What a beautiful day for baseball as the Cubs look to win their third straight series today. Travis Wood will get the ball for the Cubs and has been nothing short of brilliant this year, he will be opposed by Mets right hander Dillon Gee. First pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN, here are the lineups.
Scott Feldman is pitching every bit like a man trying to prove himself to the rest of the league, and the Cubs are reaping the benefits. Feldman, who was signed to a one year deal in the off-season has been nothing short of brilliant, especially in his last five starts sporting a 4-0 record with a 1.28 ERA. Feldman got plenty of help from his offense in this one after it looked like it could be a day of missed opportunities again. After squandering a few chances early the Cubs broke through in the fourth inning as they scored four times, highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by Feldman, he does it all! The Cubs added one in the fifth on an Anthony Rizzo solo shot, and three in the eighth to put this one well out of reach. The Mets spoiled the shut out bid in the ninth inning, the Cubs still don’t have a shut out this year, but more importantly they got another victory, an 8-2 rout. Tomorrow brings an opportunity for the Cubs to win their third straight series, something that hasn’t been seen around these parts in a while.
At The Plate – An efficient, productive day at the plate for the Cubs as they pounded out eleven hits while scoring eight times. David DeJesus got things started at the top of the order going 1-for-4 with a walk, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .288 on the season. Anthony Rizzo had been locked in for a while now, he hasn’t struck out in thirty-four at bats and was 2-for-4 with his tenth home run of the season, an RBI, and a two runs scored. Nate Schierholtz had a solid day going 2-for-4 with his fifth home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored. The Cubs had three doubles in this one, giving them 97 for the season which is best in baseball.
On The Mound – Scott Feldman was outstanding again, he worked 6.2 scoreless innings giving up seven hits while walking one and striking out six. The win improved Feldman’s record to 4-3 on the season, coupled with a 2.19 ERA and wow, couldn’t ask for better. James Russell was solid out of the pen as usual, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.54 on the season. Hector Rondon struggled a bit, he worked one inning giving up two runs on two hits, including a two run homer.
Up Next – The rubber game of the series as the Cubs go for their third straight series win. The Cubs send Travis Wood to the mound, he’s been just as good as Feldman if not better. The Mets will counter with Dillon Gee, first pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM CST on WGN.
The Cubs are coming into this series playing their best baseball of 2013, and maybe of the last three years. They have won two series in a row, both against contending teams in the Nationals, on the road, and the Rockies. The Mets on the other hand are floundering as they are 3-7 in their last ten games and have fallen to 15-23 on the season. Despite boasting one, if not the best young arm in baseball in Matt Harvey, the Mets pitching is what is doing them in. They come into this series with a team ERA of 4.50, which is twenty-sixth best in all of baseball. The Cubs hold the advantage here as they come into this series with a 3.72 team ERA which is good for twelfth in the Majors. If you break it down even further you can see that the Mets bullpen has been a real issue in the early going, they have a bullpen ERA of 4.85, which is twenty-eighth in baseball, that won’t help you win a lot of games. Slowly but surely the Cubs have improved offensively, they still aren’t a juggernaut but they are now twenty-third in baseball with 160 runs scored on the season. The Mets aren’t much better as they have scored 165 runs which is good for twentieth in baseball. The key to this series for the Cubs will be to get to the Mets pen as early as possible, not always an easy task but it would go a long way towards winning the series if they could exploit that weakness as they hold the starting pitching edge and should be able to limit the Mets offense. To recap, get an early lead, Cubs starters shut down the Mets lineup, and exploit the Mets pen, ta-da!
The Cubs took two out of three from the Rockies at Wrigley earlier this week.
The Mets lost three out of four to the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, May 17, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN
- Saturday, May 18 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on WGN
- Sunday, May 19, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02)
– Career vs. Mets (4 GS) (1-1, 4.50)
Game Two – Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.53)
– Career vs. Mets (1 GS) (0-1, 10.80)
Game Three – Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03)
– Career vs. Mets (3 GS) (2-0, 2.55)
Game One – Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.44)
– Career vs. Cubs (first appearance)
Game Two – Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.61)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 appearance, 0 GS) (0-0, 0.00)
Game Three – Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13)
– Career vs. Cubs (3 GS) (2-1, 4.26)
As I mentioned, the Cubs are playing well and I think this series is extremely important as we move forward in 2013. I know that sounds odd considering we have just reached the quarter pole of the season, but hear me out. The Cubs have shown flashes of great baseball, followed by huge let downs, it seems they take one step forward and two steps back. The first goal is to get back to .500 and winning this series goes a long way towards that in my opinion, if they lose this series we will see more of the same as they team hovers around 5-10 games under .500, which isn’t terrible for this group I guess. But winning this series could put them on a really nice run, I think the Cubs will win this series, take two out of three at least, a sweep isn’t out of the question, but that all depends on what happens today as the Mets have a clear advantage on the mound. If the Cubs win today, they sweep, if not, they take two out of three. GO CUBS!
Surely Anthony Rizzo couldn’t live up to all the hype surrounding his much-anticipated Cubs debut, but he did his best to try. Rizzo was 2-for-4 in his first game with the Cubs, including the game winning single, that turned into a double with two outs in the fourth inning. Rizzo also singled in his first at bat, which was originally scored an error, it was changed a couple of minutes later, and rightfully so, who gives him an error at home? While Rizzo was making his debut Randy Wells might have been throwing his last pitch as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Randy Wells has lost it, all of it, he could only last three innings, giving up three runs on six hits while walking four and striking out three. Thanks to Wells the Cubs got down 2-0 early before Rizzo and company charged back to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning. The Mets tied the game up in the fourth before Rizzo put the Cubs up for good in the bottom half. A huge effort from the Cubs bullpen today as Scott Maine, James Russell, Shawn Camp, and Carlos Marmol shut down the Mets the rest of the way. The game ended with Carlos Marmol earning his 100th career save, and one of his easier ones two. Five different Cubs had two hits in the win, Rizzo, David DeJesus, Luis Valbuena, Darwin Barney, and Steve Clevenger. While Anthony Rizzo won’t be a savior for the 2012 Cubs season, he might have made this one the most enjoyable games to watch all year, the Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
This is the best lineup I’ve typed out all year, because it has Anthony Rizzo hitting 3rd. Don’t mistake my giddy little girl excitement for Rizzo as me having through the roof expectations. I’m excited to see a glimpse of the future, and I hope he does well, if he doesn’t, he will get better. Speaking of getting better, Randy Wells hasn’t, he’s pitching today. Here’s the full lineup.
1. DeJesus – CF
2. Castro – SS
3. ANTHONY RIZZO – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. LaHair – RF
6. Valbuena – 3B
7. Barney – 2B
8. Clevenger – C
9. Wells – P
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
It seems like the most interesting news surrounding the Cubs is what is happening off the field than on, that’s probably true. This is what most Cubs fans have waited for all year, the arrival of Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo will not be a savior, and he might struggle, but if most Cubs fans are like me, just seeing Rizzo play is a welcome departure from watching a lifeless team go through the motions game after game. Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Anthony Rizzo could be in the Cubs lineup as early as Tuesday night. The team he and the Cubs will be facing is one of the early season surprises, the New York Mets. The Mets are currently five games over .500 and are in second place in the East, just 3.5 games behind the Nationals. The Cubs will get a look at a big reason Monday night as they face a rejuvenated Johan Santana, but they will avoid knuckleball sensation R.A. Dickey. The Cubs, per usual, are struggling, they can’t score runs, a big reason is a dreadful stretch with guys in scoring position (3-25 over the weekend in Arizona). Maybe a Rizzo promotion will help in that department, stay tuned. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.