Game Ninety-Two: Cubs (55-36) vs. Mets (49-42)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WPWR My 50, ESPN – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester, LHP (9-4, 3.01/1.08/3.97) vs. Steven Matz, LHP (7-5, 3.38/1.22/3.43)
The Cubs six-game homestand continues tonight with the first of three against the New York Metropolitans. Jon Lester gets the ball in the opener and will face fellow lefty Steven Matz.
The Cubs enter play tonight as the team with the second best record in the National League. If the season ended today, the Mets would have to play the Marlins to see which team would face the Dodgers in the NL Wild Card Game. So while the Mets may be viewed as the better team by the Cubs fan base that is simply not the case.
The players may place a little more significance on this series than a typical three-game set in late July. The players did not like the way things went down in New York before the break. The Cubs were swept and outscored 32-11 in the four games.
The Mets had everything go their way again in a series against the Cubs. Plus, the Mets hit Cubs pitching like they knew what was going to be thrown before the pitch was made. Joe Maddon and Chris Bosio should have a different game plan in place for this series and it’s time for the Mets to actually play like the Mets in a series against the Cubs.
After tonight’s matchup of lefties Lester and Matz, Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday night (6:05pm CDT). The series wraps up Wednesday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) with Kyle Hendricks taking on Bartolo Colon.
Joe Maddon should run out a right-handed heavy lineup tonight. Right-handers have hit .257/.300/.387 with a .688 OPS against Steven Matz while left-handers have hit .268/.326/.354 with a .680 OPS. Righties have 18 extra basehits (eight doubles, one triple, nine home runs) against Matz while lefties have only five extra base knocks (four doubles, one home run).
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester had two of his three worst starts of the season leading into the break. After going 4-0 in six starts in June with a 1.41 ERA and 0.78 WHIP and earning the NL Pitcher of the Month Award, Lester was 0-1 in two starts with a 27.00 ERA and 3.92 WHIP.
Lester was horrible against the Mets and Pirates and admitted it. Lester will benefit from having David Ross back behind the plate and pitching at home tonight. Lester hasn’t pitched at Wrigley since June 18, exactly one month. Lester is 4-2 in eight starts at Wrigley with a 2.32 ERA and 0.98 WHIP.
Jon Lester faces the Mets for the second time on the season and should be a lot better tonight than he was 15 days ago. Lester is 2-1 in four career starts against the Mets with a 6.05 ERA and 1.76 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Curtis Granderson: 15-for-49 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs and three walks
- Asdrubal Cabrera: 7-for-27 with two doubles and one walk
- Jose Reyes: 3-for-25 with two walks
- Yoenis Cespedes: 3-for-18 with two walks
- James Loney: 4-for-16 with one double and two walks
- Kelly Johnson: 1-for-15 with two walks
- Alejandro De Aza: 4-for-14 with four doubles and one walk
- Wilmer Flores: 4-for-10 with two home runs and one walk
- Juan Lagares: 4-for-9 with two doubles and one walk
- Neil Walker: 3-for-10
- Travis d’Arnaud: 2-for-3 with one home run
- Rene Rivera: 1-for-1 with one home run
Steven Matz recorded two quality starts in the two outings since he faced the Cubs on June 30, and the Mets lost both games. Matz allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings his last time out against the Nationals. The Mets lost the game 3-2.
Matz is 0-2 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in his last two starts. Matz has allowed five runs on 12 hits with five walks and 11 strikeouts in 14 innings.
Outside of Citi Field this year, Matz is 4-2 in seven starts with a 3.38 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. And he takes on the Cubs for the second time.
The Cubs got to Matz and scored three runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. The Cubs blew the lead and took Matz off the hook. The Cubs must make the lefty work today and not allow him to get comfortable on the hill at Wrigley.
Cubs Career Numbers against Steven Matz
- Ben Zobrist: 2-for-6 with one double
- Javier Baez: 2-for-5 with one home run
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-4 with one home run and one walk
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-5 with one double
- Willson Contreras: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Addison Russell: 0-for-1 with one walk
- Matt Szczur: 1-for-3
- Albert Almora Jr.: 1-for-2 with one double
- David Ross: 0-for-1 with one walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …