Game Seventy-Three: Cubs (24-48) vs. Mets (39-34)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (1-3, 4.14/1.26) vs. Johan Santana (5-3, 3.00/1.12)
The Cubs open a six-game homestand with the first of three against the New York Mets tonight. After taking two of three on the South Side last week, the Cubs were outscored 28-7 over the final four games of the trip and finished the three-game series in Arizona 3-for-25 with RISP and left 26 runners on base. Until the Cubs start taking pitches and putting themselves into hitter’s counts, the struggles with runners in scoring position will continue.
The Cubs have played better at Wrigley (14-19) than on the road (10-29) and will face what many feel is an overachieving Mets’ team six times over the next 13 games. The Cubs won four of six against Ron Santo’s favorite team a year ago.
The Metropolitans enter play tonight five games over .500, second place in the NL East, three-and-a-half back of the first place Nationals and a half-game up on the third place Braves. Terry Collins has his team playing good ball. David Wright is leading the way offensively and R.A. Dickey is one of the best stories of the season.
Travis Wood will face his third former Cy Young Award winner in as many starts (Justin Verlander, Jake Peavy) tonight. After sending Travis Wood to the hill against Johan Santana, Dale Sveum will give Randy Wells another chance Tuesday night against Dillon Gee and Jeff Samardzija will try to bounce back from his last start in Wednesday’s finale against lefty Jon Niese.
The Cubs are 3-16 in games started by southpaws this season and tonight it all begins with Travis Wood … Travis Wood is coming off back-to-back quality starts and his first win of the season. Wood and the bullpen held the Sox to one run at the Cell last Tuesday and the result was the Cubs’ first series win on the road under Dale Sveum. Wood continued putting runners on base but continued to make the big pitch when he needed it. Wood allowed four hits in six innings with five strikeouts and a season-high four walks.
Travis Wood must make life a little easier for himself. If he does not, soon all of the baserunners he’s stranded will come around to score.
After posting a 0-1 record in his first three starts with a 5.94 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP (teams hit .194 against him), Wood is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP (teams hitting .247 against him) … the 11 walks and 18 strikeouts with 21 hits in his last 24 2/3 innings are of concern.
Travis Wood has not posted a win at Wrigley in a Cubs uniform and is 0-1 in his first three starts at the old ballyard this season with a 6.11 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.
Tonight will be just the second start of Travis Wood’s career against the Mets. Wood received a no decision in his only other outing (July 5, 2010 in New York, second start of his career) and allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
Mets Career Numbers against Travis Wood
- Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-3 with a walk
- Ike Davis – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Andres Torres – 2-for-3 with a walk
- David Wright – 2-for-3 with a triple
Johan Santana is back after missing all of the 2011 season. Santana tossed the first no hitter in Mets’ history four starts ago and is coming off a win against the Orioles. Santana tossed six shutout innings his last time out. Santana struck out five and walked two after struggling in back-to-back five-inning outings after the no-no. Santana is 3-1 in his last four games with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
For as good as Santana has been he has struggled on the road. In six starts outside of Citi Field, Santana is 1-2 with a 6.37 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
Johan Santana is a perfect 3-0 in six career games, three starts, against the Cubs with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP and tonight will be his first career start at Wrigley Field. Santana’s last start against the Cubs came on April 22, 2010.
Cubs Career Numbers against Johan Santana
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
- David DeJesus – 4-for-24 with a double and two walks
- Reed Johnson – 13-for-25 with a double, a triple, a home run and two walks
- Joe Mather – 0-for-4
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-13 with two walks
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3
- Luis Valbuena – 1-for-3
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