Former Mets manager Art Howe (2003,2004) would be proud because this team truly "Battled."
The Mets went ahead of the Cubs 2-1 in the third inning only to have Johan allow the tying run in the top of the 4th.
In the fifth, the doors fell off; the Cubs scored five times to take a commanding 7-2 lead, only to make it 8-3 in the 8th (Mets scored in the 6th) before the Mets scored again in the bottom half of the inning.
Down 8-4 in the bottom of the ninth, and facing Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, the Mets didn't go meekly into the night. They fought and they "Battled."
After Kirk Nieuwenhuis was called out on a very questionable check swing third strike, the Mets went to work; newly recalled Jordany Valdespin hit a HR to close the gap to 8-5; Ruben Tejada worked out an 8 pitch walk; Murphy, pinch hitting for Miguel Batista, walked on four pitches (runners 1st & 2nd); Wright became the third batter to walk loading the bases. Then Ike Davis stepped in to bat for Scott Hairston. Fearless Ike lined a single to right, scoring Tejada and Murphy - 8-7 Cubs.
Lucas Duda came to the plate with the tying run at second with one out. Duda hit a line drive back up the middle where Marmol made a stabbing catch and then doubled Murphy off first. Tough loss, but last night's loss was much more palatable than if they were to have surrendered and lose 8-3.
Not only did these 2012 Mets "Battle," but they can take a much more positive feeling from last nights' game than the Cubs. Yes, the Cubs did pepper Santana for a career worst 13 hits, but it was the Mets that had the never say die attitude, and if it wasn't for a luck stab by the Cubs closer, the Mets might very well have pulled this game out in the 9th.
Justin Turner gets kudos going 4-4 with an RBI starting for Ike Davis
All losses are tough, especially when it seems that the Nats never lose, but last night the Mets showed the heart of a contender, a champion, and that is something to build on.
Sources: Baseball Reference, CBS Sportsline, ESPN (Photo)