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Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets preview, Thursday 6/20, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs open a four-game weekend set. We are assured the weather won’t be Novemberish again.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have lost seven of their last 10 and been outscored 62-50 in those games. So their offense has been able to generate runs, but the pitching staff... Perhaps this will be a good series for the Cubs bats to come alive.

And while it won’t be very summerlike at the ballpark tonight, at least it will be dry.

Notes:

  • WILLSON! Wednesday night, Willson Contreras recorded his sixth-career multi-homer game and second this season (also, April 12 vs. the Angels). He also ecorded a season-high five RBI. It was his third-career game with at least five RBI. And, he became the fifth Cub this season with at least 15 homers. No other team has more than three players with 15 homers.
  • THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Cubs are in sole possession of first place for the first time since the end of play on June 5, and are 25-12 (.676) at home this season, the second-best home record in the N.L. (Dodgers, 30-9).
  • STARMAN: David Bote hit his ninth home run Wednesday, and now has 34 RBI in 64 games. That’s a career high, as he had 33 in 74 games last year.
  • NOT USUALLY A WALKING MAN: Javier Baez Wednesday drew his first walk since May 31 at St. Louis. Javy has 17 walks this year, only two of which are intentional. His career high is 30, set in 2017.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Mets lineup:

Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Walker Lockett, RHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Chatwood is the only Cub to start outside of the five who have made up the rotation this year. His sole start was excellent, six shutout innings against the Diamondbacks April 21 at Wrigley Field. He allowed two hits and two walks, and we’d surely take that tonight.

Chatwood’s walk rate is still a bit high at 5.4 per nine innings, but it’s way down from last year’s 9.5. Over his last nine relief outings: 19⅔ innings, 3.20 ERA, 1.525 WHIP. Not great, but decent enough.

He made one start vs. the Mets last year, June 1, 2018 at Citi Field, and it was actually one of his better outings of the year: 5⅓ innings, four hits, four walks, two runs. We’d probably take that tonight, though a few less walks would be good.

In a small sample size, Chatwood has also been good at the plate this year: 2-for-7 (both doubles).

Walker Lockett was drafted by the Padres in the fourth round in 2012, one pick after the Cubs took someone named Josh Conway, who never pitched above Double-A. The Padres traded him to the Indians in December, and the Tribe sent him along to the Mets for Kevin Plawecki a few weeks later.

I had completely forgotten this, but Lockett has faced the Cubs before. He started against the Cubs in Wrigley Field August 4, 2018, throwing five innings and allowing nine hits and five runs. Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo hit home runs off him that day.

He has posted a 3.69 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in six minor league appearances this year, with just 15 strikeouts in 31⅔ innings. He’ll be making his first 2019 big-league appearance tonight. At least the Cubs have some experience against him.

Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Mets market territories).

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. If you do go there to interact with Mets fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.