Game One Hundred Twenty-Two – Cubs (52-69) vs. Mets (58-65)
- Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – Citi Field, Flushing
Dan Straily (1-2, 4.93/1.25/5.66) vs. Jon Niese (6-8, 3.46/1.27/3.84)
The Cubs will look to put one in the win column behind Dan Straily in his Cubs’ debut. The front office decided to call-up Straily to make a spot start while the team is in the middle of a stretch of 21 games in 21 days. Using Straily tonight not only allows the rotation to get an extra day in between starts, but it gives the big league coaching staff their first look at Straily before he is called up in September to finish out the season.
As soon as the final out is recorded tonight, the focus will quickly turn to which position player is being called up for Sunday’s game and for what should be the remainder of the season.
The Cubs lack of contact is the focus right now. The offense has struck out 91 times in the last eight games with 12 walks. The strikeout totals figure to keep mounting and will likely increase as players are called up to either make their big league debuts or for looks in September. The strikeouts are not as alarming as they are being made out to be for a team that is focused on development. It is a lot better to see the strikeouts happening in August of another losing season than it would be at the beginning of next year. And players such as Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara that have struggled with promotions in their pro careers will know what has to be worked on in the off-season.
Luis Valbuena is expected to be held out of the lineup for the second straight game … due to either illness or as a way for him to clear his head due to his “recent tailspin.”
Rick Renteria should run out a balanced lineup tonight. Left handers have hit rather well (.266/.302/.355) against Jon Niese this season, and almost as good as right handers (.262/.324/.360).
Tonight all starts with Dan Straily in his Cubs debut …
Dan Straily makes his Cubs debut tonight and his first start in the big leagues since May 7. Straily lasted six innings in an outing against Seattle and allowed three runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Straily was 4-3 in 10 starts for Triple-A Sacramento with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP before the trade that landed him in Des Moines.
Straily posted a 3-3 record in seven starts with Iowa. In 39 innings, Straily allowed 37 runs, 20 earned, on 37 hits with 13 walks and 40 strikeouts.
Jon Niese has put together another solid season for the Mets. Niese has been inconsistent, the same way he’s been throughout his career, and he has six quality starts in his last 10 games. Niese is coming off a win against the Phillies in which he allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. Since the break, Niese is 1-4 in five starts with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.
Jon Niese is 2-3 in nine starts at Citi Field with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Niese missed the Cubs in June and he is 2-4 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 5.26 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jon Niese
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …