Game Thirty-Four: Cubs (18-15) vs. Mets (20-14)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (2-2, 4.96/1.22/4.38) vs. Jon Niese (3-2, 1.95/1.43/3.83)
Joe Maddon hands the ball to Travis Wood today as the Cubs look to complete a four-game sweep over the Mets. The Cubs have rebounded nicely from the rough road trip with three of the team’s better games of the season against the first place Mets. The Cubs must not let up this afternoon behind Wood or Jon Niese will shut them down.
It’s an important start for Travis Wood, who has pitched much better at Wrigley this season that on the road. Wood had two horrible starts during the seven-game road trip and he trimmed/cut his beard. The Cubs are contemplating changes to the pitching staff and one area the team could address is Wood’s spot in the rotation. The front office pushed LHP Tsuyoshi Wada back two days at Triple-A Iowa to line him up with Wood which points to discussions taking place a change could be made.
Maddon will run out his right-handed lineup today that includes Welington Castillo. The only lefty in the starting nine should be Anthony Rizzo. Right handers have hit .296/.347/.388 with a .701 OPS against Jon Niese while lefties have managed a .238/.289/.348 slash line. The key for the Cubs offense today is to get ‘em in once they get ‘em on. Teams are getting hits against Jon Niese (42 hits, 11 walks in 37 innings) but have not cashed in the opportunities they’ve had against Niese this season (14 runs, eight earned, in six starts).
Today all starts with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off two starts he would like to put behind him. Wood lasted just five innings in St. Louis and gave up six runs, all earned, on six hits and followed the short start against the Cardinals with a four-inning outing in Milwaukee. Wood was pounded to the tune of six runs, four earned, on six hits. Over his last two starts, Wood is 0-1 with a 10.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP (12 runs, 10 earned, on 12 hits with three walks, three home runs and eight strikeouts in nine innings).
Wood has been an entirely different pitcher at Wrigley than on the road this season. In two starts in his home park, Wood is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. Wood has walked two batters while giving up eight hits and striking out 16 in 14 innings. Teams have hit .160 against him at Wrigley. Outside of the Friendly Confines, Wood is 0-2 in four starts with a 7.71 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP (23 hits, seven walks and 18 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings) and teams have hit .299 against him.
Travis Wood makes his seventh career start against the Mets this afternoon. Wood is 2-1 in the first six with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Wood was 0-1 in two start versus the Mets a year ago with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Travis Wood
- Ruben Tejada: 2-for-13 with two walks
- Lucas Duda: 2-for-11 with one home run and one walk
- Curtis Granderson: 0-for-7 with two walks
- John Mayberry Jr.: 2-for-7 with one double and two walks
- Daniel Murphy: 1-for-6
- Wilmer Flores: 2-for-5 with one double
- Juan Lagares: 3-for-5 with one double and one home run
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Anthony Recker: 0-for-3
Outside of one start in the Bronx, Jon Niese has been very, very good for the Mets this season. Niese has limited teams to one earned run or less in five of his six starts.
Jon Niese is 1-1 in his last two starts with a .064 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Niese has allowed three runs, one earned, on 14 hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts in 14 innings. Niese’s road numbers are very misleading due to the outing at Yankee Stadium. Niese gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits in five innings. In three starts outside of Citi Field, Jon Niese is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. As has been the case throughout his career, teams are getting their hits off the lefty but are not scoring runs so far this season.
Jon Niese is 3-4 in eight career starts against the Cubs with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. Niese is 2-1 in three starts at Wrigley with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP … last season, Niese won his only start against the Cubs. Niese allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings at Citi Field.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jon Niese
- Starlin Castro: 5-for-19 with one triple and one home run
- David Ross: 6-for-18 with one double, one triple, one home run and one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 2-for-13 with one double
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-11 with one double and two walks
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-11
- Welington Castillo: 2-for-5 with one home run and one walk
- Jonathan Herrera: 3-for-6 with one home run
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-6
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …