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Friday, August 15, 2014

Preview: Games 123 - Cubs at Mets - Wood vs Wheeler

Preview: Game 123
Chicago Cubs (52-68) at New York Mets (57-65)

Probable Pitchers:
Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86 ERA) vs Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.53 ERA)
TV - SNY - Radio - 710 AM - First Pitch: 7:10 PM


The New York Mets may be thrilled to have a new opponent, but they're probably not too happy that it's the Chicago Cubs.

After entering the record books with their latest losing streak, the Mets will try to bounce back behind Zack Wheeler on Friday night in the opener of this four-game series with the Cubs.

New York (57-65) was outscored 14-4 and went 0 for 17 with runners in scoring position while dropping three straight games against Washington. The Mets were held to three hits in the finale, falling 4-1 to lose an 11th straight home meeting with the Nationals, New York's longest such streak in team history.

He may have similar feelings about the Cubs (52-68), who have won five of six meetings with the Mets dating to last season while holding them to an average of 3.0 runs and .175 with runners in scoring position.

New York went 4 for 30 in those situations while being swept at Wrigley Field from June 3-5.

The Mets may not need to do much offensively with Wheeler (7-8, 3.53 ERA) getting the ball since he's 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last eight starts.

The right-hander has gone at least six innings in each of those but has yet to complete seven.

Wheeler left Saturday's game with a 6-3 lead after six, but the bullpen gave up four runs over the final three innings in a 7-6 loss. He gave up only three hits but walked three after issuing four free passes in his previous outing.

New York wasted Wheeler's only career start against the Cubs in a 2-1 loss June 3 after he held Chicago to two hits and struck out seven over 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

After Thursday's 6-2 loss to Milwaukee, Chicago turns to Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86), who is 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA in five career starts against the Mets. The left-hander didn't get a decision in a 7-4 win over New York on June 5, allowing two runs with five walks while hitting a batter in five innings.

Wood enters this matchup 0-4 with a 5.43 ERA in 10 starts since a 3-0 win at Philadelphia on June 15. His 6.11 road ERA is the highest of any qualifying pitcher in the majors.

He pitched well enough to end his overall losing streak Sunday, allowing one unearned run and four hits in six innings of a 3-2 win in 12 over Tampa Bay.

David Wright is 2 for 12 against Wood since 2012. The third baseman has a 13-game hitting streak to match Juan Lagares' team high for New York this year, but he's only hitting .315 during this stretch and 16 of his 17 hits are singles.

Chicago's Anthony Rizzo is a career .358 hitter against the Mets, going 9 for 23 in six games in Queens. He's fanned in all three at-bats versus Wheeler.

Batters vs Pitchers:

Andrew Brown10000010.000.667.000.667
Eric Campbell20000012.000.333.000.333
Travis d'Arnaud20000000.
Lucas Duda92001102.222.222.556.778
Wilmer Flores32100000.667.6671.0001.667
Curtis Granderson50000011.
Juan Lagares32101200.667.6672.0002.667
Daniel Murphy30000001.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis20000010.000.333.000.333
Anthony Recker30000000.
Ruben Tejada132000124.
David Wright154010100.267.267.400.667
Eric Young Jr.51000010.200.333.200.533
John Baker20000000.
Starlin Castro30000001.
Chris Coghlan20000001.
Junior Lake30000001.
Anthony Rizzo30000003.
Luis Valbuena20000010.000.333.000.333
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