Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 05/19/13

Game Forty-Three: Cubs (18-24) vs. Mets (16-24)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 188/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03/0.92) vs. Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13/1.74)

The Cubs wrap up the six-game homestand this afternoon with a rubber-game against the Mets. The Cubs are 3-2 on the homestand and a win this afternoon would not only give them a winning homestand but would be their third straight series victory … it has been nearly 10 months since the Cubs last won three series in a row (July 6 – July 19 vs. Mets, Diamondbacks and Marlins).

Dale Sveum will have another arm available out of the pen this afternoon. The Cubs will not make a roster move to activate Matt Garza from the DL until Tuesday and Carlos Villanueva will be available for today’s game.

Travis Wood is off to an excellent start to the season and will face a challenge this afternoon in the Mets. Wood has pitched in cold weather to this point in the season. Wood’s sub-200 BABIP (.196) suggests that Wood will regress at some point near his career BABIP average of .268 … and at some point the routine fly balls will start ending up in the bleachers.

The Anthony Rizzo watch continues today. After a not-so-good start to the season (.224/.315/.531/.846 with six doubles and eight home runs in April), Rizzo is hitting .369/.406/.554/.960 in his last 16 games with six doubles and two home runs. Rizzo has not struck out since the sixth inning of the game against the Cardinals on May 7 (39 at bats). For the year (42 games), Rizzo is up to .282/.350/.540/.890 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 30 RBI … versus LHP, .324/.393/.636/1.030 with five doubles and four home runs.

The Cubs are 7-4 over the last 11, 13-11 over the last 24 games and will shoot for their second victory on Sunday (1-5 on Sundays in 2013). This afternoon it all starts with Travis Wood

Travis Wood has made eight starts this season and in each of his outings he has completed at least six innings while allowing three runs or less … for those scoring at home, that is eight quality starts in eight outings. Wood became the first Cubs’ starter to begin a season with eight quality starts since Hippo Vaughn in 1919.

Wood has posted a victory in each of his last two games, the Cubs are 3-1 in his last four games and for the season, the Cubs are 5-3 when Wood takes the hill. Wood pitched seven innings of two-hit shutout ball the last time out while walking three Rockies and striking out two … the first time this season that Wood issued more free passes than strikeouts.

Today marks the sixth time Wood has started a game at Wrigley this year. Wood is 2-2 in the first five with a 2.06 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. For as good as Wood has been this season, he is 2-1 in his last three games with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP.

Travis Wood makes his fourth career start against the Metropolitans this afternoon. Wood is 2-0 in three career starts with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP … last season, 2-0 in two starts with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Mets Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • John Buck – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Ike Davis – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Lucas Duda – 1-for-6 with a home run
  • Ruben Tejada – 0-for-8 with a walk
  • Jordany Valdespin – one walk
  • David Wright – 3-for-9 with a triple

Dillon Gee is off to a rough start this year. Gee has been more of a five and dive starter this year than in his previous two years in the Mets rotation. Gee has completed six innings only two times and pitched into the seventh inning once. Gee is coming off a short, four-inning outing against the Cardinals in which he allowed six runs, five earned, on nine hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Dillon Gee is 1-3 in four road starts this season with an 11.34 ERA and a 2.52 WHIP and makes his fourth career start against the Cubs this afternoon. Gee has had quite a bit of success against the Cubs. His only career complete game came at the Cubs expense , a rain-shortened six-inning outing on May 25, 2011 at Wrigley. Gee is 2-1 in three career starts against the Cubs with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP … last season, 1-1 in two starts with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP and in two career games at Wrigley, Gee is 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Dillon Gee

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-9
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-9 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 3-for-7
  • Dioner Navarro – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Cody Ransom – 2-for-4 with a double and a home run
  • Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Nate Schierholtz – 2-for-4 with a triple and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-8 with a double
  • Ryan Sweeney – 1-for-2
  • Luis Valbuena – 4-for-6 with two doubles

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver