The Mets clinched at least a split with the Cubs, beating them on Tuesday, 3-2.
Here are the takeaways…
1. Taijuan Walker struggled early – he allowed the first two batters to reach base, and the bases were loaded with two outs. He struck out Ian Happ to end the threat, though, recording three strikeouts in the first inning, and five through two. Javier Baez unloaded on a two-run shot in the third inning for the first runs of the game, but Walker more than settled down from there. He allowed just one baserunner through his next 14 batters faced, and retired 12 in a row to cap off his night. Baez’s homer accounted for the only runs he’d let up all night, and his 12 strikeouts were a career high, as his two-seamer was devastatingly nasty. He allowed just five hits and walked none.
2. Pete Alonso tied the game with a two-run opposite-field single in the third inning. In the fifth, the Mets had the bases loaded with one out and Alonso at the dish. Alonso flew out, but a run scored to give New York a 3-2 lead, which was all they needed.
3. In the seventh, Jonathan Villar led things off with a double, and Francisco Lindor walked after. But Dominic Smith struck out, Alonso popped out, and Billy McKinney grounded out to end the threat.
In the eighth, the Mets had runners on first and second with one out with Seth Lugo up. Lugo popped up his bunt attempt, which Anthony Rizzo dropped on purpose to try to turn the double play. The Cubs got the out at second, but Sergio Alcantara dropped what would’ve been the inning-ending out at first. That brought up Villar with runners on the corners and two outs, but he grounded out to end the inning.
4. Lugo relieved Walker in the eighth inning, and retired the side in order, striking out Joc Pederson and Baez.
Lugo came back out in the ninth, and allowed a one-out single to Willson Contreras, who was pinch-ran for by former Met Jake Marisnick. Eric Sogard then delivered a ball into the gap, but Marisnick was thrown out at home on a perfect relay throw by Luis Guillorme. Lugo then walked Jason Heyward which brought up Alcantara. Lugo struck him out on a high fastball and earned the six-out save.
5. Entering Tuesday, Alonso had just three RBI at Citi Field all year long – he drove in all three of the Mets’ runs in the win.
Jacob deGrom will take the bump as the Mets try to win the series against the Cubs on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m., while Chicago has not announced their starter.