New York Mets blow big lead as Cubs comeback strong

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The New York Mets lost 5-4 to the Chicago Cubs Wednesday night at Wrigley Field. Mets relievers blew a 4-2 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was yanked in the fifth inning, leaving with two men on base when lefty reliever Dana Eveland was called in to stop the bleeding. Eveland gave up the game tying single to Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. Hard throwing righty Jeurys Familia entered to relieve Eveland but immediately uncorked a wild pitch allowing the go-ahead run to score.

Cubs veteran starter Edwin Jackson lasted just five innings, allowing four runs (only one was earned), on five hits and five walks but managed to pick up the win to improve to 4-5 on the season. Dana Eveland took the loss dropping to 0-1, while Cubs closer Hector Rendon notched his seventh save of the season. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was the star of the game, going 3-4 at the plate with 3 RBI’s, making up for a first inning error that allowed two runs to score in the top of the first.

Centerfielder Matt den Dekker led off the game with a strikeout swinging. Second baseman Daniel Murphy then reached on an infield single to short, and third baseman David Wright followed with a walk. Left fielder Curtis Granderson then hit a ball to second baseman Emilio Bonifacio who forced Wright out at second, but could not get Granderson on the relay. Murphy advanced to third on the play. Right fielder Bobby Abreu then hit a groundball to Starlin Castro who booted the ball, allowing Daniel Murphy to score, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. First baseman Lucas Duda then ripped a double to left scoring both Granderson and Abreu make it 3-0 New York. Catcher Anthony Recker then lined out to center to retire the side.

In the bottom of the first, Bonafacio grounded out to short to lead off. Centerfielder Justin Ruggiano then laced a double to the left field corner, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo followed with a walk. Castro then blooped a single to right scoring Ruggiano to put the Cubs on the board 3-1. Rizzo moved to third on the play. Right fielder Nate Schierholtz then grounded out to first, but Rizzo scored, cutting the Mets lead to 3-2. Left fielder Chris Coghlan then lined out to second to end the inning. Neither team scored in the next two innings.

Leading off the top of the fourth Anthony Recker grounded out to first. Shortstop Ruben Tejada then launched a solo homer to left, his second of the year, and second in a week, after having just two career home runs prior to Saturday’s game against the Phillies. Daisuke Matsuzaka then struck out swinging, and Matt den Dekker grounded out to first to retire the side. Both teams failed to score in their next at bats.

Infielder Darwin Barney, pinch-hitting for Cubs starter Edwin Jackson to lead off the bottom of the fifth, struck out swinging. Emilio Bonafacio then singled up the middle, and Justin Ruggiano followed with a walk. That would be the end for Matsuzaka and in came lefty reliever Dana Eveland. Anthony Rizzo then singled to right to load the bases. Starlin Castro followed with a single to center scoring both Bonafacio and Ruggiano tying the game 4-4. Nate Schierholtz then grounded out to first, but Castro moved to second while Rizzo advanced to third. Chris Coghlan walked to load the bases for the second time in the inning. Eveland was then pulled by Mets manager Terry Collins and in came Jeurys Familia. On the third pitch of the at bat for third baseman Mike Olt, Familia unleashed a wild pitch allowing Rizzo to score giving the Cubs a 5-4 lead. Olt then weakly grounded to short to end the inning. Matsuzka’s final line was 4 1/3 innings pitched, allowing four runs, on four hits, while walking five batters.

Ruben Tejada led off the top of the sixth with a walk. Outfielder Chris Young pinch-hit for Jeurys Familia and struck out looking. Matt den Dekker also struck out looking but Daniel Murphy doubled to the gap in deep left center to put runners in scoring position with two outs. David Wright was intentionally walked, and in came lefty reliever Wesley Wright (no relation). Curtis Granderson struck out swinging to leave the bases loaded and retire the side. Neither team had any scoring threats for the remainder of the game.

During the game it was announced that an original member of the 1962 Mets and former Chicago Cubs manager Don Zimmer had passed away at the age of 83. After the game the Mets announced that outfielder Andrew Brown, who had been recalled from AAA Las Vegas on Tuesday, would be activated and reliever Buddy Carlyle would be sent down. The Mets look to avoid the sweep when Mets rookie Jacob deGrom takes the mound against veteran left hander Travis Wood.

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