Sunday, August 17, 2014

Preview: Game 125 - Cubs at Mets - Arrieta vs Montero


Preview: Game 125
Chicago Cubs (52-70) at New York Mets (59-65)

Probable Pitchers:
Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77 ERA) vs Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12)
TV - SNY - Radio - 710 AM - First Pitch: 1:10 PM

Preview:

The Chicago Cubs are ready to promote another one of their minor leaguers.

It's not one of the names most Cubs fans are salivating over, however.

Matt Szczur is expected to make his major league debut Sunday as visiting Chicago looks to avoid being swept by the New York Mets.

The Cubs (52-70) boast perhaps baseball's best farm system, with prized prospects Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell and Albert Almora all targeted as key contributors to the future of the franchise.

The highly touted Javier Baez made his debut last week, and Chicago announced after Saturday's 7-3 loss that Szczur will be called up.

Revered more for his glove than bat, the center fielder hit .261 with one homer and 52 runs for Triple-A Iowa.

Even before the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for Russell, Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77 ERA) had emerged as a big part of Chicago's future.

After being tagged for a career high-tying nine runs and 13 hits in five-plus innings of a 13-4 loss at Colorado on Aug. 6, Arrieta allowed two runs and five hits over 7 1/3 innings Monday against Milwaukee but was saddled with a 3-1 loss.

Aside from being knocked around by the Rockies, Arrieta has a 1.80 ERA in his other 12 starts since the beginning of June.

That stretch began with a shaky outing against the Mets on June 3. The right-hander gave up seven hits and three walks but limited the damage to one run before being lifted with a pitch count of 105 with two outs in the fifth. The Cubs rallied for a 2-1 win.

Chicago won all three June meetings with the Mets at Wrigley Field but is in danger of being swept by New York for the first time since August 2005 at Shea Stadium.

The Mets (59-65) are expected to be without David Wright after he was lifted in the seventh inning Saturday due to a sore left shoulder. His absence may not make much of a difference considering he's hitless in 15 at-bats against the Cubs this season and 0 for 4 versus Arrieta.

Curtis Granderson is 1 for 25 in his last six games but is batting .409 with three homers in 22 at-bats against Arrieta.

New York gives the ball to Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12), who makes his second start for injured rookie Jacob deGrom.

Montero, who made his big league debut this year, was again hurt by the long ball Tuesday in his first start since May 30. The 23-year-old righty yielded five runs and seven hits -- three homers -- in five-plus innings of a 7-1 loss to Washington.

He has already served up eight homers over 25 innings in five starts, compared to four home runs in 80 innings in the minors this season.

Wellington Castillo and Justin Ruggiano each went deep Saturday for a Cubs team that had only three homers in its previous eight games.

Batters vs Pitchers:
NEW YORK METS CAREER STATISTICS VS. JAKE ARRIETA
BATTERABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOAVGOBPSLGOPS
Travis d'Arnaud21000000.500.500.5001.000
Matt den Dekker31000001.333.333.333.667
Lucas Duda42000021.500.667.5001.167
Wilmer Flores21000000.500.500.5001.000
Curtis Granderson229113812.409.417.9551.371
Daniel Murphy31000000.333.333.333.667
Kirk Nieuwenhuis31000001.333.333.333.667
Taylor Teagarden20000010.000.333.000.333
David Wright40000022.000.333.000.333
Totals4516113867.356.423.6221.045
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