Game One Hundred Twenty-Three – Cubs (52-70) vs. Mets (59-65)
- Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Citi Field, Flushing
Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77/1.05/2.37) vs. Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12/1.64/7.17)
Rick Renteria will hand the ball to his number one starter this afternoon and look for Jake Arrieta to end the Cubs’ three-game losing streak.
Renteria will have a full bench with the addition of Matt Szczur from Triple-A Iowa. Szczur will become the seventh different player to make his big league debut this season for the Cubs if he crosses the lines this afternoon and the 109th different player to suit up for the Cubs in the Theo Epstein–Jed Hoyer administration.
Luis Valbuena is expected back at third today after two days of just pinch-hitting duty. Again, the reports varied as to why Valbuena was held out of the starting lineup the first two games of the series.
The offense did a good job of cutting down on the strikeouts early in Saturday’s game before getting swing happy again in the last two innings. The Cubs struck out 10 times Saturday with two walks. Over the last nine games, the Cubs have struck out 101 times with 17 walks. And if the offense allows Rafael Montero to get comfortable, the strikeout total will rise significantly this afternoon.
Today all starts with Jake Arrieta …
Jake Arrieta bounced back nicely from his outing at Coors Field against the Brewers. Arrieta limited Milwaukee to two runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Arrieta was hung with the loss after receiving one run off support from his teammates. Arrieta has been very good, with a couple of exceptions this season.
Jake Arrieta makes his 11th start of the year outside of Wrigley Field today. Arrieta is 4-3 in the first 10 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP … and in day games, Arrieta is 2-1 in eight starts this season with a 1.94 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta is 0-1 in two career starts against the Mets with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP (13 hits, four walks, six strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings) … at Citi Field, Arrieta is 0-1 in one start with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
The Cubs get their first look at the second best pitching prospect in the Mets system this afternoon, Rafael Montero. Montero’s numbers do not look very good, but he’s made only five starts in the majors and he’s got a big arm. Montero’s fastball sits in the low 90s, but he can rush it up to the 95 mph range when he needs a little extra. Montero throws a changeup and slider and has the ability to locate his fastball on both side of the plate.
Montero has not shown it at the big league level, with the exception of one start. But the Cubs could be in for another frustrating day at the plate.
The Nationals knocked Montero out of the game in the fifth inning in his last start. Montero was charged with five runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Montero has walked 13 batters in 25 innings with 21 strikes. If the Cubs are too aggressive, he will become more and more difficult to hit as his confidence grows.
The 23-year old right hander started the season in Rookie ball, moved to High-A ball and then to Triple-A. In 80 innings, Montero allowed 63 hits with 33 walks and 82 strikeouts.
Rafael Montero makes his fifth start at Citi Field this season. Montero is 0-3 in the first four with a 5.91 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. And no one on the active roster has faced Montero in a regular season ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …