Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 7, Mets 2 – May 23, 2023
I loved that win. I mean, I love all Cubs wins, but I really appreciated how well all the components came together in that one, beating a good team in the Mets. Starting pitching? Good. Bullpen? Good. Situational hitting? Good. Power? Good. Defense? Good.
More offense from Seiya Suzuki and Christopher Morel, of course, and Matt Mervis had himself a night, too.
Drew Smyly had been outstanding for five innings, and David Ross had to decide whether to pull him at only 75 pitches, or let him come out for the sixth and face the top of the Mets order a third time through. You can understand how tough the choice was, given how the bullpen had been performing.
Two hits and a walk later, it seemed that the wrong decision had been made.
So Smyly departed with the bases loaded and nobody out, and Jeremiah Estrada was summoned to face Pete Alonso. “You wanted some higher-leverage spots, so good luck, kid!” Estrada got a groundout from Alonso, a deep fly out from Dan Vogelbach, and a groundout from Starling Marte.
From there, it was Julian Merryweather showing off his loud stuff, Mark Leiter Jr. getting out of a little jam by striking out the un-strike-out-able Jeff McNeil, and Michael Fulmer throwing a clean 9th.
What’s that? A starting pitcher got the Cubs into a bit of a jam and the bullpen took things over and shut it down for four innings from there? Can these Cubs *DO* that?