MLB: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

Game recap July 18: Wilmer Flores can’t do it all on his own

In a sentence:

Steven Matz struggled through five innings and Wilmer Flores provided the only offense as the Mets fell 5-1 to the Cubs.

The good:

Flores continues to tee off against Jon Lester as the utility man (is that what we’re calling him now?) went 2 for 4 including a home run. Flores is now hitting .400/.455/1.000 again Lester in 10 at-bats, which, sure, small sample size, but just let us have this one.

Matz didn’t have his best stuff tonight, or even very good stuff, but he pushed his way through five innings while allowing just four runs: a three-run home run to Anthony Rizzo and a David Ross sacrifice fly to score Matt Szczur with Seth Lugo on the mound. It’s not exactly inspiring, but with the southpaw’s bone spur scare, a relatively productive outing is good news.

The bad:

Everything else. After taking eight straight from Chicago, going back to last year’s NLCS, the Mets came back to reality and struggled to even make a ripple. The first two batters reached in the second inning but a double play and a groundout ended that threat before it even began. Yoenis Cespedes left runners on the corners in the third and Neil Walker struck out with two runners on in the eighth. The ninth inning rally, too, fell short as Travis d’Arnaud grounded into a double play with runners on first and second.

The Full-Time Left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes Experiment had a little of everything: an incredible throw in the third to get Willson Contreras out at home, a ball that he let sit under the ivy — reminiscent of the spring training debacle, only this really was a dead ball — and a two-base error in the eighth as Albert Almora Jr.’s single rolled under his glove and to the wall, allowing Szczur to score the fifth run of the night.

The ugly:

Asdrubal Cabrera is now 0-for-his-last-28 with runners in scoring position, a glaring micro look at the Mets’ biggest problem (and it’s not too many homers).

Photo credit: Dennis Wierzbicki – USA Today Sports

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