Lester struggles as Mets sweep Cubs
|Sunday, July 3, 2016, 4:35 PM- -|
NEW YORK -- The Cubs (51-30) went into the game hoping to avoid the four-game sweep by the New York Mets, but were unable to muster much of a fight. Jon Lester pitched one of the worst games he’s ever had in his pro career, and the Cubs were unable to get anything going on offense as the Mets took the victory 14-3.
It was the shortest outing of Lester's 301 career starts as he only was able to record four total outs.
Cubs rookie Jeimer Candelario made his major league debut playing third and batting sixth as he was given the opportunity after veteran outfielder Chris Coghlan left the game Saturday evening with ribcage soreness.
Jason Heyward hammered an opposite-field double in the first which led to Anthony Rizzo hitting a single to score Heyward putting the Cubs on the board 1-0. Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson answered right back with a solo home run putting the score at one a piece.
The Mets took the lead in the second inning when Wilmer Flores homered to center and then Rene Rivera homered to left center making the score 4-1 with the Mets on top. The Mets three eight homers out of the first eight batters into the game. It continued to go downhill for the Cubs as Granderson singled to center and then scored Noah Syndergaard as Jon Lester continued to struggle on the pitcher’s mound.
Lester was pulled from the game after the Mets took the lead 8-1 in the second as he gave up nine hits while pitching only 1.1 innings. An incredible thirteen Mets batters came up in the second inning, and seven of them scored.
The fourth inning had the Mets continuing their domination of the Cubs as they scored again putting them ahead 9-1. Flores then homered in the fifth to put the Mets up 11-1. The Cubs had only three hits going into the sixth inning.
Candelario singled to right field in the top of the 7th for his first Major League hit. The bottom of the 7th had Andy Johnson hitting a home run to left scoring Nimmo as the Mets increased their lead to 13-1. It was the fifth home run of the day for the Mets.
Cubs catcher Miguel Montero made his first appearance on the pitcher’s mound in the bottom of the 7th. However, he hit the first batter he was faced as he put the first two Mets batters on base. He got Alejandro De Aza to ground out though to get the Cubs out of the jam. The Mets increased their lead to 14-1 in the eighth. The bases were loaded, but Montero was able to get out of the inning with no more damage done.
Cubs rookie Willson Contreras showed his promising future as he hit a home run in the ninth to put the Cubs deficit at 14-2.
Flores was the player of the game as he had six hits on the day, and two of them were home runs.
The Cubs have been on a rollercoaster lately as they have dropped three out of four games in Miami, swept the Reds, and now have been swept by the Mets. The Cubs return to Chicago on Sunday to take on the Cincinnati Reds. The game will show Kyle Hendricks pitted against Cody Reed for the Fourth of July.