After their 11 game road trip got off to a roaring start with a 4-1 mark in Philadelphia, the New York Mets hit rock bottom in Chicago. The Mets (28-32) got swept by the worst team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs, to drop to 4-4 on their trip. The last three games of the trip are going to increase in difficulty dramatically as the Mets kick off a three game series tonight with the best team in baseball, the San Francisco Giants (39-21). First pitch for tonight's game at AT&T Park is scheduled for 10:15 pm.
The Giants have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. After falling off a cliff during their title defense campaign in 2013, the Giants now lead the competitive National League West by a whopping 8.5 games. The Giants have always had a capable pitching staff, but strong seasons by offensive players Hunter Pence (.290, 8 HR's, 22 RBI's), Angel Pagan (.321, 3, 17), and free agent pickup Michael Morse (.286, 13, 41) have the Giants poised to make another postseason run.
The Mets will send their best pitcher to the mound, lefty Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.69 ERA). Niese took a no decision in his last outing despite going eight innings and allowing only two runs to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets would go on to win that game in 11 innings. The Giants counter with right hander Matt Cain (1-3, 3.66 ERA), who is returning from the disabled list after missing two weeks with a strained right hamstring.
New York Mets Lineup:
- CF Matt den Dekker
- 2B Daniel Murphy
- 3B David Wright
- RF Curtis Granderson
- LF Andrew Brown
- 1B Lucas Duda
- SS Ruben Tejada
- C Travis d'Arnaud
- SP Jonathon Niese
- The Mets went 4-2 against the Giants in 2013, including a sweep at AT&T Park in July.
- Terry Collins told reporters that he will stick with the struggling Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate. d'Arnaud is hitting .184 in 125 at bats this season.
- After a strong night last night, Andrew Brown is back in the lineup. He will hit fifth and play left field.
- David Wright has worn out Matt Cain in his career, hitting .440 against him in 25 career at bats.