- Last Updated: 1:03 PM, June 27, 2012
- Posted: 1:47 AM, June 27, 2012
CHICAGO — The Mets can only wish somebody would call them “chickens” — it would be an upgrade from “chicken spit.”
Losing a weekend series to the Yankees was understandable, but following that with two straight losses to the awful Cubs isn’t a good sign for a team that fancies itself a playoff contender.
Make it four straight losses for the Mets, and a season that appears to be teetering on the brink after last night’s 5-3 defeat at Wrigley Field.
This one had a little bit of everything for the Mets, including bad base running and shoddy defense. The Mets (39-36) have lost two straight series and head to Los Angeles for four games after finishing here today.
The chicken spit hit the fan in the eighth, when Ike Davis was ejected for arguing a safe call on a pickoff attempt at first base and brushing umpire Manny Gonzalez in the process. Gonzalez had ruled that Steve Clevenger got back to the bag on Josh Thole’s snap throw.
After the smoke cleared Ruben Tejada threw away an attempt at a force play at second, allowing the Cubs to take a 5-3 lead. But manager Terry Collins wasn’t in any mood to sling arrows at the umpire.
“I’m not going to get into it — they’re not responsible for leaving  guys on base,” Collins said. “It’s not his fault that we didn’t hit with stinking guys sitting all over the bases tonight.
“We didn’t run the bases, play good defense, drive the runs in that we need to drive in. It was a combination of a lot of things.”
Davis said he expects to be fined for touching Gonzalez with his glove but the first baseman said it was inadvertent contact.
“[Gonzalez] said I missed [Clevenger] on the tag and I said, ‘B.S,’ in a different form,” Davis said. “I said he was out.”
Maybe the key Mets blunder was Lucas Duda’s decision to stop at third base in the third inning on Davis’ double, even as coach Tim Teufel was waving him home with two outs. Duda was ultimately left stranded, as Daniel Murphy was retired with the bases loaded. Afterward, Duda was summoned to Collins’ office for a chat.
“That was my fault,” Duda said. “I caught [Teufel] a little late. It was tough. I picked him up late, that was basically what happened.”
For a change, the Mets received a strong bullpen performance. Jeremy Hefner, Tim Byrdak, Justin Hampson and Miguel Batista combined to allow only an unearned run over the final three innings, but the offense never delivered.
Dillon Gee’s final line included four earned runs allowed on nine hits over five innings with six strikeouts and two walks. It was the first time in eight starts that Gee (5-6) allowed more than three earned runs. Over that stretch he had also completed at least six innings in each start.
“I was pitching out of the stretch the entire game,” Gee said. “I was out there trying to battle and make pitches, but I left a couple up that really cost me.”
Gee’s undoing nearly came in the third, when he allowed three hits and two walks as the Cubs took a 3-2 lead. But the Mets caught a break on Darwin Barney’s RBI single: Luis Valbuena slipped as he tried to apply the brakes after rounding third base. He was tagged out to end the inning.
Four straight singles in the second against righty Randy Wells gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. Thole and Gee each delivered a run with a single. For Thole the RBI was only his second since returning from the disabled list on June 1.Follow @NYPostsports