|CHICAGO CUBS ( JACKSON )|
NY METS ( MARCUM )
|905||CHICAGO CUBS||+110||Ov 7.5,-120||+115||Ov 7.5,+105|
|906||NY METS||-120||Un 7.5,+100||-125||Un 7.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||17-25||-6.5||23-18||4.3||0.248||0.300||4.4||0.237||0.304|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.8||4-3||2.4||0.188||0.269||4.9||0.254||0.300|
|vs Right-handed Starters||15-26||-14.3||22-18||4.0||0.227||0.285||4.6||0.272||0.326|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-4||3-4||3.6||0.206||0.263||3.7||0.266||0.298|
|6/4/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)||3-4||L||170||7.5 un||U||8||8||0||8||4||1|
|6/5/2013||GARZA(R)||@ LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)||8-6||W||145||7.5 ev||O||15||11||1||10||8||0|
|6/14/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ NY METS||MARCUM(R)|| |
|6/15/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ NY METS||NIESE(L)|| |
|6/16/2013||GARZA(R)||@ NY METS||HEFNER(R)|| |
|6/17/2013||WOOD(L)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)|| |
|6/18/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)|| |
|6/19/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)|| |
|6/20/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)|| |
|6/21/2013|| ||HOUSTON|| || |
|5/31/2013||MARCUM(R)||@ MIAMI||TURNER(R)||1-5||L||-155||7.5 un||U||7||5||1||8||4||0|
|6/1/2013||MCHUGH(R)||@ MIAMI||FERNANDEZ(R)||1-8||L||-110||7 ov||O||5||4||1||13||7||0|
|6/2/2013||HARVEY(R)||@ MIAMI||SLOWEY(R)||6-11||L||-210||6.5 un||O||9||5||1||16||10||0|
|6/4/2013||HEFNER(R)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)||2-3||L||182||7.5 ov||U||4||4||0||7||6||2|
|6/5/2013||GEE(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)||10-1||W||145||7.5 ev||O||15||8||0||10||11||0|
|6/11/2013||HEFNER(R)||ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)||2-9||L||+125||8 ov||O||5||6||2||12||7||1|
|6/12/2013||GEE(R)||ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||5-1||W||+170||7.5 un||U||6||2||0||6||7||1|
|6/13/2013||HARVEY(R)||ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||1-2||L||+125||6.5 un||U||7||8||0||10||7||0|
|6/14/2013||MARCUM(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||JACKSON(R)|| |
|6/15/2013||NIESE(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||FELDMAN(R)|| |
|6/16/2013||HEFNER(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||GARZA(R)|| |
|6/17/2013||GEE(R)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)|| |
|6/18/2013|| ||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|6/18/2013|| ||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|6/19/2013||MARCUM(R)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)|| |
|6/20/2013||NIESE(L)||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|6/21/2013|| ||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || |
|CHICAGO CUBS: HITTING: 'Under New Management' is the motto in Wrigleyville, where Epstein, Hoyer, Sveum and Co. aim to turn SS STARLIN CASTRO and a bunch of straw into gold. OF DAVID DeJESUS was an underrated first pick-up. But OFs ALFONSO SORIANO and MARLON BYRD are overpaid and over the hill. C GEOVANY SOTO has lost his mojo. New 3B IAN STEWART has a lousy career OPS of .737 away from Coors Field. 1B BRYAN LaHAIR is tagged as part of a 'youth movement,' but he's almost 30. The other youths'2B DARWIN BARNEY, IF JEFF BAKER, and IF BLAKE DEWITT 'are interchangeable guys with low ceilings. Fourth OF TONY CAMPANA is fast but one-dimensional. And minor-league reinforcements are scarce. OF BRETT JACKSON is solid, but blocked in the lineup. And former uber-prospect 3B JOSH VITTERS has done nothing to justify his third-overall draft status. This rebuilding process will take time. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, Jim Hendry quietly sobs into a pile of Cubs-themed stuffed animals. |
STARTING PITCHING: RYAN DEMPSTER should bounce back from an unlucky year in which there was nearly a full-run difference between his ERA and his FIP. He's no ace in good times, but he's an underrated and dependable source of innings and strikeouts. MATT GARZA didn't disappoint in his debut season on the North Side, but he was an odd acquisition to begin with: the Cubs dealt top prospects from a thin system when all signs pointed to a belly-flop of a season. He's already trade bait again. JEFF SAMARDZIJA is moving to the rotation after a strong year in the bullpen (2.97 ERA, 87 K in 88 IP), but he needs to cut down on his walks (5.1 per 9 IP). What killed TRAVIS WOOD in 2011 was uncharacteristic wildness. His walk total spiked by over 50 percent from 2010. He's better than this, though it's hard to say how much. It could be that a 40-inning jump from 2010 to 2011 aided his freefall. Subpar newcomers PAUL MAHOLM and CHRIS VOLSTAD will also compete for rotation spots. The lefty Maholm is coming off his best season in Pittsburgh (3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but was awful after the All-Star break (0-5, 5.75 ERA, .355 Opp. BA). The 6-foot-8 Volstad was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA for the Marlins last year, but still has time to figure things out at age 25.
RELIEF PITCHING: Because of his contract and the head-scratching faith in the 'closer mentality' that still pervades even the most enlightened front offices, CARLOS MARMOL will enter the 2012 campaign with a near-ironclad grip on ninth-inning duties for the Cubs. Trading away Sean Marshall, arguably Chicago's best reliever last season, is yet another vote of confidence for Marmol. His lack of command leads to more hittable pitches (along with tons of walks), though his ceiling for strikeouts and saves is sky-high. KERRY WOOD will be the main set-up man again after a triumphant return to Chicago last season (3.35 ERA, 57 K in 51 IP).
|NY METS: HITTING: The Mets will be moving in the fences at Citi Field by as much as 12 feet and reducing the height to eight feet, making the park more homer-friendly. The loss of Jose Reyes and his NL-leading average at the top of the order weakens an already subpar lineup. 3B DAVID WRIGHT is coming off his worst season (.254 BA, 14 HR, 61 RBI) and could be traded at the July 31 deadline. New OF ANDRES TORRES provides very little at the plate (.221 BA, .312 OBP), but the future is bright for youngsters OF LUCAS DUDA (.852 OPS) and 1B IKE DAVIS (.926 OPS), who missed most of 2011 with an ankle injury. OF JASON BAY (.245 BA) continues to be a colossal bust. SS RUBEN TEJADA will be tasked with trying to replace Reyes. The 22-year-old made great strides last year, batting .319 after August 1. DANIEL MURPHY hit .320 last year, and will start at second, possibly losing AB in a platoon with JUSTIN TURNER. C JOSH THOLE hits well enough to be an above-average starting catcher. |
STARTING PITCHING: With the fences moving forward at Citi Field, the entire Mets pitching staff takes a hit. JOHAN SANTANA will be ready for Opening Day, but it's hard to have much faith that he'll remain healthy for an entire season. His velocity on his fastball is not what it used to be, topping out in the high-80's. MIKE PELFREY benefitted most from the pitcher-friendly ballpark with serviceable home numbers (3.94 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) and atrocious road statistics (5.49 ERA, 1.56 WHIP). JONATHON NIESE was also much better at Citi Field (3.54 ERA) than he was on the road (5.33 ERA), but he posted 14 games of 6+ strikeouts for the second straight season. DILLON GEE began the season 7-0 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, but closed the 2011 campaign with a 5.51 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in his final 17 starts. Knuckle-balling R.A. DICKEY posted a second straight solid season with New York, notching a 3.28 ERA and a solid 1.23 WHIP. At age 37, he hopes to keep his pitches dancing in the smaller home ballpark.
RELIEF PITCHING: Two former Blue Jays late-innings relievers, FRANK FRANCISCO and JON RAUCH, were signed from Toronto to pitch at the back of the bullpen. Francisco will likely get first crack at the ninth-inning role, saving 17 games last year and keeping his strikeout rate above one per inning for the fourth straight year. Rauch is an imposing figure at 6-foot-11, but he posted a 1.35 WHIP and paltry 6.2 strikeout rate last year. But 52 saves since 2008 makes him a worthy candidate for ninth-inning duty. RAMON RAMIREZ was part of the Andres Torres/Angel Pagan trade and he should be a valuable set-up man. He had a strong two-year stint with San Francisco, posting a 2.07 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (CHICAGO CUBS-NY METS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Cubs-Mets Preview* ===================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Chicago (25-38) at New York (24-36), 7:10 p.m. EDT
While the Chicago Cubs are showing signs of breaking out of their slump, the New York Mets haven't been able to overcome their season-long troubles at the plate.
Runs could be tough to come by when these offensively challenged clubs open a three-game series Friday night at Citi Field.
After hitting .161 in losing five of six, the Cubs (26-38) matched a season high with 15 hits in a 6-5, 14-inning win over Cincinnati on Thursday.
Pinch-hitter Julio Borbon singled home the winning run with two outs as the Cubs scored at least five runs for the first time in seven games.
Chicago has lost eight of 11, largely because it's batting .203 with 36 runs over that span.
"I think we needed that win today," winning pitcher Hector Rondon said.
All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro went 3 for 7 after entering in a 4-for-48 slump, while Anthony Rizzo (.135) and Darwin Barney (.205) have struggled this month.
Chicago will be looking to build on Thursday's performance as it meets the Mets (24-37) to open a seven-game road trip.
The Cubs are scheduled to face Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96 ERA), who had his best outing of the season in relief Saturday. The right-hander suffered the defeat despite giving up one run and five hits over eight innings in a 2-1, 20-inning loss to Miami.
Marcum is 4-0 with a 2.90 ERA in five starts against the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano (2 for 11), David DeJesus (3 for 23) and Castro (2 for 16) haven't had much success when facing him.
The Mets have had their own troubles at the plate, particularly while losing four of five on this homestand.
New York, which has dropped eight of 10, couldn't get anything going again Thursday except for a Marlon Byrd home run - his second in as many games - in a 2-1 loss to St. Louis.
The Mets are hitting a major league-worst .224 and have scored 13 runs while batting .184 on the homestand.
Right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76) will try to keep their bats quiet after snapping a three-start losing streak Sunday. He struck out eight and allowed one run and four hits over seven innings in a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh.
"Sometimes we take the game too serious and we are kind of confined in a bubble," Jackson said. "I was just able to come out of that bubble and have some fun out there."
He'll make his second start against the Mets this season after giving up three runs and seven hits - two homers - over 6 2-3 innings in a 3-2 loss at Wrigley Field on May 17.
David Murphy and David Wright homered off Jackson in that contest, though Murphy is 2 for 12 against him.
Wright, who went 3 for 4 on Thursday, has been one of the few bright spots with 11 hits in 28 at-bats (.393) over his last six games. He's batting .385 during a seven-game hitting streak against the Cubs.
Chicago lost two of three at home to the Mets last month but has won four of the last five meetings in New York.
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 7:01:47 AM EST|