Series: Game 2 of 3

Chi Cubs leads 2-0 (as of 6/4)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 3
NY Mets1Final
Chi Cubs2
Game 2: Wednesday, June 4
NY Mets4Final
Chi Cubs5
Game 3: Thursday, June 5
NY Mets4Final
Chi Cubs7

Mets 4

(28-31, 15-14 away)

Cubs 5

(22-34, 12-13 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 4, 2014

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 300100000 4 7 0
    CHC 20003000 - 5 8 1

    W: E. Jackson (4-5)

    L: D. Eveland (0-1)

    S: H. Rondon (7)

    Mets-Cubs Preview


    The New York Mets' rotation includes some promising young arms, but injuries and ineffectiveness have forced them to turn to a veteran.

    Daisuke Matsuzaka gets a chance to prove he deserves to pitch every fifth day on Wednesday night in the middle game of this series with the Chicago Cubs.

    New York (28-30) has used four starters who are 25 years of age or younger and is still hoping Matt Harvey can return from Tommy John surgery later this year. Additionally, right-hander Dillon Gee (strained right lat) on the disabled list.

    Rafael Montero, one of the Mets' highly touted young pitchers, failed in his attempt to replace Gee, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts before being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.

    Now, Matsuzaka (2-0, 2.45 ERA) gets his chance.

    The right-hander has pitched in relief in 16 of his 17 appearances, limiting opponents to .139 at the plate while striking out 32 in 29 1/3 innings.

    "He's saved us in a lot of ways," manager Terry Collins told the team's official website. "He's pitched in every role that we've asked him to pitch. He's pitched in the middle, he's saved a game, he's pitched in the eighth inning, he's set up, he's started. He has certainly been a real valuable guy on our staff."

    Matsuzaka was solid on his only start, allowing two runs and three hits with six strikeouts in six innings of a 4-2 win over Arizona on May 25. He's appeared twice in relief since, yielding one run in 2 1/3 innings.

    Matsuzaka's only meeting with the Cubs was a 3-0 loss with Boston on June 15, 2012, allowing three runs in six innings at Wrigley Field.

    Avoiding a similar fate may require some help from the offense, which went 1 for 9 with players in scoring position in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Chicago (21-34). The Mets also left the bases loaded in the third while wasting 6 2/3 scoreless innings from Zack Wheeler.

    The Cubs may own the worst record in baseball, but they're aiming for a fifth win in six home games.

    Nate Schierholtz delivered Tuesday's victory with a walkoff single, his third hit. The right fielder is 6 for 14 over the past four games, increasing his season average 18 points to .224.

    "I know I'm a better player than I showed the first few months," Schierholtz said. "That wasn't me. I knew it was going to come around. It took longer than I hoped, obviously I still have a lot to do in the next four months, but I'm confident and that's all that matters,

    He may be in for a stiff test since Matsuzaka has held left-handed hitters to 4 for 43 (.093) with 17 strikeouts.

    Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.81) takes the mound, and he's allowed one run with 20 strikeouts in 14 innings while going 1-0 over his last two home starts.

    The right-hander is coming off a strong performance on the road last Wednesday, fanning nine batters while yielding two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-0 loss at San Francisco. That was a major improvement after he was tagged for a season-high eight runs in four innings of an 11-1 defeat at San Diego five days earlier.

    Jackson has split his last four starts against the Mets despite a 2.70 ERA.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     New YorkChicago
    Current StreakW2W1
    Last 106-45-5

    Pitching Matchup

    New YorkChicago
    D. Matsuzaka
    3-3, 3.89 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/25 at WSH
    2.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND
    E. Jackson
    6-15, 6.33 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at MIL
    1.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.New YorkChicago
    1. M. den Dekker, CF E. Bonifacio, 2B
    2. D. Murphy, 2B J. Ruggiano, CF
    3. D. Wright, 3B A. Rizzo, 1B
    4. C. Granderson, LF S. Castro, SS
    5. B. Abreu, RF N. Schierholtz, RF
    6. L. Duda, 1B C. Coghlan, LF
    7. A. Recker, C M. Olt, 3B
    8. R. Tejada, SS J. Baker, C
    9. D. Matsuzaka, P E. Jackson, P

    Research Notes

    New York Mets batters have hit .186 in at-bats that end in a breaking ball this season, the third-worst rate in the NL. Edwin Jackson has thrown a breaking ball 34.3 percent of the time this season, 14th most among 102 qualified pitchers.

    ESPN Stats & Information