A day after reshuffling their coaching staff, the New York Mets were able to pick up an impressive road win thanks to a couple of home runs.
Having lost six of their last eight games, the New York Mets desperately needed to stop the bleeding. With the Washington Nationals playing their best baseball of the season, the club is now looking up at three teams in the National League East.
Entering Friday just 15-26 on the road, the team was able to secure a much-needed win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
In typical Mets style, it was far from easy.
The team got on the board first with J.D. Davis scoring on Dominic Smith‘s GIDP in the second inning.
The Cubs wasted no time responding. After Albert Almora tied the game with an RBI groundout, Yu Darvish helped his own cause with an RBI single to make it 2-1 Chicago in the bottom of the second.
The Mets would jump back ahead in the third. Making his first career start in right field, Jeff McNeil hit a two-run home run, his fifth of the season.
Cubs second baseman Addison Russell added a two-run shot of his own in the fifth to put Chicago ahead, 4-3.
With two outs in the sixth inning, Michael Conforto delivered the biggest hit of the day. His towering blast to right-center tied the game at four and ruined Darvish’s opportunity to pick up his first career win at Wrigley.
That’s right, in 12 career starts at the “Friendly Confines,” the right-hander has yet to record a win. He is 0-5 with a 5.66 ERA.
McNeil singled home Adeiny Hechavarria in the seventh for the game’s final run. The 2-5 day raises the utility man’s average to .341.
Bullpen throws 4.1 scoreless innings
While not great, Jason Vargas was solid once again. He allowed four runs in 4.2 innings, but only two runs were earned.
After Vargas exited, the bullpen held it down. Brooks Pounders pitched 1.1 innings of flawless baseball to record his first win as a Met. Edwin Diaz looked like the pitcher the Mets had hoped they were acquiring. The All-Star closer struck out two Cubs, needing only 12 pitches to wrap up his 16th save.
Struggling for most of the season, it was refreshing to see the bullpen have a strong day.
On Saturday, the Mets will look to win two straight for the first time since June 8-9.
Zack Wheeler (5-5, 4.94 ERA) will face LHP Jose Quintana (4-6, 3.87).
The third of a four-game set, Saturday’s winner will secure at least a series split.