National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 16
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (52-69) at New York Mets (58-65), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Dan Straily (0-0, 0-00)
New York - Jonathon Niese (6-8, 3.46)
(SportsNetwork.com) - For Dan Straily, reality sets in on Saturday night.
The right-hander makes his initial appearance for the Chicago Cubs at Citi
Field, where they'll play game two of a four-game series with the host New
Straily was a member of the best team in the major leagues -- the Oakland
Athletics -- at the start of the 2014 season. He made seven starts and had a
4.93 earned run average before being sent to Triple-A Sacramento in May. Then,
in July, he became Cubs property when he was part of the trade that sent
starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics.
The Cubs, incidentally, are last in the National League's Central Division and
17 games below .500.
Straily last pitched for Oakland on May 7 and was 7-6 in 17 starts at
Sacramento and Chicago's Triple-A affiliate, Iowa. In his last three starts,
comprising 19 innings, he's allowed two unearned runs and struck out 18
He has never faced the Mets.
New York counters with lefty Jonathon Niese, who picked up his first win on
Monday since returning from the disabled list after a strained shoulder.
He had a 5.76 ERA in his first four turns since the injury, but beat
Philadelphia, 5-3, with seven innings of two-run ball.
"This year has been really weird," Niese said. "It seems like I'm losing with
my good stuff and winning with my bad stuff. I'll take a win like this anytime
with what I've been through this year, spending time on the disabled list and
In his last four home starts, the Mets have managed just four runs of support.
In four home starts against the Cubs, he's also gotten just four runs while
going 0-3 with a 6.33 ERA.
Chicago batters have struck out 30 times in two games.
On Friday, Eric Campbell hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to help
lift the Mets over the Cubs, 3-2.
Zack Wheeler (8-8) tossed 6 2/3 strong innings for New York, scattering four
hits and conceding only two runs. The right-hander tied his season high for
strikeouts with 10 and improved his record to 5-0 in his last nine starts.
Jenrry Mejia pitched a perfect ninth inning en route to his 18th save of the
season as the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak.
Travis Wood (7-10) struck out five over 5 1/3 innings, but was tagged with the
loss for surrendering the homer to Campbell. Wood is winless (0-5) in his last
Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro drove in Chicago's two runs as the Cubs lost
for just the second time in their last seven meetings with the Mets.
08/16 10:39:24 ET