Thursday, June 13, 2013
Series preview: Mets vs. Cubs
By Adam Rubin
Getty Images/USA TODAY SportsMETS (24-37, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO CUBS (26-38, fifth place/NL Central)
The Mets face (l to r) Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Matt Garza this weekend at Citi Field.
Friday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76), 7:10 p.m. ET
Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.24) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (5-5, 3.22), 1:10 p.m. ET
Sunday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 4.11) vs. RHP Matt Garza (1-1, 6.26), 1:10 p.m. ET
Cubs short hops
• Matt Garza is the most logical Cub to be traded before the July 31 trade deadline, ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine reports. Garza drew interest last July from the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, but any trade discussions were scuttled by an elbow injury. Since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2011 season, Garza is 17-18 with a 3.60 ERA. Other potential trade chips include Scott Feldman and relievers Kevin Gregg and Carlos Villanueva, according to Levine.
Garza, who made his season debut May 21 after returning from a lat injury, is coming off an outing in which he surrendered nine runs in five-plus innings against Cincinnati.
Gene J. Puskar/Associated PressStarlin Castro is hitting .122 in June.
Villanueva moved to the bullpen when Garza was activated from the DL.
• Shortstop Starlin Castro was hitting .059 (2-for-34) in June before a 3-for-7 performance Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds.
• Second baseman Darwin Barney has not committed an error this season. He has a 53-game errorless streak dating to last Sept. 30. However, Barney is hitting .208 with a .283 on-base percentage this season.
• Before breaking out with 15 hits in a 6-5, 14-inning win against the Reds on Thursday afternoon, Chicago had scored 11 runs in its previous six games and had not produced more than six hits in a game since June 5. The Cubs are 3-10 against Cincinnati this season. They had lost a record 12 straight to the Reds at Wrigley Field before the series-ending victory. The Cubs’ longest losing streak against one opponent at Wrigley Field previously was 10, done three times, most recently against the Montreal Expos in 1982 and ’83.
• The Cubs acquired right-handed reliever Henry Rodriguez from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday for prospect Ian Dickson. Rodriguez had been 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 17 relief appearances with the Nats before being designated for assignment on June 4.
• Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.
• The Cubs suspended Ian Stewart, who had been playing with Triple-A Iowa, because of his series of critical tweets about the organization that included imploring the club to release him. Although Stewart is in the minors, he has a $2 million salary this season.
• Left fielder Alfonso Soriano has 379 career homers, tied with Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez for 64th all time. Next up: Albert Belle with 371.
• Scott Hairston (.155, 5 HR in 83 ABs) is off to a slow start in limited playing time as a Cub. Hairston signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Chicago after waiting for a Mets offer that did not come.
• First baseman Anthony Rizzo, 23, signed a seven-year, $41 million in May that includes team options for 2020 and 2021. The guaranteed portion covers one year Rizzo otherwise would have been eligible for free agency.