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Mets @ Cubs: 06/21 2:20 PM ET; SNY, CSN, MLBN; WCBS, ESPN, WSCR

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  • Mets @ Cubs: 06/21 2:20 PM ET; SNY, CSN, MLBN; WCBS, ESPN, WSCR

    GAME 76, ROAD GAME 42

    Friday, 21st June
    2:20 PM ET
    Wrigley Field











    Drew's Sig

  • #2

    Darvish, Vargas Face Off as Cubs Host Met

    Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish officially put an unpleasant chapter of his career in the rearview mirror in his previous start Saturday. On Friday afternoon, the visiting New York Mets hope Jason Vargas can begin doing the same thing for them.

    The Mets will look to the oldest member of their rotation to provide some much-needed stability when the left-handed Vargas (3-3, 3.74 ERA) takes the mound against the right-handed Darvish (2-3, 4.65 ERA) and the Cubs in the second game of a four-game series.

    The Cubs came back from an early three-run deficit to earn a 7-4 win in the series opener Thursday night, when Anthony Rizzo gave Chicago the lead for good with a two-run double during a six-run third inning. Rookie Adbert Alzolay tossed four innings of one-hit relief and earned the victory in his big-league debut.

    The fourth loss in five games for the Mets came hours after pitching coach Dave Eiland and bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez were fired and replaced by Phil Regan and Ricky Bones, respectively. New York, which also added minor league pitching coordinator Jeremy Accardo to the big-league staff as a "pitching strategist," entered Thursday with the 11th-worst ERA in the majors (4.67) and the third-worst bullpen ERA (5.38).

    "I think if you look at our performance, it's hard to say that we made a change to our coaching staff because we woke up with a new feeling in our stomach," first-year Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said during a press conference at Wrigley Field. "I think that our performance has shown that we can be better. And if we have an opportunity to be better with new coaches, then we're going to do everything in our power to try to give that a chance."

    Darvish's winless streak reached nine starts -- a span in which he hasn't recorded a decision -- on Saturday, but he still shed some demons by limiting the two-time defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers to one run on two hits while striking out 10 over seven innings in the Cubs' 2-1 win.

    It was Darvish's first appearance at Dodger Stadium since he took the loss for Los Angeles in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, when he allowed five runs (four earned) in just 1 2/3 innings as the Houston Astros won their first title with a 5-1 victory.

    "This was really important in my life," Darvish told reporters following Saturday's start. "I think now I can move forward. I pitched good here."

    Vargas didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start Sunday, when he allowed three runs (two earned) over four innings before exiting with cramping in his legs in the Mets' 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The 36-year-old southpaw said afterward he felt fine and his between-starts routine was not impacted.

    Darvish is 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three career starts against the Mets. Vargas is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in six starts against the Cubs.

    Drew's Sig


    • #3


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      • #4

        Top of 1:
        Mets first. McNeil grounded out, second baseman Russell to first baseman Rizzo. Alonso struck out. Canó grounded out, shortstop J.Báez to first baseman Rizzo.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Bottom of 1:
        Cubs first. Schwarber fouled out to catcher Nido. Bryant flied out to left fielder Smith. Rizzo grounded out, shortstop Hechavarría to first baseman Alonso.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Top of 2:
        Mets second. Conforto walked on four pitches. Davis singled to right, Conforto to third. Smith grounded into a double play, second baseman Russell to shortstop J.Báez to first baseman Rizzo, Conforto scored, Davis out. Hechavarría popped out to second baseman Russell.
        Runs: 1, Hits: 1

        Bottom of 2:
        Cubs second. J.Báez walked on a full count. Contreras flied out to right fielder McNeil. J.Báez stole second. Bote safe at first on fielding error by third baseman Davis, J.Báez to third. Bote stole second. Almora Jr. grounded out, shortstop Hechavarría to first baseman Alonso, J.Báez scored, Bote to third. Darvish singled to right, Bote scored. Russell lined out to right fielder McNeil.
        Runs: 2, Hits: 1

        Top of 3:
        Mets third. Nido singled to left. J.Vargas struck out. McNeil homered to right on a 2-1 count, Nido scored. Alonso struck out. Canó grounded out, first baseman Rizzo to pitcher Darvish.
        Runs: 2, Hits: 2

        Bottom of 3:
        Cubs third. Schwarber flied out to center fielder Conforto. Bryant flied out to right fielder McNeil. Rizzo struck out.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Top of 4:
        Mets fourth. Conforto flied out to left fielder Schwarber. Davis walked on a full count. Smith flied out to right fielder Bryant. Hechavarría lined out to right fielder Bryant.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Bottom of 4:
        Cubs fourth. J.Báez struck out. Contreras lined out to second baseman Canó. Bote walked on a full count. Almora Jr. flied out to center fielder Conforto.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Top of 5:
        Mets fifth. Nido grounded out, shortstop J.Báez to first baseman Rizzo. J.Vargas struck out. McNeil flied out to right fielder Bryant.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Bottom of 5:
        Cubs fifth. Darvish singled to center. Russell homered to left on a full count, Darvish scored. Schwarber grounded out, first baseman Alonso unassisted. Bryant doubled to right. Rizzo struck out. Pounders pitching. J.Báez grounded out, shortstop Hechavarría to first baseman Alonso.
        Runs: 2, Hits: 3

        Top of 6:
        Mets sixth. Alonso struck out. Canó struck out. Conforto homered to center on a 1-1 count. Davis safe at first on fielding error by third baseman Bote. Smith flied out to left fielder Schwarber.
        Runs: 1, Hits: 1

        Bottom of 6:
        Cubs sixth. Contreras grounded out, pitcher Pounders to first baseman Alonso. Bote grounded out, second baseman Canó to first baseman Alonso. Almora Jr. safe at first on throwing error by shortstop Hechavarría. Descalso pinch-hitting for Darvish. Almora Jr. was picked off, catcher Nido to first baseman Alonso.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Top of 7:
        Mets seventh. Brach pitching. Heyward in as center fielder. Hechavarría singled to center. On Brach's wild pitch, Hechavarría to second. Nido struck out. Rosario pinch-hitting for Pounders. Rosario flied out to right fielder Bryant. Montgomery pitching. McNeil singled to right, Hechavarría scored. McNeil was out advancing, right fielder Bryant to first baseman Rizzo to shortstop J.Báez, McNeil out.
        Runs: 1, Hits: 2

        Bottom of 7:
        Cubs seventh. Lugo pitching. Heyward struck out. Russell grounded out, third baseman Davis to first baseman Alonso. Schwarber flied out to left fielder Smith.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Top of 8:
        Mets eighth. Alonso grounded out, shortstop J.Báez to first baseman Rizzo. Canó doubled to center. Conforto struck out. Davis was intentionally walked. Smith grounded out, first baseman Rizzo unassisted.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 1

        Bottom of 8:
        Cubs eighth. McNeil in as left fielder. Conforto in as right fielder. Frazier in as third baseman. Lagares in as center fielder. Bryant flied out to right fielder Conforto. Rizzo singled to right. J.Báez flied out to center fielder Lagares. Contreras singled to left, Rizzo to second. Rizzo was out advancing, left fielder McNeil to second baseman Canó to third baseman Frazier to second baseman Canó, Rizzo out.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 2

        Top of 9:
        Mets ninth. Wick pitching. Hechavarría struck out. Nido struck out. C.Gómez pinch-hitting for Lugo. C.Gómez walked. McNeil struck out.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Bottom of 9:
        Cubs ninth. Díaz pitching. C.Gómez in as left fielder. Bote flied out to left fielder C.Gómez. Caratini pinch-hitting for Wick. Caratini struck out. Heyward struck out.
        Runs: 0, Hits: 0

        Drew's Sig


        • #5

          McNeil Powers Mets Past Cubs 5-4

          by JAY COHEN

          CHICAGO, IL -- Jeff McNeil likes any lineup that includes his name.

          No matter the position.

          McNeil homered and drove in three runs while making his first career start in right field, helping the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Friday.

          "I think that this guy is playing the type of baseball that you want everybody to play," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.

          Michael Conforto also connected as the slumping Mets won for just the fourth time in their last 11 games. Brooks Pounders (1-0) got his first victory since he was acquired in a deal with Cleveland last week, and Edwin Diaz worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 16th save.

          McNeil's two-run shot off Yu Darvish gave New York a 3-2 lead in the third. With two outs and Adeiny Hechavarria on second in the seventh, Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in left-hander Mike Montgomery to face McNeil, and he pulled an RBI single into right field to break a 4-all tie.

          "Kind of swung at a borderline pitch, but got enough barrel on it and found a hole," McNeil said.

          McNeil also played right as part of an unusual defensive lineup by Callaway, who was looking for more offense after New York lost 7-4 on Thursday night in the opener of the four-game series. He got his first major league action in right when he played two innings at the position May 21 against Washington.

          McNeil moved to left before the Cubs batted in the eighth and made a key defensive play on Willson Contreras' bloop hit. McNeil picked up the ball, noticed Anthony Rizzo had taken a wide turn around second and ran at the big first baseman to begin an inning-ending rundown.

          "I think that's just my baseball instincts kind of taking over," he said.

          The Cubs also had Albert Almora Jr. picked off first for the final out of the sixth.

          "We made too many mistakes," Maddon said, "on the bases we made mistakes."

          Addison Russell hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which dropped to 2-2 on a 10-game homestand. Brad Brach (3-2) got the loss after surrendering Hechavarria's leadoff single in the seventh.

          Darvish allowed four runs and four hits in six innings in his 10th consecutive no-decision, extending a franchise record. He became the first traditional starting pitcher with 10 straight no-decisions since Philadelphia's Randy Lerch in 1977.

          "I want to compete," Darvish said. "Not only frustrating, like weird. I'm not losing. I'm not winning. It's just weird. I want to win."

          While Darvish was just OK on the mound, he had quite a day at the plate.

          He slapped a two-out RBI single through the right side to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the second. He led off the fifth with another single against Jason Vargas, and Russell followed with a drive into the bleachers in left for his fifth homer .

          The 32-year-old Darvish entered with one hit this season and six for his career.

          Russell's first homer since May 28 made it 4-3, but the Mets tied it in the sixth. Darvish struck out Pete Alonso and Robinson Cano before Conforto went deep for his 15th of the season .

          "I know I give up a lot of runs after we score," Darvish said. "I really focused on Conforto on that pitch, but just, he hit it."


          If Craig Kimbrel sails through his second appearance with Triple-A Iowa on Friday night, he could pitch for the minor league club again on Saturday. The 31-year-old Kimbrel is ramping up after finalizing a three-year contract with Chicago on June 7 that guarantees the closer $43 million.


          The Cubs are contemplating various options for their rotation after Adbert Alzolay's successful major league debut Thursday night. Alzolay pitched in relief of Tyler Chatwood, but the right-handers could switch places next time the spot comes up. The team also could go with a six-man rotation to provide some rest for its starters before the All-Star break.

          TRAINER'S ROOM

          Mets: LHP Justin Wilson (elbow soreness) got an MRI that showed no structural damage, and Callaway said the reliever will throw a bullpen in the next couple days. "He got reaffirmation from the doctors that he's going to be OK," Callaway said. "He understands that it's something that's going to be there maybe at times and he can push through it." Wilson was scratched from a rehab appearance at Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday. "I really just need to be able to pitch without discomfort," Wilson said. "We're just trying to get it to where it's manageable."

          Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder inflammation) played catch one day after he went through a full shoulder workout. "The initial reports are that he's feeling good, but we're not ready to talk through a plan yet or a progression," general manager Jed Hoyer said.

          UP NEXT

          Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler (5-5, 4.94 ERA) and Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (4-6, 3.87 ERA) pitch on Saturday afternoon. Wheeler has dropped his last two starts, allowing four earned runs in six innings in a 12-3 loss at Atlanta on Monday night. Quintana is 0-5 with a 4.30 ERA over his last eight outings.

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