While teams search high and low for additional pieces to their postseason puzzle and or future, the Chicago Cubs are prepared to take on the New York Mets. A team who swept a four-game series against them before the All-Star break.
Don’t get me wrong, the Cubs are also looking to add to their roster in hopes of making a deep postseason run. But for right now, all eyes are on this three-game set that will start later on this evening. New York outscored the Cubbies 32-11 during that slump at Citi Field.
It was a nightmare over the course of that 24-day ride of not having a day-off. Can’t imagine how the players themselves felt about it. Now, they are 2-1 since returning from the All-Star break and claimed a huge series from the Texas Rangers this past weekend.
A Rangers team that holds the best record in the American League. Despite falling to Cole Hamels yesterday afternoon, it’s definitely a confidence booster.
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Taking the mound for the Cubs (55-36) will be veteran southpaw Jon Lester. Lester (9-4 3.01 ERA) has not won an outing since June 18 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Jon picked up a loss in New York after surrendering eight earned runs on nine hits while issuing one walk and striking out two. Not to mention he gave up three home runs that game as he was pulled after 1 1/3 innings of work.
So far in July, Lester has only worked 4 1/3 frames since he was removed in the fifth inning of his previous start in Pittsburgh. Let’s hope he’s able to grind out at least six or seven innings with another outing coming up this weekend in Milwaukee.
As for the Mets (49-42) Terry Collins will call upon Steven Matz. Matz (7-5, 3.38 ERA), on the other hand, has not won a game since May 25 while visiting the Nationals in our Nation’s Capital. Since then, his earned run average has jumped from 2.36 up to 3.38 over eight starts.
He picked up the series opener just a few weeks ago and was tagged for three earned runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Chicago had him on the line for the loss but let their lead slip away, allowing him to get off the hook.
First pitch for tonight’s contest is set for 6:05 p.m. central time and will air live on ESPN and 670 The Score.
Here is a look at the starting lineups for both the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets: