Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets Preview, Friday 7/6, 6:10 CT

Atlanta, GA, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto celebrates with third base coach Pat Listach after a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The Cubs are 2-2 so far on this road trip. They won two of three from the Mets in Chicago last week. If they can repeat that feat, they will have their first winning trip of this season.

Not likely, I know. But the Cubs have played better since the Rizzo Era began (6-3 in his nine games), and though it's probably not right to ascribe it completely to him, there does seem to be a change in the entire way this team goes about its business over the last two weeks.

So keep up the good work, Cubs. It continues to give us hope for the future.

Meanwhile, this happened in Atlanta Thursday night:

And that doesn't include the Tigers, who are also interested, says Morosi.

Obviously, they didn't see Garza throw a very good game. I'd think, though, that scouts would be more interested in Garza's velocity and mechanics than the specific result of one game. Garza could very well go out and throw a shutout next time out. I'm not necessarily advocating a trade -- he could still help the Cubs 2-3 years from now -- but if Theo & Jed get blown away by an offer, and with that many teams interested... who knows?

Cubs lineup:

Johnson RF, Barney SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Baker 2B, Soto C, Mather CF, Valbuena 3B, Wood P

Starlin Castro has needed a day off for quite some time. He's started every game up to now and was taken out late defensively in three blowout games; he's played all but five innings this year. It shows; he's hitting .128 (5-for-39) in his last 11 games (although with six walks, as many as he had in the first 71 games of the season). He needs the rest.

Mets lineup:

Tejada SS, Cedeno 2B, Wright 3B, Hairston LF, Duda RF, Turner 1B, Nickeas C, Nieuwenhuis CF, Santana P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Travis Wood
Travis Wood
vs. Johan Santana
Johan Santana
3-3 W-L 6-4
3.05 ERA 2.76
39 SO 93
20- BB 33
7 HR 9
vs. NY -- vs. Cubs

2012 - Travis Wood 3-3 9 9 0 0 0 0 56.0 41 19 19 7 20 39 3.05 1.09

2012 - Johan Santana 6-4 16 16 2 2 0 0 98.0 74 32 30 9 33 93 2.76 1.09

The Cubs managed to get five hits and two runs off Johan Santana June 25 at Wrigley Field and then put that game away with four unearned runs off the Mets bullpen. This game is a rematch; on that night, Travis Wood threw seven shutout innings against New York, the second of three starts in which he's allowed just one earned run in 20⅓ total innings. The Cubs probably will not have as good luck tonight -- Santana has a 1.16 ERA in eight starts at Citi Field, and in Wood's only start in Citi (in 2010), he allowed five runs (three earned) in 4⅔ innings. Clearly, once again, we are doomed.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Mets site Amazin' Avenue.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:10 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:10, 8:10 and 8:55 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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