The New York Mets (58-73) stepped up in weight class yesterday, and they were predictably beaten. Noah Syndergaard struggled early in the Mets’ 7-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs (77-53), and despite a late push from the offense the Cubs were able to walk away with the series opener. The Cubs have won all five games they have played against the Mets this season, a trend that the Mets will look to reverse as they continue their series with Chicago tonight. First pitch for the middle game of this three game set is scheduled for 8:05 pm at Wrigley Field.
The Mets will send their ace, right hander Jacob deGrom (8-8, 1.71 ERA), to the mound tonight. deGrom pitched well again in his last start, allowing two runs (one earned) in six innings against the San Francisco Giants last Thursday, but suffered a loss when the Mets couldn’t give him any run support against Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner. The Cubs will counter with lefty Cole Hamels (9-9, 3.82 ERA), who has been a big help for the Cubs since coming over in a trade from Texas last month. Hamels went the distance in his last start, allowing one run on eight hits to defeat the Cincinnati Reds last Thursday.
New York Mets Lineup:
- SS Amed Rosario
- 2B Jeff McNeil
- CF Austin Jackson
- LF Michael Conforto
- 3B Todd Frazier
- 1B Jay Bruce
- C Kevin Plawecki
- RF Brandon Nimmo
- SP Jacob deGrom
- deGrom faced the Cubs at Citi Field back on June 2nd, allowing one run in seven innings, but didn’t factor in the decision of a game the Mets went on to lose in extra innings.
- Hamels is 9-14 with a 3.99 ERA in 32 career starts against the Mets, but hasn’t faced them since being traded away from the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle of the 2015 season.
- Hamels is 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA in five starts for the Cubs.
- After sitting out last night, Jeff McNeil is back in the Mets’ lineup. McNeil will start at second base and bat second.
- The Mets have activated outfielder Brandon Nimmo (hand) from the 10 day disabled list. Nimmo will take the roster spot of Jose Bautista, who was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon, and start in right field while batting eighth.
- Despite the Cubs tossing a second straight lefty on the mound, Wilmer Flores will get the night off. Jay Bruce will start at first base and bat sixth.
- Jason Heyward (7 for 18, 2B) and Anthony Rizzo (6 for 16, HR, 3 RBI’s) have had some success against deGrom in their careers.
- Jose Reyes is 22 for 59 (.373) with six doubles and four RBI’s in his career against Hamels.