NEW YORK – At this point in the season, the Cubs have been reduced to spoilers as their hopes for the postseason have long since faded.

They played that role well on Monday night against the Mets, who are currently trying to hold off a charge by the Braves for the lead in the National League East division.

The Cubs’ offense got five runs in the second, third, and fourth inning to spark a 5-2 victory that gave a career-first to their starting pitcher, who has enjoyed success in his first time in the majors late in the 2022 season.

Javier Assad, who made his major league debut on August 23rd against the Cardinals, got his first victory in his fifth appearance as he shutdown the Mets for the better part of six innings. He allowed only a fourth inning run, scattering five hits while striking out six batters compared to four walks on 95 pitches.

The bullpen would hold that lead over the final three innings to give the rookie his first victory at the major league level.

Assad has been strong for the Cubs in four of his last five outings, with his only troublesome day coming in his previous start against the Reds. He allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a defeat at Wrigley Field on September 7th and is the only game where he’s allowed more than one earned run.

In 21 1/3 innings, Assad has a 2.53 ERA with 18 strikeouts compared to ten walks with a WHIP of 1.41.

A 2015 international signing by the Cubs, now the pitcher gets the chance to show what he can do for the club in the future as 2022 comes to an end.