Mets pitcher Tylor Megill delivers in the first inning of...

Mets pitcher Tylor Megill delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Chicago. Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

CHICAGO — Nobody hated Tylor Megill’s mess of an outing Saturday afternoon more than Tylor Megill.

After the Mets’ 8-1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the righthander tore into himself, calling his worst performance of the year “just not acceptable” and blaming his ineffectiveness on an overall lack of control of his pitches.

When Megill couldn’t throw strikes, it became awfully difficult to stop the Cubs from scoring.

“I need to be better,” Megill said. “For the most part, it seems to be hits after hits right now. I just need to get better. The team doesn’t deserve that. The bullpen sure doesn’t deserve that. Overall, I need to come out firing, get outs quick, finish hitters when I have the opportunity.”

His tone was similar to the one he adopted at this time last year after a particularly ugly outing in Houston that triggered a demotion to the minors.

“It wasn’t his day,” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “Look, he’s [had], um, some good ones, not so much the other ones. He’ll continue to grind through it. He’s a talented pitcher and I’m pretty confident that he’ll continue to put in the work in between outings and he’ll figure it out, because he’s got great stuff. [Saturday] wasn’t a good one, but he’ll figure it out.”

The turning point on Saturday came in the first inning, when Chicago (37-40) rallied for five runs. Megill nearly limited the damage to only a couple, but with two outs, Christopher Morel singled, Dansby Swanson doubled and former Mets prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong tripled, with each bringing in a run.


By the end, Megill had his worst start of the season: three innings, six runs.

Mendoza had lefthander Danny Young warming up during the first, which Megill needed 38 pitches to finish.

Megill settled down in the ensuing innings, but by then “the damage was done,” Mendoza said. Morel added a 446-foot homer in the third to put the Cubs up 6-0.

The Mets (36-39) have lost only two of their last 10 games.

Megill, whose ERA shot up from 3.52 to 4.81, has pitched past the fifth inning only once in seven starts this season.

“I threw a lot of pitches, fell behind,” he said. “I made some quality pitches for hits, made some bad pitches for hits. They were just making me work.”

The righthander had no idea it would be this bad, either. As he warmed up in the bullpen beforehand, it was as if he “didn’t miss a spot,” he said.

“I felt great going in,” he added. “It just didn’t translate out there on the mound.”

After Megill, the Mets navigated the rest of the game with just two relievers: Young (1 1⁄3  innings) and Adrian Houser (3  2⁄3 innings).

“That was huge,” Mendoza said.

Megill also appreciated Houser but added: “I feel terrible for allowing that situation to happen.”

With a 1.52 ERA as a reliever this season, Houser is the closest the Mets have come to replacing 2022 Trevor Williams in the starter-who-is-good-in-long-relief role. This time, Houser saved Mendoza and the Mets from having to burn multiple relievers, positioning them better for the series finale on Sunday night. Mendoza also indicated they wouldn’t need to make a roster change before the rubber game.

Cubs righthander Jameson Taillon shut down the Mets on Saturday, striking out 10 and allowing one run, six hits and no walks in seven innings. It was his first double-digit punch-out game since 2021.

The Mets totaled seven hits, but the only one that hurt came from Francisco Alvarez, who homered to centerfield in the fifth. Alvarez also doubled off the centerfield wall in the seventh.

For a moment in the middle innings, the Mets looked as if they might make a game of it. Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Martinez began the top of the fourth with singles, but Taillon bounced back to retire the next three batters: Pete Alonso (groundout), DJ Stewart (strikeout), Tyrone Taylor (strikeout).

Taillon, who came into Saturday with a 3.08 ERA, saw that drop to 2.90.

“He was on. He was on,” said Mendoza, who coached Taillon from 2021-22 with the Yankees. “He was aggressive, he attacked the zone. I thought the cutter was in play today. That first inning, the cutter was up for a couple of strikeouts. The slider, the way he uses all of his pitches — he’s a good pitcher and he was on [Saturday].”


FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.