The Cubs had only three hits in a 6-3 loss Wednesday to the Mets. Right-hander Robert Stock walked six batters and allowed five runs in four innings.
NEW YORK — Things have not gone well for the Cubs during their series against the Mets, whether it’s a bad inning, a scuffling offense or another nagging injury.
A 6-3 loss Wednesday didn’t veer from the script. Very little went right as the Cubs dropped their third consecutive game in the series.
It wasn’t going to be easy going up against Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who is the best pitcher in the game and showed why. The two-time National League Cy Young winner was untouchable, retiring the Cubs in order in each of the first three innings with eight strikeouts. He appeared to be headed toward a historic night.
‘‘What he’s doing, it’s just amazing,’’ said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who flied to the right-field wall against deGrom in the first. ‘‘To be on the other side of it is no fun, but you’ve got to appreciate what he’s doing as a competitor. He just mowed us down.’’
But when deGrom left the game with soreness in his right shoulder before the fourth, it appeared the Cubs finally had their opening to make something happen. Rizzo’s solo home run in the fourth was the Cubs’ first hit and cut their deficit to 3-1, opening the door for some momentum.
But that’s where it ended because the pitching was never able to stop the bleeding. Right-hander Robert Stock made his first major-league start in his debut with the Cubs (he had made 52 relief apperances with the Padres and Red Sox in the last three seasons) and struggled.
Stock allowed three runs in the first three innings and clearly struggled with his command. With the Cubs coming off a promising top of the fourth, Stock walked the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the inning, and things began to spiral. He loaded the bases on another walk and a single.
But in a situation that normally would call for a pitching change, the Cubs opted to leave Stock in the game after using many of their relievers Monday and Tuesday.
‘‘I’m thinking we’ve got to get some more innings out of the starters,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘I can’t in a down game run to the guys that are going to be the back end of the games when we’re winning. When we’re tied or ahead, it’s a little easier to go to the guys that have had success.
‘‘We’ve ridden them pretty hard when we’ve had the lead, so putting extra miles on them over a 162-game season when we’ve already ridden them pretty hard doesn’t make a lot of sense.’’
Stock walked Francisco Lindor to force in a run before an RBI grounder by Dominic Smith made it 5-1. All told, Stock allowed five runs and four hits, walked six and struck out three in four innings.
But the Cubs long night against the Mets wasn’t just about their pitching. Despite deGrom leaving after three innings, the Cubs had only one hit through 81⁄3 innings before Rafael Ortega hit a two-run homer and Sergio Alcantara a single in the ninth.
Facing Marcus Stroman in the series finale Thursday won’t make things any easier.
‘‘We haven’t hit with runners in scoring position in a while,’’ Rizzo said. ‘‘We’ve just got to get that out of the way and get back on track, get on base and start taking our walks. But as an offense as a whole, we just haven’t really done that well so far [this series].’’