MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Mets

Game recap May 31: The Fog of WAR

Cubs 5, Mets 1

The Mets fell to 27-27 with a desultory display against the Cubs on a foggy night in Flushing where outfielders lost balls in the haze. It was a fitting backdrop behind the team falling to .500, as it’s not clear if the Amazins are coming or going; after all, the best news coming out of the organization today was that David Wright played a game of catch.

Coming in to last night’s game, Brandon Nimmo had the second-highest WAR on the Mets roster at 1.5 (trailing only Jacob deGrom’s 3.4). Nimmo was the first Met run (in the eighth inning, homering to center), while Kyle Schwarber — who trails Nimmo’s WAR (1.4) — was in the middle of all the Cubs’ scoring this night.

It was the tale of two bullpens, as the Mets took a page out of Tampa Bay’s book, with reliever Seth Lugo taking the mound to start with the Mets rotation reeling from injuries. Lugo turned in four stellar innings to start the game, surrendering only three hits and shutting out Chicago after 60 pitches.

Hansel Robles made a mess of things in the top of the fifth. After walking Kyle Schwarber to lead off the inning, he managed to retire the next two hitters before Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer over the 380-foot sign in right center field, putting the Cubs ahead. Jerry Blevins came in in the top of the sixth and got two outs before surrendering a double to Baez and RBI hit to Schwarber. Buddy Baumann allowed another run in the seventh and loaded the bases before being replaced by Scott Copeland, who promptly struck out Javier Baez. Gerson Bautista surrendered a run in the top of the ninth.

For the Cubs, Jose Quintana was solid, sprinkling three hits over six innings, surrendering no runs. The only threat came in the third, when the Mets loaded the bases to no avail. Other than Nimmo’s home run in the eighth, the Cubs bullpen was flawless until the ninth, when Pedro Strop walked Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce with two outs. Brandon Morrow got Amed Rosario to ground out for the final out.

The Mets take on the Cubs tonight at 7.10 p.m. at Citi Field. Tyler Chatwood (3-4, 4.10) will take the mound for the Cubs, against Zach Wheeler (2-4, 5.40).

Photo credit: Andy Marlin – USA Today Sports

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