Chicago Cubs score and recap (5/2/24): Mets 7, Cubs 6 F/11 – Lindor doubles down on Cubs in loss

The Cubs and Mets played another close game at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon, and this time nine innings weren’t enough to decide things. The offenses were much more complicated than Wednesday night, but New York was able to get the win in the 11th and split the series.

Ben Brown got the start for Chicago and did excellently in his first four frames, keeping the home side off the scoreboard. Pete Crow-Armstrong got his team on the board with an RBI ground-out against Adrian Houser in the 2nd. Christopher Morel delivered the big blow against Houser with a three-run homer to left, giving the road team a 4-0 lead in the 5th.

The Mets finally got to Brown at the bottom of the frame with back-to-back run-scoring singles by Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte, which cut the deficit in half. Keegan Thompson took over on the mound and retired Pete Alonso to preserve the Cubs’ 4-2 lead.

Crow-Armstrong got one of those scores back with an RBI double in the top of the sixth inning. Thompson ran into big trouble in the bottom half of the inning when pinch-hitter Francisco Lindor hit a two-run double into the rightfield corner to make it a one-run game.

Craig Counsell selected left-handed Richard Lovelady to face left-handed Nimmo, but the Mets centerfielder picked up another two-base hit to tie the game at five. Both bullpens were able to keep things even in extra innings and neither team scored in the 10th inning.

Nick Madrigal doubled the courtesy runner on lefty Danny Young to start the 11th. Mike Tauchman then ripped a two-out single to right field, but Marte fired a strike at the plate to get Madrigal and keep the score at 6-5.

Daniel Palencia led off his second inning after a clean 10th inning by hitting Harrison Bader with a pitch. Lindor followed with his second double of the game, this time to left field, bringing home the courtesy runner and Bader and securing a 7-6 Mets victory. (Box score)

Key moment

Not only did Marte throw out Madrigal when he tried to score in the 11th, he also threw out Morel when he tried to tag from third on a Patrick Wisdom flyout in the 10th inning. It’s not often that a play at the plate helps decide two games in a row, but that was the case in this series.

Why the Cubs lost

The middle relievers have struggled and have not been able to maintain a substantial lead. It didn’t help that the Brown tired in his final inning, although that’s understandable since this was a spot start due to injury.

Statistics that matter

  • Brown did well and gave his team a chance to win. He had a problem with walks, which was partly due to a very poor refereeing job: 4.2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 5 K and 5 BB.
  • Michael Busch had a couple of hard hits, including a double.
  • PCA also had an infield single and stole a base, showing the impact he can have on a game.
  • Héctor Neris was the sharpest he has been all season in a 1-2-3 9th inning.

In short

After winning a game they probably should have lost on Wednesday, the Cubs lost a game they probably should have won on Thursday. Going on a road trip with 3-4 people isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either. Chicago may be missing its three best players, or at least that’s what most people would have said heading into 2024. So basically treading water on a heavy East Coast swing is fine. Hopefully a return to Wrigley Field will lead to better play.

On deck

The Cubs are back home to take on the first-place Brewers on Friday afternoon at 1:20 PM CT. Hayden Wesneski gets another start against Joe Ross in a matchup available on MLB Network (out-of-market only), Marquee and 670 The Score.