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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Preview: Game 59 - Mets at Cubs - Matsuzaka (2-0) vs Jackson (3-5)

Preview: Game 59
New York Mets (28-30) at Chicago Cubs (21-34)

Probable Pitchers:
Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-0) 2.45 vs Edwin Jackson (3-5) 4.81 ERA
TV - SNY - Radio - WOR 710 AM - First Pitch - 8:05 PM


Daisuke Matsuzaka gets a chance to prove he deserves to stay in the rotation on Wednesday night in the middle game of this series with the Chicago Cubs.

Dice-K has worked primarily out of the bullpen, even as closer this season...

New York (28-30) has used four starters who are 25 years of age or younger and is still hoping Matt Harvey can return from Tommy John surgery later this year. Additionally, right-hander Dillon Gee (strained right lat) on the disabled list.

Rafael Montero, one of the Mets' highly touted young pitchers, failed in his attempt to replace Gee, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts before being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.

Now, Matsuzaka (2-0, 2.45 ERA) gets his chance.

The right-hander has pitched in relief in 16 of his 17 appearances, limiting opponents to .139 at the plate while striking out 32 in 29 1/3 innings.

Matsuzaka was solid on his only start, allowing two runs and three hits with six strikeouts in six innings of a 4-2 win over Arizona on May 25. He's appeared twice in relief since, yielding one run in 2 1/3 innings.

Matsuzaka's only meeting with the Cubs was a 3-0 loss with Boston on June 15, 2012, allowing three runs in six innings at Wrigley Field.

Avoiding a similar fate may require some help from the offense, which went 1 for 9 with players in scoring position in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Chicago (21-34). The Mets also left the bases loaded in the third while wasting 6 2/3 scoreless innings from Zack Wheeler.

The Cubs may own the worst record in baseball, but they're aiming for a fifth win in six home games.

Nate Schierholtz delivered Tuesday's victory with a walkoff single, his third hit. The right fielder is 6 for 14 over the past four games, increasing his season average 18 points to .224.

He may be in for a stiff test since Matsuzaka has held left-handed hitters to 4 for 43 (.093) with 17 strikeouts.

Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.81) takes the mound, and he's allowed one run with 20 strikeouts in 14 innings while going 1-0 over his last two home

The right-hander is coming off a strong performance on the road last Wednesday, fanning nine batters while yielding two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-0 loss at San Francisco. That was a major improvement after he was tagged for a season-high eight runs in four innings of an 11-1 defeat at San Diego five days earlier.

Jackson has split his last four starts against the Mets with a 3.93 ERA.

Mets Hot vs E. Jackson: Curtis Granderson .308 (4 for 13) HR, David Wright .400 (6 for 15) HR

Mets Cold vs E.Jackson: Daniel Murphy .200 (3 for 15) HR, Lucas Duda .182 (2 for 11), Bobby Abreu .182 (6 for 33) 6 BB, Ruben Tejada .000 ( 0 for 10).

Batter/Pitcher Splits:

Darwin Barney30000000.
Starlin Castro20000001.000.333.000.333
Justin Ruggiano31001100.333.3331.3331.667
Nate Schierholtz20000001.000.333.000.333
Ryan Sweeney133100104.231.231.308.538
Luis Valbuena123100105.250.250.333.583

Bobby Abreu336200364.182.308.242.550
Lucas Duda112100233.182.357.273.630
Curtis Granderson134111243.308.471.7691.240
Juan Lagares31010000.333.3331.0001.333
Daniel Murphy153001202.200.200.400.600
Kirk Nieuwenhuis52001302.400.4001.0001.400
Ruben Tejada100000022.
David Wright156001333.400.500.6001.100
Chris Young50000001.
Eric Young Jr.51000211.200.333.200.533
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