverted back to their old impotent offensive ways.
A walk and a double put runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Scott Rice came on to strike out Schierholtz. Coghlan walked to load the bases. Carlos Torres was brought in to face Mike Olt. He struck him out to keep it a 5-4 game.
That was the final score, a brutal game that took nearly four hours and featured 13 pitchers issuing a combined 15 walks and striking out 19 hapless batters.