Series preview: Mets vs. Cubs

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15
12:29
AM ET

David Banks/USA TODAY SportsJavier Baez has a ton of homers and strikeouts during his brief major league career.
METS (57-65, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO CUBS (52-68, fifth place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.53) vs. LHP Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (6-8, 3.46) vs. RHP Dan Straily (1-2, 4.93), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77), 1:10 p.m. ET

Monday: RHP Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85) vs. RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-1, 1.79), 12:10 p.m. ET

Cubs short hops

• Right-hander Dan Straily, who was acquired in the July 5 trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics, will be promoted from Triple-A Iowa for a spot start Saturday against the Mets. That gives the other Cubs starters an extra day of rest and pushes Tsuyoshi Wada out of the Mets series. The crown jewel of that Cubs-A’s trade is shortstop prospect Addison Russell, who is assigned to Double-A Tennessee. Straily, 25, made seven starts for Oakland this season, going 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA.

• Rookie Javier Baez produced three homers in his first three major league games. However, after a four-strikeout performance Thursday, the hard-swinging Baez has K’d in 17 of his 45 major league at-bats. He has yet to walk. Baez became the third player in major league history to have a pair of four-strikeout games in his first 10 games in the majors, joining infielder Esteban German (2002) and pitcher Norm Bass (1961), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The 21-year-old shortstop prospect was promoted from Iowa on Aug. 5 and has manned second base. Baez’s only professional experience at second base before his promotion came in 16 games this season in Triple-A.


David Zalubowski/Associated PressRookie Kyle Hendricks has a 1.01 ERA in his last five starts.


Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 13 games Thursday. It is the longest streak by a Cub this season. Castro’s career high is a 14-game streak, done twice. Castro tweaked his left knee this week, but remained in the lineup.

• Rookie Kyle Hendricks has completed seven innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his first six major league starts. He is the first Cub to accomplish that since Frank Castillo in 1991. Hendricks, 24, was acquired from the Texas Rangers at the non-waiver trade deadline two years ago for Ryan Dempster. He has drawn comparisons to Greg Maddux because of his quick pace and a fastball that only has averaged 88 mph. Since allowing four runs in his July 10 major league debut, Hendricks has produced a 1.01 ERA in five starts.

• Left fielder/leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan, a former NL Rookie of the Year with the Miami Marlins, is hitting .345 (48-for-139) with 16 doubles, four homers and 19 RBIs in his last 39 games. Coghlan’s average sat at .139 on June 1 and .206 on July 1.

• First baseman Anthony Rizzo ranks second in the National League with 27 homers, trailing only Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (31). Eleven of Rizzo’s homers have come on first pitches, a major league high.

• The Cubs acquired right-hander Jacob Turner in a waiver-claim trade from the Marlins on Aug. 8 for right-handers Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer. Turner, 23, tossed 2 1/3 perfect innings Thursday in relief. He could get starts in September in place of Edwin Jackson.

• Outfielder Justin Ruggiano returned to the lineup Thursday. He had departed Tuesday’s game after seven innings and missed Wednesday’s game with a groin injury.

• The Cubs traded Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 28. L.A’s motivation partly may have been to prevent Barney from being acquired by the rival San Francisco Giants to play second base. Barney had been designated for assignment by Chicago five days before the deal.

• The Cubs traded outfielder Brett Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor-league right-hander Blake Cooper on Thursday.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187