Game Sixty-Six: Cubs (27-38) vs. Mets (24-38)
- Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Citi Field, Flushing
Scott Feldman (5-5, 3.22/1.17) vs. Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.24/1.56)
The Cubs will shoot for three wins in a row this afternoon behind Scott Feldman. Dale Sveum’s team began the seven-game road trip on a positive note on Friday night with a win but lost their everyday centerfielder in the process.
David DeJesus will be placed on the DL prior to today’s game. As of this writing, the Cubs had not decided if they would recall an outfielder or a relief pitcher to take DeJesus’ spot on the active roster. The Cubs are in the middle of 17 games in a row without a day off and the 14-inning marathon on Thursday took its toll on the bullpen.
The only reliever on the 40-man roster healthy enough to pitch is Shawn Camp. Camp made his second rehab appearance with Kane County on Friday. Camp pitched two innings after completing an inning on Tuesday. There is possibility that they could call-up Chris Rusin. Brooks Raley was sent down on Friday but he started the rain-shortened game for Iowa. Rusin last pitched on June 12 which would not make him available until Sunday.
Ryan Sweeney will receive a bulk of the playing time in center, if not all of it, while David DeJesus is out.
With the exception of Sweeney and Anthony Rizzo, Dale Sveum is expected to run out his right-handed lineup this afternoon with the lefty on the hill for the Mets.
This afternoon all starts with Scott Feldman …
Scott Feldman is coming off a loss to the Reds in which he gave up five runs on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts in six innings. Feldman has really pitched well of late except when he faces the Big Red Machine. Feldman has posted seven (very) quality starts in his last nine games, the only two times he failed to go at least six innings and not give up more than three runs was his two starts versus Cincinnati.
The Cubs need for Feldman to keep putting together solid outings as the calendar turns to July. Even with the two starts versus the Redlegs, Feldman is 4-2 in his last seven starts with a 2.94 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP (42 strikeouts, eight walks and 43 hits allowed in 52 innings).
Feldman has not fared as well on the road this season as he has at Wrigley. Feldman is just 1-3 in six road starts with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Feldman faces the Mets for the second time this season after beating them back on May 18 at Wrigley.
Scott Feldman picked up the only win in the weekend series with the Metropolitans after tossing 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball while allowing seven hits, a walk and six strikeouts. Feldman is 1-1 in two career starts versus the Mets with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. This afternoon is his first career start at Citi Field.
Mets Career Numbers against Scott Feldman
- John Buck – 3-for-15 with two doubles, a home run and a walk
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-1
- Collin Cowgill – 0-for-2
- Lucas Duda – 1-for-3
- Daniel Murphy – 2-for-3
- Omar Quintanilla – 0-for-2
- Justin Turner – 0-for-1
- David Wright – 1-for-5
Jonathon Niese has not pitched the way the Mets were hoping he would when the season began. Niese was an impressive 13-9 in 30 starts last season with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The Mets thought he had turned the corner with his career but he has regressed over his first 12 starts of the season.
Niese is coming off a no decision against the Marlins in which he gave up three runs, two earned, on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Niese struggled through May (1-3 in five starts with a 5.65 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP) but he has pitched much better at home than on the road this season.
Jon Niese is 1-3 in eight starts at Citi Field with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
The Cubs must be patient against Niese, he will give them plenty of chances to put runners on base. Niese is 2-3 in six career starts against the Cubs with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP, last year 1-1 in two starts with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jon Niese
- Darwin Barney – 4-for-9
- Starlin Castro – 5-for-13 with a triple and a home run
- Scott Hairston – 0-for-3
- Cody Ransom – 0-for-2
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-7 with a double
- Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-1 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-14 with a double and two walks
- Luis Valbuena – 2-for-6 with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …