FIRST PITCH: After getting swept in a three-game series at Wrigley Field in June, the Mets began getting some payback Friday against the Chicago Cubs.
Saturday’s news reports:
• Zack Wheeler remained unbeaten in his last nine starts and Eric Campbell launched a three-run homer as the Mets beat the Cubs, 3-2, Friday at Citi Field. The Mets rebounded after a disastrous three-game series against the Washington Nationals.
Wheeler wants to go deeper in games, but nonetheless has a 2.02 ERA and is 5-0 since June 25. He struck out 10 and tossed a career-high 120 pitches on Friday. Campbell would be a regular starter if he displayed consistent power, according to Terry Collins. Campbell’s homer is the only hit the Mets have in 21 at-bats with runners in scoring position on the homestand.
• Read more on Wheeler from columnist George Willis in the Post.
Starlin Castro says he wants to remain a Cub.
• Although either shortstop acquisition would be costly in terms of young pitching, the Mets are getting to view two potential trade targets this weekend with the Cubs -- Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. Blocked, the rookie Baez is manning second base.
“I don’t want to leave. I want to stay here all my career,” Castro told reporters pregame Friday regarding the Cubs (via Anthony McCarron in the Daily News). “… I know myself. I know I can be a good player and I know a lot of teams can want me. But I’m here and I don’t want to leave here. I feel comfortable here and I want to be a part of this team when we compete, when we win playoffs and stuff like that.”
"The beauty of having shortstops is that they actually can transition into other positions," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said (via Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger). "They’re very athletic. … I don’t think it’s a problem. I think when you have to cross that bridge to make adjustments, you do. Right now I don’t have to really concern myself with it. Starlin’s our shortstop. And Javy is our second baseman. If there’s ever something that ever develops we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it."
• Daisuke Matsuzaka makes a rehab start Saturday for Double-A Binghamton at Reading. Collins said Matsuzaka’s role upon eventually returning from the DL will be contingent upon Jacob deGrom's timetable for recovery and, potentially, Rafael Montero's performance Sunday. DeGrom is due to throw Saturday for the first time since landing on the DL with rotator-cuff tendinitis. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Travis d'Arnaud took a backswing off his left elbow and is expected to protect it with a pad Saturday.
• Joe Lemire in the Journal discusses the travel rigors with having a Triple-A team so far away from New York.
• Matt Bowman tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings and combined with Miguel Socolovich on the shutout as Las Vegas blanked Iowa, 2-0. Brian Burgamy had a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh and Binghamton beat Reading, 8-7. Jeff McNeil had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 10-7. Jon Leroux had a grand slam in Savannah’s 16-4 rout of Greenville. Marcos Molina allowed one hit and one walk and struck out a career-high 12 in seven scoreless innings in Brooklyn’s 7-0 win against Vermont. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• John DeMarzo in the Post catches up with first-round pick Michael Conforto out of Oregon State, who is hitting .320/.415/.440 through 27 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones.
• From the bloggers … Blogging Mets takes an early look at the possible Mets payroll for 2015.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Should be a nice preview of the 2015-2025 NLCS this weekend at Citi Field. #mets #cubs #nym #chc
— Clem (@TheClemReport) August 15, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Do you think the Mets can work out a deal with the Cubs for a shortstop this winter?