The Cubs have won four of their last five games, a welcome sight after a few weeks of poor play.
The Mets have lost five of their last seven after edging to within three games of the first-pace Nats. They now trail by 6½.
I'd like to see those trends continue, wouldn't you?
More on tonight's starting pitchers below, but the last time Jake Arrieta and Noah Syndergaard faced each other, it was Syndergaard's major-league debut, May 12, 2015 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won 6-1 and Jake threw eight innings, allowing three hits and a run with 10 strikeouts. I'll take another one just like that, please.
Here are today's particulars.
La Stella 3B, Bryant RF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Contreras LF, Heyward CF, Russell SS, Montero C, Arrieta P
Decent pitching matchup tonight.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 19, 2016
Game preview: https://t.co/BmCpklZxV9 #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/ykgDK0j5EQ
Reyes 3B, Granderson RF, Cespedes LF, Loney 1B, Walker 2B, Cabrera SS, Conforto RF, Rivera C, Syndergaard P
You don't need me to tell you that Jake Arrieta needs to get back on track after four shaky-to-bad starts. One of those was against the Mets July 2 at Citi Field. He threw 108 pitches in 5⅔ innings. High pitch counts have been one of his biggest issues, along with too many long counts and walks. Hopefully, his 11-day rest will bring him back, refreshed, and resembling the Jake of the second half of last year and first two months of 2016.
Noah Syndergaard threw seven strong innings against the Cubs July 3 at Citi Field. Then he left his subsequent start July 8 against the Nationals with what was termed "arm fatigue." He hasn't pitched since then, as his manager held him out of the All-Star Game. So, just like Jake, Thor's got something to prove tonight.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It's also on ESPN outside the Chicago and New York markets.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.