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MLB Baseball
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4
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
NY Mets3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 470
Chi Cubs2 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 x 581
5
  W: E. Jackson (4-5)   L: D. Eveland (0-1)   S: H. Rondon (7)
5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, June 4, 2014
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 28,185

Mets-Cubs Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

  1. The Cubs have limited the Mets to fewer than 10 hits in each of their last nine meetings -- the Cubs' second-longest active streak against one opponent (10 vs. Rangers).
  2. The Cubs have now been shut out in three of their last five games, and have been shut out an MLB-high 40 times since the beginning of 2012.
  3. The Mets have begun this season by recording an ERA of just 2.10 (21/90.0) against the NL Central -- the lowest of any NL team against NL Central teams.
  4. Wilmer Flores picked up six RBI against the Phillies on Monday -- the most by a Mets player since Carlos Beltran also knocked in six runs against the Rockies on May 12, 2011.
  5. Bobby Abreu is a .332 (74/223) career hitter against the Cubs - his highest career batting average against any National League opponent.
  6. Emilio Bonifacio is batting .444 (20/45) over his last 11 home games against the Mets, while punching out multiple hits in eight of the 11 contests.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 6/3/2014 thru 6/5/2014

By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO

STATS Writer

(AP) -- The New York Mets' rotation includes some promising young arms, but injuries and ineffectiveness have forced them to turn to a veteran.

Daisuke Matsuzaka gets a chance to prove he deserves to pitch every fifth day on Wednesday night in the middle game of this series with the Chicago Cubs.

New York (28-30) has used four starters who are 25 years of age or younger and is still hoping Matt Harvey can return from Tommy John surgery later this year. Additionally, right-hander Dillon Gee (strained right lat) on the disabled list.

Rafael Montero, one of the Mets' highly touted young pitchers, failed in his attempt to replace Gee, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts before being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.

Now, Matsuzaka (2-0, 2.45 ERA) gets his chance.

The right-hander has pitched in relief in 16 of his 17 appearances, limiting opponents to .139 at the plate while striking out 32 in 29 1-3 innings.

"He's saved us in a lot of ways," manager Terry Collins told the team's official website. "He's pitched in every role that we've asked him to pitch. He's pitched in the middle, he's saved a game, he's pitched in the eighth inning, he's set up, he's started. He has certainly been a real valuable guy on our staff."

Matsuzaka was solid on his only start, allowing two runs and three hits with six strikeouts in six innings of a 4-2 win over Arizona on May 25. He's appeared twice in relief since, yielding one run in 2 1-3 innings.

Matsuzaka's only meeting with the Cubs was a 3-0 loss with Boston on June 15, 2012, allowing three runs in six innings at Wrigley Field.

Avoiding a similar fate may require some help from the offense, which went 1 for 9 with players in scoring position in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Chicago (21-34). The Mets also left the bases loaded in the third while wasting 6 2-3 scoreless innings from Zack Wheeler.

The Cubs may own the worst record in baseball, but they're aiming for a fifth win in six home games.

Nate Schierholtz delivered Tuesday's victory with a walkoff single, his third hit. The right fielder is 6 for 14 over the past four games, increasing his season average 18 points to .224.

"I know I'm a better player than I showed the first few months," Schierholtz said. "That wasn't me. I knew it was going to come around. It took longer than I hoped, obviously I still have a lot to do in the next four months, but I'm confident and that's all that matters,

He may be in for a stiff test since Matsuzaka has held left-handed hitters to 4 for 43 (.093) with 17 strikeouts.

Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.81) takes the mound, and he's allowed one run with 20 strikeouts in 14 innings while going 1-0 over his last two home starts.

The right-hander is coming off a strong performance on the road last Wednesday, fanning nine batters while yielding two runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-0 loss at San Francisco. That was a major improvement after he was tagged for a season-high eight runs in four innings of an 11-1 defeat at San Diego five days earlier.

Jackson has split his last four starts against the Mets despite a 2.70 ERA.

Updated June 4, 2014

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