Game Eighty-Three: Cubs (31-51) vs. Mets (45-38)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – Citi Field, Flushing
Travis Wood (3-3, 3.05/1.09) vs. Johan Santana (6-4, 2.76/1.09)
The Cubs begin their final series before the break with the first of three against the New York Mets. The Cubs took two of three from the Mets at Wrigley 10 days ago and will face the same three starters during this series.
After tonight’s rematch of the opener at Wrigley on June 25, Jeff Samardzija will face Dillon Gee on Saturday afternoon with TBD facing lefty Jon Niese in the finale on Sunday afternoon. Dale Sveum is expected to announce today whether Chris Volstad or Ryan Dempster will start the last game before the break.
The Cubs struggled against another lefty in Thursday’s finale at Turner Field. The Cubs are 6-18 in games started by southpaws and will face two over the next three games. The Mets are a much better team at home (25-18) than on the road (20-20), especially Johan Santana. The former Cy Young Award winner is 4-1 in eight starts at Citi Field with a 1.16 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP compared to 2-3 in eight road starts with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
In other news … The Cubs signed their second round pick, RHP Duane Underwood. Underwood announced the signing on his Twitter account Thursday night. Baseball America confirmed the signing. Underwood and the Cubs agreed to a $1.05 million bonus, $280,400 over slot ($769,600). With Underwood signed, the Cubs can still offer $3,922,895 to Albert Almora without penalty.
The Cubs are expected to sign Albert Almora prior to the July 13 deadline (one week from today).
Tonight all starts with Travis Wood … The pitcher that could barely throw strikes during Spring Training has been the Cubs’ most consistent starter over the last month. Travis Wood is coming off another impressive outing and has not allowed an earned run in his last 19 innings.
Travis Wood threw 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball against the Astros at Wrigley last Sunday. Wood allowed just three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four. Wood has won his last three starts (White Sox, Mets and Astros) after allowing one earned run in his last 20 2/3 innings (0.43 ERA) on 12 hits with five walks and 15 strikeouts (0.82 WHIP).
Travis Wood has had success on the road this to the tune of a 1-2 mark in four games with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
Wood tossed seven innings of shutout ball against the Mets two starts ago (five hits, one walk and six strikeouts) and is 1-0 in two career starts against the Metropolitans with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP … no decision in one start at Citi Field with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP (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 – 3-for-6 with a double and a walk
- Ike Davis – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Lucas Duda – 0-for-3
- Scott Hairston – 0-for-3
- Mike Nickeas – 2-for-3 with a double
- Johan Santana – 0-for-2
- Ruben Tejada – 0-for-6
- Andres Torres – 2-for-5 with two walks
- Justin Turner – 0-for-1
- David Wright – 3-for-6 with a triple
Johan Santana bounced back from his loss against the Cubs (two runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in six innings) with eight innings of shutout ball at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers managed just three hits off Santana and a pair of walks and the Mets walked away with a 5-0 win.
The veteran southpaw finished June with a 4-2 record in six starts that included a no-hitter (2.77 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP) … and he is has been nearly unbeatable at home this year (4-1 in eight starts with two complete-game shutouts, including the no-hitter).
Johan Santana is 3-1 in seven career games, four starts, with a 1.89 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP against the Cubs.
Cubs Career Numbers against Johan Santana
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-6 with a double
- Darwin Barney – 0-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-2 with a walk
- David DeJesus – 4-for-24 with a double and two walks
- Reed Johnson – 13-for-28 with a double, a triple, a home run and two walks
- Joe Mather – 1-for-6 with a home run and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-16 with two walks
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Travis Wood – 0-for-2
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