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Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets preview, Tuesday 4/20, 6:40 CT

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Perhaps this week will be better.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

It’s going to be cold tonight, but I think they will get this one in.

Tuesday notes:

  • TONY IS HOT: Anthony Rizzo has hit safely in each of his last five games, going 9‐for‐18 with a double, triple, two homers and two RBI. This stretch has lifted his BA 132 points to .250 from .118, his OBP 119 points to .344 from .225 and his slugging 265 points to .500 from .235. His .844 OPS is 384 points higher than his .460 OPS prior to his five‐game hitting streak.
  • MULTI-HOMER GAMES: The Cubs had two‐homer games from both Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras on Saturday, and from Anthony Rizzo on Sunday. The last time the Cubs received multi‐homer efforts in three straight games was September 14‐16, 2004, when Corey Patterson homered twice against the Pirates on Sept. 14, Sammy Sosa matched that the next day vs. Pittsburgh, then Aramis Ramirez hit three homers on Sept. 16 in Cincinnati.
  • WILLSON! Willson Contreras enters tonight with an eight‐game hitting streak, two games short of his career high done three times (last in 2019). He now has 79 career home runs, fourth‐most among Cubs catchers and one behind Randy Hundley (80) for third. Gabby Hartnett leads with 231 home runs followed by Jody Davis (122).
  • MORE WILLSON: Contreras leads the majors with hit by 19 pitches since the start of the 2020 season (Keston Hiura is second with 15). Willson’s five HBP this season are tied for the major league lead with the Rangers’ Nick Solak.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Mets lineup:

Jake Arrieta, RHP vs. Taijuan Walker, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Jake Arrieta has been one of the only bright spots for the Cubs so far this season. He’s made three starts. Two were very good, one was decent. Overall his numbers to date look like he might be close to 2017 Jake, which would be just fine.

Jake did not have a good 2020 but he did pitch well against the Mets: two starts, 12⅓ innings, three earned runs, two walks, 11 strikeouts.

Current Mets are doing pretty well against him, though: .365 (57-for-156) with five home runs, two by Michael Conforto.

Taijuan Walker is a guy the Cubs looked at during spring training 2020 but ultimately decided not to sign. They considered him again this past winter but eventually he signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Mets with a third-year player option.

Injuries have ruined most of the former Mariners No. 1 pick’s career; he’s never started 30 games in a season. Yet, he’s only 28 — maybe he’s still got a chance at a decent MLB career.

Walker’s only career game vs. the Cubs came August 11, 2017 when he was with the Diamondbacks. The Cubs scored five runs off him in five innings, but a lot of those guys aren’t on the team anymore.

The only current Cub who has more than a handful of at-bats against him is Joc Pederson, and Joc has hit him well: 7-for-15 with two doubles and a home run.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. It’s also on ESPN (no blackouts).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.