Mets blocked by Marcus Stroman in second straight loss to Cubs
CHICAGO — Just when it appeared the Mets had turned a corner in their season, they returned to the losing streak against sub-0.500 teams.
It was unsightly for the Mets when it happened earlier this month against the Tigers, Rockies and Reds, but now add the Cubs to the list. Perhaps the Mets’ last home fight — which ended in five straight wins for manager Buck Showalter’s baffling group — never happened.
On Wednesday, they received a lackluster start from Kodai Senga and virtually nothing resembling an offensive attack against Marcus Stroman in a second straight, 4-2 loss at Wrigley Field that gave the Cubs a minimum series win. The Mets (25-25) will try to avoid being swept in the three-game series on Thursday.
Stroman roared from the mound in celebration after bringing on Francisco Alvarez to play a double play to end the eighth inning.
Two seasons removed from his tenure with the Mets, the right-hander was fired up, after completing a gem in which only an Alvarez home run hurt him. Stroman allowed just four hits and recorded 17 outs over the eight innings.
The Mets have scored two points apiece in each of their last three games.
This followed a wave of excitement that was created by straight 10th-inning wins over the Rays and Guardians in the final home stand.
Senga managed to survive by allowing 11 base runners over five innings with just three runs scored. Pitching on six days off, he walked five, made six hits and left after 106 pitches.
That followed Senga’s best performance of the season, a three-in-six-innings gem with 12 strikeouts against the Rays.
Alvarez continued his scorching game with a two-run homer in the third inning that gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. Mark Canha singled out to start the rally before Alvarez hit a shot in the wind that went over the wall to left center. It was his sixth homer of the season and his third in four games.
The rookie receiver entered the game with a .968 OPS in May.
Pete Alonso then suffered a brain cramp that helped sink the Mets in the fourth inning.
Brett Baty hit a fly ball to left field with one out, and Alonso ran to second base on the play. He was easily sent off as he retired to first base, ending the inning.
Senga was beaten in the third inning, allowing three runs to put the Mets in a 3-2 hole.
The right-hander’s ugly round started with a walk to Nico Hoerner before Dansby Swanson hit an RBI brace.
Seiya Suzuki followed with an RBI double and Mike Tauchman’s ensuing single brought in the Cubs’ third inning.
Alvarez hit a field single to start the sixth, but Brandon Nimmo – after failing several times – hit a double play against Stroman.
In his previous two at bats, Nimmo had retired, seeing only seven pitches in total.
Drew Smith came on in the sixth inning and gave up a home run to Hoerner that buried the Mets in a 4-2 hole. It was the second straight appearance in which Smith allowed a home run.