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Lifeless Mets shut down by Cubs again 4-1, drop 2nd straight

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Francisco lindor Mets Cubs
New York Mets’ Francisco Lindor reacts after striking out against the Chicago Cubs during the third inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

Chicago Cubs light-hitting catcher David Bote, who had just one home run to his ledger this season, sent a shot out to right-center field in the seventh inning on Tuesday night at Citi Field. The long fly was hit near the exact same spot in which Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo so magically robbed Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers of a game-tying home run less than two weeks earlier in an emotional victory against baseball’s best team. 

Nimmo got there in time to make a play, but this time against one of the worst teams in the game, his extended arm to rob the home run knocked into the top of the wall and the ball sailed over for a solo shot to make it a 4-0 game. 

Such is life for the struggling Mets (89-54), who fell to one of the worst clubs in the National League (60-82) for a second-consecutive night by a score of 4-1.

Once again, New York’s offense was lifeless; shut down by Cubs starter Adrian Sampson for just two hits across six innings before Chicago’s bullpen yielded one run on two hits. Pete Alonso smashed his 34th home run of the season, a solo shot, to avoid a shutout with one out in the ninth.

He could have had one earlier in the first, but his bid for a two-run shot flew inches past the wrong side of the foul pole.

It’s the fifth time in their last 10 games that the Mets have been held to two runs or fewer and, once again, the lack of production came on deGrom day.

“It was a frustrating night, but that’s baseball,” Alonso said. “Sometimes it happens. It’s a game of inches… Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opponent and sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way.”

If this isn’t a low point in the season, coming up empty yet again opposite a bottom-dweller with the Atlanta Braves still hot on their heels, it certainly feels that way.

What is considered an off night by some for Jacob deGrom just shows how spoiled Mets fans have become. The two-time Cy Young Award winner didn’t appear to have his best stuff, but he allowed just three runs on four hits across six innings of work with 10 strikeouts and no walks. 

Had the Mets’ defense — and even perhaps the umpiring — been sharper, his line could’ve looked even better. 

After Ian Happ’s solo home run in the second inning put the Cubs ahead, proving to be the first run allowed by deGrom in the first two innings of a start all season, the visitors tacked on two more in the fourth through small ball and Mets miscues. Two lead-off hits and a sacrifice bunt attempt that resulted in a throwing error by catcher James McCann allowing Michael Hermosillo to reach first — despite him running well inside the baseline that went unnoticed by home-plate umpire Laz Diaz and his crew — loaded the bases with no outs. 

Yan Gomes’ sacrifice fly brought in one run before Patrick Wisdom’s suicide squeeze scored Happ from third, who slid in safely while Pete Alonso’s throw home was spiked.

“I just didn’t make some pitches when I needed to,” deGrom said. “Got a couple guys on and I wasn’t able to execute when I needed to. Tonight’s on me. I needed to go out there and put up zeroes and I wasn’t able to do it.”

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