Marcus Stroman gave the Mets another top-shelf pitching performance on Thursday night, but this time they let it go to waste.
The righthander out of Patchogue-Medford High fired seven innings of two-run ball at the Cubs only to end up the losing pitcher as the Mets couldn’t generate much against Chicago righty Kyle Hendricks and three relievers. They managed just two hits and advanced only one runner past second base in a 2-0 loss before 16,826 at Citi Field as the Cubs sidestepped a four-game sweep.
The Mets didn’t get a hit after the second inning and their last 17 batters were retired.
"We created a couple situations and we didn’t come up big," manager Luis Rojas said. "We didn’t build momentum with scenarios to score. They threw really well against us."
In what is looking like an All-Star season, Stroman allowed four hits and a walk and struck out eight. In his last six outings, he has gone at least six innings each time and has thrown 38 innings to a 1.89 ERA.
All of the Cubs’ damage came in Stroman’s first five pitches. Kris Bryant rapped a one-out single and Javier Baez drilled a 1-and-0 slider for a homer into the housing of the Mets’ Home Run Apple.
Stroman tried to shoulder blame saying "I’ve got to be better."
"I’ve got to be better in the first," he said. "If I come out there and put up a zero, that gives our offense a little bit more momentum. To put us at a deficit early on? You never want to do that so that one's on me tonight."
The Mets twice had a runner on second with none out and came up empty. Jonathan Villar led off the first with a double ahead of strikeouts by Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso and a Dom Smith lineout. In the fourth, Alonso and Smith drew full-count walks before James’ McCann’s momentum-killing 6-4-3 double play. Billy McKinney’s groundout marooned Alonso at third.
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