After losing the Subway Series over the weekend, the New York
Mets are probably eager to get back to playing teams from their own
The Mets try to avoid dropping three straight for the first time
this month when they open a three-game road series against the
Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
New York (22-24) had won nine of 13 entering its first
interleague series of the season. After taking the opener against
the Yankees 2-1 on Friday, the Mets lost the next two, 7-3 and
Mike Pelfrey was charged with four of the eight runs allowed in
the eighth inning Sunday after Chris Capuano gave up six runs the
previous day. Before the last two games, New York starters allowed
two earned runs in 27 2-3 innings over four contests.
“We let it slip away, and that’s on me more than anybody,”
Pelfrey said. ”But we’ll be fine.”
A matchup with the battered Cubs could help the Mets bounce
back. While injuries have landed New York’s David Wright, Ike Davis
and Angel Pagan on the disabled list, Chicago had some key players
of its own go down over the weekend.
The Cubs have lost eight of 13 and dropped two of three to
Boston over the weekend. They suffered a 5-1 defeat Sunday,
matching a season low with five hits.
Making matters worse, Matt Garza was scratched from Sunday’s
start with right elbow stiffness. Second baseman Jeff Baker, who
went 6 for 9 against the Red Sox, left the finale with a groin
strain and will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Center fielder Marlon Byrd landed on the disabled list with
multiple facial fractures after being hit in the face with a
“We’ve gone through some tough times,” manager Mike Quade told
the Cubs’ official website. “You’d like to go home and have a good
homestand and hang around a little longer. At some point, you want
to get yourselves back healthy and playing consistent baseball
where you can make a run.”
Chicago will look to regroup during this nine-game homestand
which includes series against Pittsburgh and Houston.
The Cubs have won seven of 10 at home against the Mets and took
two of three there last year. They’ll face Jonathon Niese (3-4,
4.39 ERA) in the opener.
Niese has gone 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts against the
Cubs, two of which came last year. He gave up five runs in six
innings at Wrigley Field on Sept. 5, but got the victory as New
York won 18-5.
Baker is 4 for 6 against Niese while Aramis Ramirez and Geovany
Soto homered off him in the September start.
Niese is coming off his best start of the season, allowing six
hits while striking out seven in seven innings of a 3-0 win over
Washington on Wednesday. He has posted a 3.29 ERA in his last six
Chicago’s Ryan Dempster (2-4, 6.91) wasn’t nearly as good his
last time out, surrendering five runs in five innings of a 7-5 win
over Florida on Wednesday. He had recorded a 2.25 ERA in his three
starts prior to that outing.
The right-hander has gone 9-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 14 starts and
11 relief appearances versus the Mets. He opposed Niese at Wrigley
last year and allowed seven runs – three earned – in 4 2-3
Right fielder Carlos Beltran is 6 for 9 with a home run against