DeGrom frustrated, Mets feeble as Cubs complete 3-game sweep
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom delivered the most telling blow for the New York Mets.
No, not his one-hop double to the wall. Rather, his punch to the Gatorade cooler.
DeGrom turned slugger at the plate and later in the dugout, frustrated as the feeble Mets fell to the Chicago Cubs 6-1 for a three-game sweep.
“I didn’t have the game I wanted. I had a tough time commanding my pitches and I was wild and I just struggled out there today,” deGrom said.
Jonathan Herrera and Miguel Montero homered as the Cubs beat the Mets for a team-record ninth time in a row, and finished 7-0 against them this season.
Jake Arrieta (8-5) pitched eight sharp innings, helping extend the Cubs’ shutout string to 25 innings before the Mets managed their only run of this series.
Arrieta gave up five hits, walked none and struck out seven. The crowd booed several times as New York kept making weak outs and breaking its bats — no Cubs outfielder caught a flyball until the eighth.
The Mets have totaled a mere 23 runs in their past 14 games. Overall, they’ve scored one run or less in 21 of 80 games this season.
“I told the team inside, no disrespect to anybody in this room, we have to lighten it up around here,” manager Terry Collins said.
“They are so tense and so tight and so worried about making a big out instead of walking up there like they’re going to get a hit,” he said. “We got to lighten it up, so I said just for heaven’s sakes play the game with some fun, with some energy, with some enthusiasm.”
DeGrom (8-6) doubled and scored for the Mets. He delivered another hard hit, too.
The righty exited after Herrera’s two-run homer in the sixth, then punched a drink cooler on the bench with his pitching hand.
“I think we’re all right. It’s a bad series,” deGrom said.
The Cubs arrived at Citi Field with a five-game losing streak, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in a magician to entertain the players before the series opener. That was theme of the visit as their woes disappeared — prior to the finale, the clubhouse was filled with the 1965 hit “Do You Believe in Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.
Herrera put the Cubs ahead 1-0 in the second with a first-pitch, safety-squeeze bunt with runners at the corners. Anthony Rizzo blooped an RBI single for 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Herrera hit his first home run in nearly two years, sending a drive off the padding on top of the right-field wall. It was the Cubs’ first homer in nine games.
Montero hit a two-run homer in the ninth. The catcher also picked off Daniel Murphy at first base on a call reversed by replay.
DeGrom and Curtis Granderson doubled in the third for the Mets’ run, stopping their scoreless streak at 22 innings.
Collins tinkered with his batting order, but conceded before the game that with so many players slumping, there’s “not a lot of changes I could make.”
Cubs: OF Jorge Soler, who’s missed nearly a month with a sprained left ankle, is “close” to returning, Maddon said. Maddon said it’s possible he could be back when Chicago hosts St. Louis early next week.
Mets: LF Michael Cuddyer missed his second straight game because of a sore left knee. He’s been given two injections and Collins wants to see if they’ll take effect soon.
Cubs: Back at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon to take on Miami, beginning a 10-game homestand leading into the All-Star break. Jason Hammel (5-3, 2.92) faces the Marlins’ Tom Koehler (6-4, 3.66).
Mets: Start a rugged six-game trip by facing Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, followed by Los Angeles ace Zack Greinke on the Fourth of July. Then the Mets visit San Francisco next week, where they’re lined up to see rookie Chris Heston, who pitched a no-hitter against them June 9. Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and rookie Steven Matz start for the Mets in LA.
The Cubs swept a series of at least three games on the road against the Mets for the first time since in 1991. ... The Mets were swept in a season series of at least seven games for the first time.
THREE AND UNDER
A scoring change in a game last week resulted in an unearned run and lowered Harvey’s ERA from 3.08 to 2.99. It also charged Granderson with an error and took away a double from Cincinnati’s Tucker Barnhart.