Cubs pull off something nobody else in MLB has done this year

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Cubs pull off something nobody else in MLB has done this year originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The pitching was supposed to be impenetrable, the task impossible.

And in the end, it was.

Just not the way anyone who has followed National League baseball this year could imagine.

Behind stout starting pitching performances from Javier Assad, Adrian Sampson and Drew Smyly, the Cubs went to New York and swept a Mets team with the second-best record in the league — and All-Stars Chris Bassitt and Jacob deGrom starting the first two games.

“I think it says a lot about the character of this group,” Cubs manager David Ross on the postgame broadcast Wednesday night after the Cubs finished the sweep with six first-inning runs and a 6-3 victory at Citi Field.

It made the Cubs the first team in baseball this season to sweep the Mets in a series of at least three games — the only National League team to sweep them in a series of any length.

The Astros (twice) and Yankees had swept the Mets in two-game series this year.

“We just played a good brand of baseball these last few days,” said P.J. Higgins, who delivered one of the Cubs’ two-run doubles in the first, on the postgame broadcast.

As much as anything, the starting pitchers pitched better than the Mets’ heralded staff.

The Cubs’ starters combined to go 3-0 with two runs allowed in 17 innings (1.06 ERA).

The Cubs lineup scored more than that (three) off Mets super ace deGrom in his six-inning start.

For Smyly (7-8, 3.48 ERA), his start Wednesday was another five-inning argument for the Cubs to approach him about either picking up his $10 million mutual option or renegotiating an extension of maybe two years.

“If they reached out, I would love to have that conversation,” Smyly said on the postgame broadcast when The Athletic asked him about that subject — reiterating what he said often about wanting to stay.

“Just the people, the culture, the city, Wrigley — all of it,” he said. “I love our staff, I love our team. It’s really fun.”

And this: “The Cubs are on the right path, and they’re going to be very competitive in the near future.”

Just ask the Mets.

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