|CHICAGO CUBS ( GARZA )|
NY METS ( HEFNER )
|905||CHICAGO CUBS||+100||Ov 7.5,-110||+105||Ov 7.5,+100|
|906||NY METS||-110||Un 7.5,-110||-115||Un 7.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||18-25||-5.4||24-18||4.3||0.248||0.299||4.4||0.237||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.5||4-2||3.7||0.223||0.302||4.4||0.250||0.293|
|vs Right-handed Starters||15-28||-16.7||23-18||3.9||0.227||0.284||4.6||0.272||0.327|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-6.9||3-3||2.6||0.193||0.252||4.7||0.271||0.317|
|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)||6-3||W||110||7.5 un||O||9||4||0||9||8||0|
|6/15/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ NY METS||NIESE(L)||5-2||W||110||7 ov||P||11||16||1||6||6||2|
|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)|| |
|6/23/2013|| ||HOUSTON|| || |
|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)||3-6||L||-120||7.5 un||O||9||8||0||9||4||0|
|6/15/2013||NIESE(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||FELDMAN(R)||2-5||L||-120||7 ov||P||6||6||2||11||16||1|
|6/16/2013||HEFNER(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||GARZA(R)|| |
|6/17/2013||GEE(R)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)|| |
|6/18/2013||WHEELER(R)||@ ATLANTA||MAHOLM(L)|| |
|6/18/2013||HARVEY(R)||@ ATLANTA||BEACHY(R)|| |
|6/19/2013||MARCUM(R)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)|| |
|6/20/2013||NIESE(L)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)|| |
|6/21/2013||HEFNER(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||PETTIBONE(R)|| |
|6/22/2013|| ||@ PHILADELPHIA||HAMELS(L)|| |
|6/23/2013|| ||@ 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 JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Chicago (27-38) at New York (24-38), 1:10 p.m. EDT
General manager Sandy Alderson picked a tough time to discuss the current state of the New York Mets with season ticket holders, as a rough homestand has extended the team's long slump.
New York looks to get back on track before beginning an 11-game road trip while preventing the Chicago Cubs from winning their fourth straight and completing a three-game sweep Sunday.
Alderson, hired in October 2010, addressed some devoted fans prior to Saturday's 5-2 loss that was the 10th in 12 games for the Mets (24-39). New York hasn't finished above .500 since 2008.
"At some point, the best thing you can do is have a little patience," Alderson said. "Unfortunately, I've been preaching that for 2 1/2 years, and it's wearing thin. But we're almost there."
It hasn't seemed that way lately, with New York dropping six of seven on its homestand. The Mets, who start their trip Monday with a five-game series against first-place Atlanta, demoted three players to the minors after last Sunday's 8-4 loss to lowly Miami.
One of them was first baseman Ike Davis, who hit 32 homers last season. New York has been outscored 61-38 while batting .210 over its last 12.
"No one is having any fun," third baseman David Wright said. "It's a humbling and cruel game. We are at a point where we have to dig deep and find what motivates each individual as a player. The last thing I want is for guys to get caught up in playing through the motions. We have to finish strong - there are a lot of guys here who are part of the future."
Chicago has won its third consecutive series in Queens and is on the verge of sweeping the Mets for the first time since 2004 at Shea Stadium.
Starlin Castro, hitting .117 (7 for 60) with a .172 on-base percentage over his last 15, had a two-run double in a three-run eighth inning Sunday.
The Cubs (28-38) have scored 17 runs during their three-game winning streak after totaling 11 while dropping five of their previous six.
"We're taking advantage of situations now (during at-bats) that we haven't for a long piece of the season," manager Dale Sveum said.
Chicago, winner of six of seven at Citi Field, will look to extend its streak with help from Matt Garza, who was roughed up his last time out.
Garza (1-1, 6.26 ERA) gave up a career-worst nine runs in five innings of a 12-2 loss to Cincinnati on Tuesday. He's allowed at least four runs in three of his five starts since coming off the disabled list.
He said he's still trying to get on the same page with catcher Welington Castillo.
"I need to take control and I need to guide him through it," Garza told the team's official website after his last outing. "I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. I'm going to get ready in five days and try to make it right."
The right-hander had a solid start the only time he faced the Mets, giving up three runs in seven innings of the Cubs' 10-6, 11-inning victory Sept. 11, 2011.
New York right-hander Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 4.11) allowed four runs in four innings of an 8-2 defeat to the Cubs on May 18 in his only career start against them.
The Mets have lost 11 of Hefner's 12 starts this season, though he has a 2.52 ERA in four outings since losing to the Cubs.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 6:09:46 AM EST|