May 18, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner (53) connects for a sacrifice bunt during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

5/18 Game Recap – LOBs, a Bad 4th Inning & No Relief Lead the Mets to an 8-2 loss to the Cubbies


Jeremy Hefner looked real good real early.

 

And then it all fell apart.

 

The Mets didn’t do him any favors, stranding what felt like a couple 25-man rosters out on the basepaths all day. When he lost it, he lost it all. With the bats doing nothing (other than a Rick Ankiel 2-run homer in the 9th) and the bullpen lacking relief, the Mets could never recover, losing 8-2 to those Chicago Cubbies.

Box Score and Highlights here.

The Mets got something going immediately in the 1st off of RHP Scott Feldman when Starlin Castro booted a ground ball up the middle by Daniel Murphy (which was graciously called a hit.) They looked to be in business when David Wright, on a Hit and Run, laced the ball to the center field gap, sending Murph to 3rd. Ike Davis, though, the man under the most amount of scrutiny right now, unfortunately hit a shallow fly ball to right, and with Nate Schierholtz‘s throw on the money, Murph could do nothing but bluff. Lucas Duda then hit a long fly ball to center fielder David DeJesus, who played it well going back towards the ivy for the last out of the inning, a frame indicative of the entire afternoon for the Mets.

How else should I recap this? I could talk about all the other innings where it looked as if the Mets had something going, but they all end the way that last paragraph did.

Jeremy Hefner had it working early, especially his curveball. But he got into trouble immediately in the 4th inning. Anthony Rizzo singled, Hefner hit Alfonso Soriano, then Schierholtz singled to load the bases. A sac fly by Luis Valbuena followed, and we all hoped the damaged could be limited to that 1. Unfortunately, Wellington Castillo then singled in Schierholtz for another run. Though Hefner got Darwin Barney to fly out to left, Scott Feldman helped his own cause with a hard-hit double to the right-center gap. Terry Collins wanted to give Jeremy every chance to work out of it with his spot coming up in the Mets batting order, and though he walked DeJesus, Hefner got Starlin Castro to fly out to right, ending a day which began very promisingly.

While the Mets were working on raising their LOB total, Robert Carson was greeted with a home run by Anthony Rizzo in the 5th. Nate Schierholtz did the same to Collin McHugh in the 8th to make it 6-0, and before the inning was over, McHugh was hit hard to the tune of 2 more runs.

Though John Buck singled with 1 out in the 9th, scoring when Rick Ankiel hit a 2-run homer to the right field stands, a rally it did not begin and the Mets were left with the L.

 

Lowlights:

  • Jeremy Hefner had one bad frame, but it was enough to limit his action to 4 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3 cubbies (mostly with that nasty curve he had working early.) Though he’s pitched better than his line indicates, he is now 0-5 with a 5.00 ERA.
  • The Mets batters left 17 men on base between the original 9 and the pinch-hitters that followed.
  • Robert Carson gave up 1 run in 2 innings, though most of his out were hit real hard as well.
  • Collin McHugh made his 2013 Mets debut, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits in 2 IP.

Thoughts:

This was just one of those days at Wrigley. The Mets gave Hefner no support and he unfortunately fell apart relatively early with the score still 0-0.

With Ike Davis appearing to bring his offensive woes into the field, having made some uncharacteristic blunders of late, and with another 0-4 day (silver-lining: no strikeouts), it’s hard to imagine he’ll get the leeway he got last year, and it’s clear based on reports the Mets are seriously considering a demotion. The options at 1st don’t tickle the imagination, but it’s all about getting Ike back on track, and AAA might be just the thing to do that.

 

The Mets look to take the rubber match tomorrow at 2:20PM EST, when Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13 ERA) takes on Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03 ERA).

 

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Tags: Chicago Cubs Ike Davis Jeremy Hefner New York Mets