Cubs rout once-mighty Mets, get reminder of game’s ‘fickle’ promise

If the Cubs didn’t already know how quickly shiny things like trophies and promise can fade, all they had to do was look across the field the last two days at the team that less than two years ago knocked them out of the playoffs to reach the World Series.

The ace of that New York Mets staff, Matt Harvey, hasn’t been the same since – which can be said of most of the Mets’ rotation. And Harvey struggled again Wednesday as the Cubs took an early lead against him and went on to rout the Mets 17-5 at Wrigley Field.

“This game’s fickle, man,” said Cubs starter Jon Lester (11-7), who struggled early again but finished strong in six innings of work. “You’ve got to take advantage while you can, while you have the players.

“We all see it,” he added. “We all see guys that get called up that are supposed to be the next coming of whatever, and in two or three years they’re out of the game.”

Ben Zobrist greets Kris Bryant after he scores during the Cubs’ three-run fourth.

The narrative in the 2015 National League playoffs was that the Mets had the kind of powerful young starting pitching that was the equal and opposite force to the Cubs’ powerful young stable of hitters.

The stuff that promised dynasties in two of the league’s biggest markets.

Injuries to Harvey and most of the other Mets starters over the past two years have sapped the Mets of all that promise as they became sellers this summer and likely rebuilders this winter.

“You’ve got to take advantage of it,” said Lester, whose Cubs haven’t sunk nearly that far but have suffered enough of their own bouts of injuries and underachievement this season to significantly temper the dynasty talk.

“With that being said, you’ve got to take each individual season for what it’s worth,” said Lester, who called the Cubs’ 103-victory amusement park ride last year the anomaly compared to the ups and downs – and surprisingly tight division – race they’ve experienced this time…

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