Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mets End First Half on Down Note, Blasted By Cubs

Mets Blasted by Cubs, End First Half on Down Note

Final Score: Chicago Cubs: 7 New York Mets: 0

The Mets were not able to build off their strong performance Saturday afternoon, falling behind early and never recovered en route to a 7-0 shutout at the hands of the Chicago Cubs.  The Mets lost the season series to the Cubs 4-2.

Even with a disappointing end to the first half, it should still be pointed out that the Mets did have a strong half overall, going into the All-Star break with a 46-40 record.

This afternoon’s game though is one to forget.  Jon Niese gave up four runs in the first inning and the Mets were never able to build any momentum to get back into the game.  Niese would give up a three-run homerun in the 7th inning to Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, adding to the insult.  Niese’s final line was seven innings pitched, nine hits, seven earned runs, no walks and three strikeouts.

For the Cubs, Ryan Dempster returned from the disabled list and shut down the Mets.  Dempster threw five shutout innings and four Cubs relievers combined to complete the shut out. 

The Mets managed eight hits, but only one was of the extra-base variety.  They also struggled with runners in scoring position today, going 0-8 and leaving six runners on base. 

Sandy Alderson was in the booth for an inning and a half today, but did not say much in the way of planned roster moves for the Mets.  He was not explicit in the way of trades and would not mention by name which relievers were being looked at as call-ups after the All-Star break.

Next up for most of the Mets is a little break with the All-Star festivities starting Monday.  David Wright, R.A. Dickey and manager Terry Collins will be on their way to Kansas City to take part.  The next game for the Mets will be Friday, July 13th as Johan Santana (6-5 3.24 ERA) will take the mound against the Atlanta Braves and Tim Hudson (7-4 3.65 ERA).  The Mets will finish the first half five games, at worst, behind the Washington Nationals depending on the outcome of their game. 

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