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.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Bonifacio 2B
    Lake CF
    Rizzo 1B
    Castro SS
    Valbuena 3B
    Schierholtz RF
    Coghlan LF
    Baker C
    Arrieta P

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  • Neil

    What a play by Valbuena

  • DWalker

    this already feels like its going to be another of “those” games.

  • Neil

    Bryant hit #19

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Do you think Olt is athletic enough to play left or right field?

      • Neil

        Patrick, he played three games in RF in 2012. I have not seen enough of him to know other than at third, sorry.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Valbuena and Schierholtz made Wheeler work in that inning.

  • Neil

    Bryant walked in second at bat, nothing to hit 4-pitch walk.

    • GaryLeeT

      With all these reports it’s like CCO had a baby. We’ll call the cute little fella KBO.

      • Neil

        Gary, I have received requests to update Bryant as often as possible. Thank you for understanding.

        • GaryLeeT

          That was NOT a complaint.

          • GaryLeeT

            Trust me when I say, we need ALL the diversions we can get.

          • Neil

            My bad, I would really like for someone to come up with a sarcasm font for the Internet, everybody would be happier.

          • GaryLeeT

            We all recognize the extra research you have been doing, and the great articles you’ve been writing. They are really helping us fans weather these dark days.

          • Neil

            Thanks man, I really appreciate it.

          • Tony_H

            If it is Gary or Jason, assume sarcasm.

  • Baron_S

    Bonifacio, after a hot start, has gone in the tank big time
    .313/.365/.375 with 9 SB in April
    .214/.257/.301 with 2 SB in May
    and 0 fer June so far…

    He isn’t the future, the present is irrelevant, so
    Wouldn’t anyone rather see Alcantara put up these kind of numbers?

    • Denver Mike

      I think it’s just a matter of time before Alcantara is brought up, however, he has spent 1 full season at every level in his minor league career so I almost expect that to continue.

      I am interested to see him come up though, it’s pretty impressive how consistent he has been at every level of MiLB, just adding some power the last year and a half.

      His career line of .278/.331/.427/.758 over 2062 PA is a good indicator of how he has performed at every level since he was 17. Considering he is at .268/.303/.515/.818 now in AAA, adding a little bit up pop while still on pace for 25-30 SB, makes me want to compare him to a Carlos Gomez perhaps?

      Gomez’s career line in the minors was .278/.340/.395/.735 over 1505 PA with plenty of speed, and has translated to a .259/.310/.419/.719 line over 2953 PA in the majors. His 162 avg of 75 R 15 HR 56 RBI with 35 SB isn’t too shabby either.

      If Alcantara could develop into that kind of player in the next few years it could really help lock down the infield for the foreseeable future, and make Barney a distant memory.

  • Neil

    Good job by Arrieta getting out of that jam

  • Denver Mike

    I decided to cancel my MLBtv subscription since the Cubs games have just been aggravating me lately. Fixing for some baseball tonight I turned on MLB Network since the A’s/Yankees game was on, and I think it’s interesting to see those two teams face off, considering they have been assembled with completely different philosophies towards roster construction.

    I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been able to draw any conclusions of one vs. the other based on 3.5 innings of baseball, but man Soriano is really struggling.

    To be clear, I’m not trying to stir up any nonsense, but it was just last week I was watching Schierholtz butcher an AB and I was thinking how much I missed Alfonso in the 3/4 hole. I didn’t bother to look up either players stats at the time, but checked them out just now:

    Soriano: 195 PA, 21 R, 6 HR, 19 RBI, .230/.256/.399/.655, 6 BB, 55 K
    Schierholtz: 189 PA, 17R, 2 HR, 16 RBI, .212/.270/.320/.570, 12 BB, 39 K

    Obviously Soriano’s stat are better, Schierholtz has been terrible, and they don’t even play the same OF spot so it’s not an exact comparison. But considering Schierholtz continues to bat 3-6 in the order, I figured we would have had to be better off with Soriano in that spot, but needless to say I was surprised at how little difference it really would have made.

    We all know he can get hot and go off for 10-15 HRs in a month come July/August, and I almost expect it at this point, but I don’t really think we miss him as much as I thought. That being said, it doesn’t change the fact this team REALLY needs a #3 and #4 hitter, and until then the results will continue to be the same as they have.

  • Denver Mike

    How did I also not notice Nelson Cruz has 20 HR and 52 RBI this year? I was a bit skeptic that he would put up decent numbers after the PED bust, but still thought he would have been a good add for us. 1-yr / $8M looks like a steal for the Orioles. It doesn’t mean he would have signed with the Cubs regardless, but is it completely unreasonable to think they would be close to .500 with that kind of production in the #3 hole? I’m jealous!

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I hadn’t realized that Alcantara is already on the 40 man roster. Interesting maybe he will get a shot this year

  • Neil

    Excellent leaping catch by Castro … 1-2-3 for the Mets in the sixth, first time.

  • Denver Mike

    How does Arrieta manage only 1 run on 7H, 3BB, 2K, 105 pitches in 4.2IP? I almost wish I could see the game, because that seems like some sort of wizardry right there.

    • DWalker

      some very lucky defensive plays. its also a good night to have it muted and do anything else.

    • GaryLeeT

      That’s the line from a pitcher who didn’t get many swings, and misses.

  • Neil

    Chris Coghlan with a solo home run … game tied at one

  • Neil

    Cubs beat the Mets 2-1
    on Tuesday night … Jake Arrieta: 1R, 7H, 3BB, WP, 2K, 4.2 IP (105 pitches, 64

    Chris Coghlan: 1-3, HR; Nate Schierholtz: 3-4, GW RBI; Anthony
    Rizzo: 1-4, R

    Tuesday night was the Cubs first walk-off win of the season