National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, July 7th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Cubs (32-51) at New York Mets (45-39), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (6-7, 4.77)
New York - Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.34)
(Sports Network) - Jeff Samardzija hopes for better results this time against
the New York Mets than the last time he faced them, as the Chicago Cubs
continue a three-game set at Citi Field.
Samardzija was rocked by the Mets back on June 27 to tune of nine runs and six
hits in only 4 1/3 innings of a 17-1 setback. He was able to bounce back
nicely in Atlanta on Monday, though, as he allowed a run and four hits in
seven innings to get the win.
He also struck out a career-high 11 batters and improved to 6-7 to go along
with a 4.77 ERA.
"You expect him to build on the experiences he had to go through in the last
month," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said after Samardzija's last start. "Sometimes
it's just like hitters -- a hitter is hitting .300 and he wants to hit .330
and he comes up with new things, and it gets away from him instead of
understanding what you are and what made you successful and sticking to that
and not getting too complicated."
In Friday's opener, Anthony Rizzo continued to crush Mets pitching, as the
young first baseman had four hits and smacked a go-ahead three-run home run in
a five-run fifth inning to help the Cubs take an 8-7 win.
In three games this season against the Mets Rizzo is 7-for-13 with two
doubles, a home run and three RBI. He's hitting .375 overall with four homers
and nine RBI, while reaching base safely in all 10 games, seven of which have
"For 10 games, he's been pretty good," Sveum said. "To sit on pitches like he
does, and have an educated guess like he does is impressive."
Travis Wood (4-3) was charged for three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and
four walks over six-plus innings to earn his fourth straight victory.
"As a team, we've been playing pretty good baseball these last couple weeks,"
remarked Wood. "Hopefully we come back (after the All-Star break) and keep it
Johan Santana (6-5) didn't make it out of the fifth inning for the Mets after
giving up seven runs on 13 hits over 4 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.
Lucas Duda and Jordany Valdespin each smacked solo shots for the Mets, who
lost for the third time in their last five contests.
Hoping to get them back into the win column today will be righty Dillon Gee,
who is 5-7 with a 4.34 ERA. Gee lost for the fourth time in five starts on
Sunday in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers reached him for four runs (2 earned) and
five hits in six innings.
Gee lost to the Cubs two starts ago and is 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two starts.
The Cubs won two of three in a late June series in Chicago and won the season
series in 2011, four games to two. The Mets last won a season series in 2010
when then won four of seven.
07/07 10:27:53 ET
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