Kris Bryant

Cubs Observations: 9th-Inning Rally Vs. Mets Comes Up Short

Observations: Cubs' late rally comes up short vs. Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs lost 3-2 to the Mets Tuesday night, dropping to 38-29 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. Javy Báez’ right thumb appears to be just fine. The shortstop crushed a two-run home run in the third inning, giving the Cubs an early lead. Báez started Tuesday for the first time since hurting his thumb diving into the seats for a foul ball on Saturday.

2. But on the day Báez returned to the lineup, Kris Bryant exited. Bryant got hit on the right hand by a Taijuan Walker fastball in the first. He stayed in the game briefly before Patrick Wisdom replaced him defensively in the second. Bryant's x-rays came back negative.

3. Walker only lasted 3 2/3 innings against the Cubs on April 20, when he walked six and allowed three runs. The results were much different Tuesday — he pitched seven innings of two-run ball, striking out 12 with no walks.

4. The Mets rotation entered this series with the best ERA in baseball (2.77). They've lived up to the billing through two games. David Peterson and Walker combined have allowed just two earned runs on six hits in 13 innings.

Next up: Early NL MVP and Cy Young Award candidate Jacob deGrom (Wednesday) and Marcus Stroman (2.33 ERA, 13 starts) on Thursday.

5. After Ian Happ led off the fourth with a single, Cubs hitters went 0-for-16. Willson Contreras snapped the streak with a one-out single in the ninth. 

6. An aggressive send didn't pay off for the Cubs in the ninth. Jake Marisnick pinch ran for Contreras and was thrown out at the plate, running from first, following a strong Mets relay, keeping New York ahead 3-2.

7. Alec Mills made his second spot start of the season, and like April 13 vs. the Brewers, delivered a solid outing. Mills was charged with three earned runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. One of those runs scored after he exited.

8. Sometimes, the baseball gods aren’t on your side. Dominic Smith doubled off Mills in the third on a 54.6 mph flare that dropped near third base, beating the Cubs shift. Smith and Jonathan Villar, who reached on a one-out walk, later scored to tie things at 2.

9. Keegan Thompson has made 13 relief appearances this season. He’s pitched more than one inning eight times, including two shutout innings on Tuesday.

10. Anthony Rizzo is always aggressive charging on bunt attempts and made a heads-up play in the eighth. He let Seth Lugo's popup bunt drop, starting a potential 3-6-4 double play, although Sergio Alcántara dropped Báez' throw to first base.

On deck: The Cubs and Mets play the third game of a four-game series Wednesday. First pitch is 6:10 p.m. CT. Robert Stock (season debut) and deGrom (6-2, 0.56 ERA) are the probable starters.

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