The Mets whetted their fans' appetites Friday night with the official announcement that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler will both pitch on Tuesday in Atlanta.
Until then, the season drones on with nights like Friday night. Shaun Marcum allowed six runs in 52/3 innings to fall to 0-8 as the Mets lost to the Cubs, 6-3, at Citi Field.
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The Mets dropped to 2-8 in June as the Cubs scored five in the first two innings to back Edwin Jackson (3-8), who gave up one run in six innings.
And just when the Mets were rallying against the Cubs' bullpen, David Wright (of all people) made a baserunning mistake to snuff out a rally.
It was 6-2 in the seventh when Lucas Duda made it 6-3 with a one-out single to left-center. Wright, who was on first, tried to take third. But he was gunned down by leftfielder Alfonso Soriano.
The inning ended when Marlon Byrd struck out.
"I think it's the right play," Wright said. "I would do it again. Just takes a great throw, a great play by Soriano. He made it. You've got to run the base paths aggressively."
Wright said he decided to go once he saw Soriano field the ball going toward centerfield. Soriano wheeled and threw a strike to third.
"He has to field, spin, throw," Wright said. "Like I said, that play happens tomorrow I'm going to try the same thing. We've got to be aggressive on the base paths. We don't have much going offensively right now."
At least much of the crowd of 32,208 stayed 'til the bitter end. There was a postgame concert by Foreigner.
Marcum, who gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out four, allowed a solo home run to Nate Schierholtz, the third batter of the game.
The first four Cubs reached in the second inning, with three singles and a walk leading to a 2-0 lead and loading the bases. Jackson struck out, but David DeJesus walloped a three-run double to right-centerfield to make it 5-0 in an eyeblink.
With Wheeler joining the rotation, the Mets will use six men for two turns, manager Terry Collins said. After that, someone will have to go to the bullpen or minors.
"I really haven't thought about it," Marcum said.
About being 0-8, Marcum said: "I don't think it's that tough on me. It's probably more tough on the guys. Wins and losses are part of it, but it's more important for the team to win. I [couldn't] care less about my personal wins. It's more about the team."
Santana visits. Johan Santana, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on April 2, visited the team. "He feels better than where he was at this point with his first surgery, which is a great sign," Collins said. "He has a great attitude. He can't wait to continue and hopefully come back and pitch again." Santana, 34, is due a $5.5 million buyout from the Mets for next season and then will be a free agent.