National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 27th
(All times Eastern)
New York Mets (39-36) at Chicago Cubs (26-48), 2:20 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Jon Niese (5-3, 3.75)
Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (5-6, 4.34)
(Sports Network) - It didn't take long for Anthony Rizzo's bat to have an
impact for the Cubs.
The highly-regarded prospect will next try to led Chicago to its first sweep
of the New York Mets in over eight years this afternoon in the finale of a
The 22-year-old Rizzo was a sixth-round pick by Boston in 2007 and was dealt
to the Padres in December of 2010 in a deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the
Red Sox. Rizzo hit just .141 with a homer, nine RBI and 46 strikeouts in 49
games with San Diego in 2011 before being traded to the Cubs in January.
Rizzo, regarded as the club's top prospect, was terrorizing the minors this
year, batting .342 with a Pacific Coast League-leading 23 homers in 70 games
with Iowa. He was recalled from the minors prior to last night's game,
starting at first base while hitting third.
Rizzo went 2-for-4 and his RBI double in the fourth inning proved to be the
difference in a 5-3 win, the Cubs' second straight following a four-game
"It was awesome to have that," said Rizzo. "Being able to come into the
clubhouse and contribute right away, it's a great feeling."
Chicago next tries to win three straight for the first time since May 28-30
and in doing so would record its first three-game sweep of New York since
April 23-25, 2004 at Wrigley Field.
David Wright and Josh Thole both drove in a run for the Mets, who matched a
season high with their fourth straight loss. Dillon Gee gave up four runs on
nine hits over five innings and also drove in a run in the loss.
"I was out there battling and trying to make some pitches, but I left some of
them up there and they got a hold of them," said Gee. "They were just able to
put the ball in the right spots."
Jon Niese will try to prevent the sweep today and is coming off Friday's win
over the Yankees. The left-hander held the American League East powerhouses to
a pair of runs over 6 1/3 frames, the fourth straight start in which he has
pitched at least six frames.
Niese improved to 5-3 with a 3.75 earned run average on the season and the 25-
year-old is 1-2 with a 5.95 ERA in four career meetings with the Cubs.
Chicago's Jeff Samardzija hopes to avoid a fourth straight losing start today
and he has pitched to a 10.29 ERA over his current string of losses.
The 27-year-old righty was charged with five runs over five innings of work at
Arizona on Friday, getting dealt a 6-1 loss. Samardzija fell to 5-6 with a
4.34 ERA in 14 starts this year, but that does include a 3-2 mark and 2.36 ERA
in six at home.
Samardzija will make the first start of his career versus the Mets, but does
own a career 2.70 ERA in six previous relief appearances without a decision.
The Cubs won four of six over the Mets a season ago.
06/27 10:29:55 ET