(David Pokress/Sportsday Wire)
Despite the recognition that has been given to the pitching of the New York Mets, it was the pitchers of the Chicago Cubs that turned the momentum of the two clubs around during the three game series at Citi Field that just concluded. The Mets had not scored a single run for a season-high 22 innings until they scored one in the third inning of the third game of the series.
The three game sweep concluded a season in which the Cubs won all seven contests between the two. It was the first time the Mets lost a season series of five or more games since 2003, when they dropped all six contests to the New York Yankees. It was only the second occasion in which the Cubs sweep a series of at least five games since 1885.
The Cubs began the aeries in New York after losing five straight games and the Mets began after a four game winning streak. Thus, the momentum changed in both dugouts. The Cubs starter remarked, “We’re going to use this for positive reinforcement. We can pitch with anybody, we can swing our bats, our defense can play lights out.”
Terry Collins never saw the players on any of his teams this down, “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. We got to lighten it up.”
Experienced Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon took the long view, “I can’t sit here and tell you we bludgeoned them…It’s the ebb and flow of the season.”
Juan Arrieta, who pitched the final game, described the only run he yielded, “[Jacob] deGrom lifted the ball [for a double] and Granderson followed up [with a double].” Arrieta scattered only three other hits during his outstanding eight innings on the mound. He also hit a batter, but other than in the third, did not allow two men to reach base in a single inning. The right-hander did not walk a batter and fanned seven.
The Mets now head to the West Coast to face the Dodgers and Giants.