In the midst of another New York Mets mess, there is still some baseball to be played. Tuesday night the 22-24 Mets continue their road trip against the 20-25 Chicago Cubs, who have really endured an inconsistent season. Chicago has lost eight of its last 13 games, while the Mets will look to bonce back from a series loss to the New York Yankees and get back to .500 baseball.
The Cubs are similar to the Mets in that they are dealing with a rash of injuries to a number of key players: Randy Wells (DL), Jeff Baker (day-to-day), Marlon Byrd (DL), Matt Garza (day-to-day) and Andrew Cashner (DL). The Cubs are 18th overall in runs scored, second in batting average and 11th in slugging percentage, so on paper, Jon Niese should have the upper hand in this one. -- even though he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA against the Cubs in his career. Over his last six starts, he has given up more than three runs once, and is coming off a seven-inning shutout against the Washington Nationals in his last start in which he struckout seven. The Mets need his sustained consistent pitching.
On the hill for the Cubs is Ryan Dempster. Dempster is 2-4 with a 6.91 ERA on the year that really began as a disaster. Before his last start (five earned runs), he had allowed five earned runs in three outings. New York needs to take advantage of a pitcher who may have lost some confidence.