If you were hoping for a sign that Jason Hammel (7-5, 3.45 ERA) was getting close to returning to his early season form, and perhaps ending his four game winless streak, then last night’s performance will serve as a stark reminder that he seems to be getting further and further away from that early season version of himself.
Hammel gave up five home runs and ten runs before he was mercifully removed from the game in the fifth inning. It was hard to watch. The Chicago Cubs (51-28) had no chance in this one. They get dropped 10-2 (Box Score) by the New York Mets (42-37).
On the offensive side of things, the Cubs were only able to scrape together six measly hits – including three against starter Jason deGrom – on a night that saw three separate rain delays totaling one hour and fifty-nine minutes.
Kris Bryant, who finished June with 11 home runs, slammed a solo home run 421 feet for the Cubs’ first hit of the game in the fourth inning. That made the score 4-1 and there was a sense that if the Cubs could chip away they could possibly make this game interesting down the stretch.
The Mets killed all hope though when they put up three runs in the bottom of the fourth and another three in the bottom of the fifth.
Stats that mattered
- Hammel was terrible – 4IP, 10R, 9H, 2BB, 3Ks, 5HR
- deGrom completely shut the Cubs down – 5IP, 1R, 3H, 1BB, 7Ks, 1HR
- Cubs were 0-for-9 with RISP (the second straight night against he Mets they went 0-fer with RISP)
- Willson Contreras was 1-for-4 with one walk. He has now reached base safely in thirteen straight games.
This game was no fun. Hammel seemed like he was throwing balls for the home run derby, just lobbing them up there. And the Cubs offense was no where to be found, with the exception of the Bryant home run.
At the end of the season, when the Cubs have captured the NL Central crown, this game will be nothing but a blip on the radar. That’s because the real bottom line here is that the Cubs, as tough as things have been lately, still maintain a ten game lead over the Cardinals. And, rest assured, there’s several big winning streaks still on the horizon for this team that will put even more distance between them and the rest of the pack.
The Cubs do it again verses the Mets at 6:15 PM CDT on Saturday night. We’ll get a chance to see if Jake Arrieta (12-2, 2.10 ERA), who’s been dealing with a rough patch himself, can return to his dominating self.