Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mets – 06/03/14

Game Fifty-Five – Cubs (20-34) vs. Mets (28-29)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 188, 844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20/1.50/2.71) vs. Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.31/1.44/3.51)

The Cubs open a six-game homestand tonight with the first of three against the New York Metropolitans. The homestand wraps on Sunday with the last of three against the Marlins. The Cubs will celebrate the 1940s during this homestand, complete with throwback jerseys on Sunday, and members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League throwing out the first pitch on Friday.

The Cubs split the six games (3-3) with the Mets a year ago and will make the trip to Citi Field in mid-August (Aug. 15-18) for four games.

After tonight’s match-up of Jake Arrieta and Zack Wheeler, Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Daisuke Matsuzaka on Wednesday night if the weather cooperates. With a 6:05pm CDT start time, Travis Wood and righty Jacob deGrom are expected to start the finale on Thursday night.

Welington Castillo is expected back in the starting lineup after leaving Sunday’s game with a sore back, but the team has not provided an update on Luis Valbuena. Valbuena missed the last two games of the series in Milwaukee dealing with a lower body injury that could be an abdominal issue.

The Cubs could be catching the Mets at the right time. After two-marathon games against the Phillies on Friday and Saturday (both went 14 innings and lasted longer than five hours), it took 11 innings to complete Sunday’s game. The Mets and Phillies made up the game on April 30 that was postponed on Monday night and turned a four-game series into five games.

Rick Renteria should load his lineup with as many lefties as possible tonight. Zack Wheeler has less success against lefties (.295/.378/.366) than right handers (.246/.318/.311).

The homestand all starts with Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta is making his sixth start of the season tonight in just his second outing at Wrigley Field. Arrieta is coming off a better game in San Francisco than his final line indicates. Arrieta was charged with four runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings. The Giants dinked and dumped Arrieta and did not make solid contact.

After his rough start in St. Louis on May 13, Arrieta has thrown strikes and has issued only two walks in his last two appearances (12 innings) with 13 strikeouts. Arrieta’s last game at Wrigley was exactly a month ago today. Arrieta made his first start of the year on May 3 against the Cardinals and received a no-decision in a Cubs 3-0 victory after tossing 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball (four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts). Arrieta faces the Mets for the second time in his career tonight.

Jake Arrieta lost his start at Citi Field on June 18, 2012 after he allowed four runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings.

Mets Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta

Zack Wheeler is coming off an excellent outing in Philadelphia. Wheeler picked up the win after allowing one run on four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. After back-to-back rough outings in the Bronx and in D.C., Wheeler limited the Diamondback to a pair of earned runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Outside of four starts this year, Wheeler has been very good for the Metropolitans.

Tonight will be Wheeler’s eighth road start of the season. Zack Wheeler is 2-3 in seven starts outside of Citi Field with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. And he will make the first start of his career against the Cubs tonight.

No one on the Cubs active roster has faced Zack Wheeler in a regular season big league game.

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