|NY METS ( HARVEY )|
CHICAGO CUBS ( LESTER )
|905||NY METS||+240||Ov 8.5,-125||+235||Ov 8.5,-125|
|906||CHICAGO CUBS||-275||Un 8.5,+105||-265||Un 8.5,+105|
|vs Left-handed Starters||13-21||-8.1||22-11||4.2||0.243||0.299||0.420||0.720||5.4||0.263||0.342||0.442||0.784|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-0.1||5-2||4.7||0.288||0.350||0.464||0.814||4.9||0.277||0.357||0.406||0.763|
|vs Right-handed Starters||57-54||-26.2||51-55||4.8||0.247||0.320||0.417||0.737||4.6||0.237||0.311||0.393||0.704|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-3||3-4||3.3||0.239||0.312||0.367||0.679||4.1||0.231||0.319||0.324||0.643|
|8/30/2017||MONTERO(R)||@ CINCINNATI||BAILEY(R)||2-0||W||135||10 un||U||5||4||0||3||5||1|
|8/31/2017||DEGROM(R)||@ CINCINNATI||STEPHENSON(R)||2-7||L||-140||8.5 ev||O||7||8||1||9||7||0|
|9/2/2017||LUGO(R)||@ HOUSTON||PEACOCK(R)||1-4||L||235||9 ev||U||6||9||0||9||6||0|
|9/2/2017||HARVEY(R)||@ HOUSTON||MORTON(R)||8-12||L||235||9 ov||O||11||6||1||17||9||1|
|9/3/2017||FLEXEN(R)||@ HOUSTON||FIERS(R)||6-8||L||230||9.5 ev||O||10||11||1||11||6||1|
|9/4/2017||MONTERO(R)||PHILADELPHIA||LEITER JR.(R)||11-7||W||-115||9 un||O||12||6||1||10||6||1|
|9/12/2017||GSELLMAN(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||QUINTANA(L)||3-8||L||245||8.5 un||O||7||9||0||11||8||0|
|9/13/2017||HARVEY(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||LESTER(L)|| |
|9/14/2017||LUGO(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||MONTGOMERY(L)|| |
|9/15/2017||MONTERO(R)||@ ATLANTA||NEWCOMB(L)|| |
|9/16/2017||DEGROM(R)||@ ATLANTA||FRIED(L)|| |
|9/17/2017||GSELLMAN(R)||@ ATLANTA||DICKEY(R)|| |
|9/18/2017||HARVEY(R)||@ MIAMI||STRAILY(R)|| |
|9/19/2017||LUGO(R)||@ MIAMI||URENA(R)|| |
|9/20/2017|| ||@ MIAMI|| || |
|9/4/2017||ARRIETA(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||KUHL(R)||0-12||L||-180||8.5 un||O||7||8||0||16||7||0|
|9/5/2017||HENDRICKS(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BRAULT(L)||3-4||L||-160||8.5 un||U||8||8||1||8||4||0|
|9/6/2017||QUINTANA(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||COLE(R)||1-0||W||-125||7.5 ov||U||3||6||1||6||6||0|
|9/7/2017||LESTER(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||TAILLON(R)||8-2||W||-135||7.5 un||O||13||7||0||8||11||0|
|9/12/2017||QUINTANA(L)||NY METS||GSELLMAN(R)||8-3||W||-290||8.5 un||O||11||8||0||7||9||0|
|9/13/2017||LESTER(L)||NY METS||HARVEY(R)|| |
|9/14/2017||MONTGOMERY(L)||NY METS||LUGO(R)|| |
|9/15/2017||LACKEY(R)||ST LOUIS||MARTINEZ(R)|| |
|9/16/2017||HENDRICKS(R)||ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)|| |
|9/17/2017||QUINTANA(L)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)|| |
|9/19/2017||LESTER(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||SNELL(L)|| |
|9/20/2017|| ||@ TAMPA BAY|| || |
|NY METS: 2016: 87-75, second place
Manager: Terry Collins (seventh season)
Who's new? No one of note
Who's gone? 1B James Loney, IF/OF Kelly Johnson, OF Alejandro De Aza, RHP Bartolo Colon, LHP Jonathon Niese
Projected lineup: CF Curtis Granderson (.237, 30 HR, 59 RBI), 3B David Wright (.226, 7, 14 in 37 games), LF Yoenis Cespedes (.280, 31, 86), RF Jay Bruce (.250, 33, 99 with Reds and Mets), 2B Neil Walker (.282, 23, 55), SS Asdrubal Cabrera (.280, 23, 62), 1B Lucas Duda (.229, 7, 23 in 47 games), C Travis d'Arnaud (.247, 4, 15)
Rotation: RH Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60 ERA), RH Jacob deGrom (7-8, 3.04), RH Matt Harvey (4-10, 4.86), LH Steven Matz (9-8, 3.40), RH Zack Wheeler or RH Robert Gsellman (4-2, 2.42) or RH Seth Lugo (5-2, 2.67)
Key relievers: RH Jeurys Familia (3-4, 2.55, 51/56 SV), RH Addison Reed (4-2, 1.97), RH Hansel Robles (6-4, 3.48), LH Jerry Blevins (4-2, 2.79), RH Fernando Salas (3-7, 3.91)
Hot spots: First base and third base. Duda missed 115 games last season because of a stress fracture in his lower back. When healthy, the veteran first baseman slugged a career-low .714. Former first-round draft pick Dominic Smith, 21, could be in position to battle for the starting spot soon. He'll likely begin the season at Triple-A. Franchise third baseman Wright doesn't have a hot prospect pushing him out the door, but how much game does he have left? The perennial All-Star only began throwing a baseball in February after an eight-month recovery from neck surgery. Wright had a degenerative back and has only played 75 games the last two years. Getting a full season from him at age 34 would be a shock.
Outlook: The Mets' championship window opened with a surprise World Series run in 2015, and their front office seems convinced it's still open. The club invested four years and $110 million to keep Yoenis Cespedes in the outfield. The Mets also exercised club options on Jay Bruce and Jose Reyes, and brought Neil Walker back on a qualifying offer. The result? Almost everyone returns from a club that lost a wild-card game to the Giants last October. The franchise is oozing young pitching ' Syndergaard might be the best right-hander on the planet ' but another World Series appearance might be too much to expect from a team that ranked 25th in runs per game last season.
|CHICAGO CUBS: 2016: 103-58, won World Series
Manager: Joe Maddon (third season)
Who's new? OF Jon Jay, RHP Wade Davis, LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Koji Uehara, LHP Brian Duensing, RHP Eddie Butler
Who's gone? OF Dexter Fowler, IF/OF Jorge Soler, LHP Aroldis Chapman, LHP Travis Wood, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jason Hammel
Projected lineup: LF Kyle Schwarber (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI in two games), 3B Kris Bryant (.292, 39, 102), 1B Anthony Rizzo (.292, 32, 109), 2B Ben Zobrist (.272, 18, 76), SS Addison Russell (.238, 21, 95), RF Jason Heyward (.230, 7, 49, 11 SB), C Willson Contreras (.282, 12, 35), CF Jon Jay (.291, 2, 26 with Padres) or Albert Almora (.277, 3, 14 in 47 games)
Rotation: LH Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), RH Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10), RH Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13), RH John Lackey (11-8, 3.35), LH Brett Anderson (1-2, 11.91 in four games with Dodgers) or LH Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.52 with Mariners and Cubs) or RH Eddie Butler (2-5, 7.17 with Rockies) or LH Rob Zastryzny (1-0, 1.13 ERA in eight games) or RH Alec Mills (0-0, 13.50 in three games with Royals)
Key relievers: RH Wade Davis (2-1, 1.87, 27/30 SV with Royals), RH Pedro Strop (2-2, 2.85), RH Hector Rondon (2-3, 3.53, 18/23 SV), RH Koji Uehara (2-3, 3.45, 7/9 SV with Red Sox), RH Carl Edwards Jr. (0-1, 3.75), RH Justin Grimm (2-1, 4.10), LH Brian Duensing (1-0, 4.05 with Royals)
Hot spots: Fifth Starter. Of all the candidates vying to replace Hammel, who signed with Kansas City as a free agent, most have plenty of upside but didn't log many innings last year. That includes Anderson, who had one productive season and one unproductive season for the Dodgers. Keep an eye on southpaw Montgomery, who tossed two shutouts as a starter for the Mariners in 2015, came to the Cubs last year in a midseason trade, then was effective as a reliever. Last time he was on the mound, he recorded the save in Game 7 of the World Series.
Outlook: There hasn't been a back-to-back champion this century. For opponents of the Cubs, that might be the most tangible nugget of hope. Most of the key players return from a powerhouse team that played historically good defense, got no fewer than 165 innings from each of its top five starters, and featured a deep lineup led by NL MVP Kris Bryant. In the bullpen, two-time All-Star Davis is capable of replacing closer Chapman if he's healthy. Among the Cubs' regular position players, only Zobrist and new center fielder Jay are over 30 ' everyone else is either entering or in the midst of his prime. This is a strong outlook.
|Cubs feeling heat as they host Mets|
CHICAGO -- Jon Lester will try to help the streaky Chicago Cubs open a little more space in the tight National League Central race Wednesday night when he starts against the New York Mets.
Injuries and slumps have caused the Cubs to stumble this season after they breezed to the division title last season. Chicago (78-66) is two games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals (76-68) and 2 1/2 on top of the Milwaukee Brewers (76-69).
Lester (10-7, 4.35 ERA) will make his third start since spending two weeks on the disabled list with lat tightness and shoulder fatigue. At Pittsburgh on Thursday, the left-hander looked to be nearly back in form, tossing six innings and allowing one run and five hits. He issued a season-high four walks, though.
Lester is 4-1 with a 3.97 ERA in six career starts vs. the Mets, including a 14-3 victory in New York on June 13 when he struck out 10 and allowed one run in seven innings.
Even with Lester back, the Cubs' rotation remains in flux. Mike Montgomery will once again fill Jake Arrieta's spot in the series finale Thursday as Arrieta is still recovering from a Grade 1 right hamstring strain he sustained against the Pirates on Labor Day.
Before the Tuesday game, manager Joe Maddon said Arrieta told him he felt good after playing catch in the outfield. Arrieta still isn't ready for a bullpen session, and a return date for the right-hander hasn't been set.
It is unlikely Arrieta will face the Cardinals at Wrigley Field this weekend, but he could pitch next week against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Pitching, however, hasn't been the Cubs' biggest worry lately.
The defending World Series champions broke out for an 8-3 victory over the Mets in the series opener Tuesday night with Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ homering. Chicago had scored only 16 runs in eight previous games -- and eight of those runs came in one game at Pittsburgh when Lester was on the mound.
"It happens to every team at some point," Maddon said "It's contagious to hit as well as it is contagious to not hit.
"You got to just keep working your way through it. It's going to come back to us. We're going to start hitting again."
The biggest names at the heart of the Cubs' lineup have struggled at the plate in September.
Bryant snapped his slump in a big way with his 26th homer, a three-run drive, and a sacrifice fly on Tuesday night. In 10 previous games this month, the reigning NL MVP had six hits in 34 at-bats with no homers and no RBIs. Bryant had last homered Aug. 31 -- a two-run shot that produced his previous two RBIs.
"We were looking for that one big hit," Maddon said after the Tuesday victory. "It happened to be a home run."
Anthony Rizzo's recent numbers are almost as sour as Bryant's. The first baseman was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts Tuesday, and he has nine hits in his past 40-at bats with no homers and six RBIs.
On Tuesday, Willson Contreras made his first start since being activated from the disabled list. He hit in the cleanup spot and went 0-for-1 with three walks.
Contreras had been out since Aug. 10 due to a right hamstring strain. In 42 games from June 19 until the injury, the 25-year-old hit .299 with 16 HRs and 39 RBIs.
The Mets, virtually eliminated from the postseason, will counter with right-hander Matt Harvey (5-4, 5.82 ERA) on Wednesday.
Harvey is coming off a win Thursday over Cincinnati at Citi Field when he tossed five innings and allowed two runs on five hits.
That was only Harvey's second start since returning from the disabled list. He missed six weeks because of a stress injury in his right shoulder blade.
In his first outing after the injury Sept. 2, Harvey was hammered for seven runs in two innings at Houston.
Harvey is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs, including a no-decision June 14 -- his last start before heading for the DL -- when he allowed four runs in four innings.
New York recalled catcher Tomas Nido from Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday, but he didn't play.
Nido, 23, hit .232 with eight homers and 60 RBIs in 102 games with Binghamton. He was selected by New York in the eighth round of the 2012 draft.
|Last Updated: 9/22/2017 10:58:41 PM EST|