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Cubs vs. Mets Preview, Friday 8/15, 6:10 CT

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This odd little four-game road trip begins tonight.

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David Banks

Here's how much has happened since the Cubs last played at Citi Field.

It's not so long in actual time, just 14 months ago. The Cubs' last game there was June 16, 2013, when we saw Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a three-run walkoff homer off Carlos Marmol, who at last report had left a Triple-A assignment in the Reds organization and is out of baseball. Neither of the other two pitchers who threw for the Cubs that day (Matt Garza and James Russell) is still on the team. Four of the eight position players who started for the Cubs that day aren't on the team and one (Alfonso Soriano) was recently released and presumed retired.

One of the Cubs' starting players in tonight's game (Javier Baez) was still playing in the High-A Florida State League on June 16, 2013.

So, there's a good example of how quickly things have changed and been revamped for this team. More to come, soon, I think.

Also, just a reminder to check out (if you haven't already) SB Nation's partner fantasy site, Fan Duel, where you can win real money. Here's the link.

Cubs lineup:

Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Castillo C, Alcantara CF, Sweeney RF, Valaika 3B, Wood P

Mets lineup:

Granderson RF, Murphy 2B, Wright 3B, Duda 1B, d'Arnaud C, Campbell LF, Lagares CF, Flores SS, Wheeler P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


Cubs

vs. Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler


Mets

vs. NY

--

vs. Cubs

After a horrific stretch of over two months of bad pitching, Travis Wood has been better since the beginning of August -- two quality starts, and his last outing, against the Rays, was quite good. He has faced the Mets once this year -- June 5 at Wrigley Field -- where he threw five shaky innings (five walks), but the Cubs won the game, in part because Wood smacked a two-run homer off Jacob deGrom. A repeat of that would help tonight, I'd say.

Zack Wheeler is having a pretty good year. For whatever the "quality start" is worth, he's got 17 of them in 24 starts. One of those was against the Cubs June 3 at Wrigley Field; he threw 6⅔ shutout innings, but the Cubs won the game against the Mets' bullpen. We'd take a repeat of that tonight, I'd think.

Today's game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Mets site Amazin' Avenue.

For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.