Jacob deGrom’s abbreviated start Wednesday meant extended action for the Mets bullpen, a task it handled with splendor.
But during this stretch for the Mets of 33 games in 30 days, which runs to the All-Star break, keeping arms fresh will be a challenge, and this parade of relievers didn’t help that cause.
In the short term there was this: the Mets won their third straight, 6-3 over the Cubs, and moved 10 games above .500.
Sean Reid-Foley, Aaron Loup, Miguel Castro, Trevor May, Drew Smith and Edwin Diaz combined to allow only three hits after deGrom retired the first nine batters he faced, striking out eight, and departed with right shoulder soreness.
Maybe the best sign was the perfect eighth inning by May in which he struck out the side. May had struggled in recent appearances, including Monday when he surrendered consecutive homers to Anthony Rizzo and Patrick Wisdom.
Reid-Foley, who pitched two innings, allowed the Cubs’ only hit until the ninth, a homer to Rizzo in the fourth. Castro, who hadn’t pitched since Friday because of neck stiffness, was sharp in the seventh, when he struck out two.
Smith surrendered a two-run homer in the ninth to Rafael Ortega after walking Wisdom. Diaz was summoned for the final out, with the tying run in the on-deck circle after Sergio Alcantara singled.
DeGrom raised his batting average this season to .423 with a two-out RBI single in the second against Robert Stock that extended the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Billy McKinney’s leadoff walk and Kevin Pillar’s RBI double were responsible for getting the Mets on the scoreboard.
Dominic Smith blasted a solo homer in the third to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. The homer was Smith’s second in the series, after ending an 0-for-20 drought on Monday.
In the fourth, Francisco Lindor drew a bases-loaded walk and Smith’s RBI fielder’s choice gave the Mets a 5-1 lead. Walks to Luis Guillorme and Reid-Foley were big in the rally.
Pillar’s fifth homer of the season got the Mets’ lead to 6-1. The blast was Pillar’s third in seven games — he smashed two last Wednesday in Baltimore.