The Mets defeated the Cubs by the score of 4-3 at Citi Field today, on a 4-run rally in the bottom of the 9th. The final blow was a walk-off, 3-run home run by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, that scored John Buck and Lucas Duda ahead of him. The Mets entered the 9th trailing 3-0. Marlon Byrd opened the 9th with a solo home run against Carlos Marmol, making the score 3-1. Duda then walked and Buck singled, and Omar Quintanilla sacrificed the runners to second and third, setting the stage for Nieuwenhuis’s heroics. Jeremy Hefner started, and as has become the case often of late, pitched in hard luck. Hefner went 5 innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 runs, but only 1 was earned. Hefner allowed a first-inning run on a bloop single by Alfonso Soriano. The Mets, on the flip side, struggled badly against Cubs’ starter Matt Garza, managing just 3 hits through 7 innings.
The low point of this game came in the top of the 5th, when the Cubs had runners on first and second with 2 outs. Soriano hit what should have been an inning-ending grounder to David Wright, who threw wildly past Daniel Murphy. Murphy then threw wildly past John Buck, trying to nail Starlin Castro at the plate. Once the comedy of errors was over, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead. That seemed insurmountable, given the state of the Mets’ offense. The Mets had a chance in the bottom of the sixth, when Jordany Valdespin reached on an error and Daniel Murphy walked with no outs. However, David Wright hit a fly ball to the warning track (both runners tagged), but then Marlon Byrd and Lucas Duda struck out to end the threat.
This game seemed all but lost after the 5th inning, when the defense imploded. The Mets appeared lifeless and listless all game, and the 9th-inning rally surprised the fans, as well as the broadcasting crew. However, the Mets will now head to Atlanta for a 5-game series on a positive note, looking forward to the major-league debut of Zack Wheeler on Tuesday night in the night cap of a doubleheader. Matt Harvey will start the first game.
- The Mets needed this one badly. That may be the understatement of 2013.
- Coming from an unexpected source such as Nieuwenhuis, a win like this can give the Mets a much-needed jolt of energy.
- Bobby Parnell pitched a quick 9th inning for the win, and looked sharp after a 4-day layoff.
- Newly called-up Carlos Torres looked great, pitching 2 innings and allowing 1 hit with 1 strikeout.
- David Aardsma threw another scoreless inning in relief, and has been very good since joining the team last week.
Up Next: The Mets begin an 11-game road trip, starting with a 5-game series in Atlanta.