Season-Defining Stretch On Tap: Cubs at Mets, August 27-29, 2019

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Season-Defining Stretch On Tap: Cubs at Mets, August 27-29, 2019

Chicago Cubs

I’ve already made the joke with the image of this post before, but I just still find it funny. I mean, just imagine if White Sox fans were forced to look at their favorite team’s logo in the style of the Cubs art. They’d freakin’ hate that. And apparently, that’s where the Cubs have brought me: HATE.

And now for the actual information: The Cubs are hitting the road for a quick three-game set in New York, before coming right back to Wrigley Field for three games against the Brewers. That puts them in a tough spot. No one likes to be swept before heading out on the road to face three extremely tough pitchers, before coming home to face one of your biggest competitors.

That’s just a lot of bad all at one time. If they manage to keep their heads above water until the off-day next Wednesday (which, incidentally, precedes a four-game road series against the Brewers … sigh), I’ll be impressed. This is gut-check time. The entire season can be defined over these next 1.5 weeks, particularly with the Cubs already down 3.0 games to the Cardinals.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (69-61) are 5-5 in their last ten games after getting swept by the Nationals. Again, they’re 3.0 games out of first and only 8 games over .500. Things are bad, mmmkay.

The New York Mets (67-63) are 6-4 in their last ten, but also just lost three straight at home. They’re only 2.0 games behind the Cubs in the Wild Card race, but that’s good for 11.5 games out of first in their division. The Cubs are lucky. They’re not much better than the Mets, but still have a chance to take their division.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Tuesday, August 27th at 6:10 CT on NBCSCH, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, August 28th at 6:10 CT on NBCSCH, 670 The Score
  • Thursday, August 29th at 6:10 CT on ABC-7, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Yu Darvish (R) v. Marcus Stroman (R)
Game 2: Kyle Hendricks (R) v. Noah Syndergaard (R)
Game 3: Jon Lester (L) v. Jacob deGrom (R)

Chicago Cubs

  • C – Victor Caratini
  • 1B – Ian Happ/Victor Caratini (?)
  • 2B – Tony Kemp/Addison Russell
  • 3B – Kris Bryant
  • SS – Javy Baez
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber
  • CF – Jason Heyward
  • RF – Nicholas Castellanos

Unavailable: Anthony Rizzo(?), Willson Contreras, Daniel Descalso, Derek Holland, Xavier Cedeno, Brandon Morrow, Allen Webster, Ben Zobrist

New York Mets

  • C – Wilson Ramos
  • 1B – Peter Alonso
  • 2B – Jeff McNeil
  • 3B – Todd Frazier
  • SS – Ahmed Rosario
  • LF – J.D. Davis
  • CF – Juan Lagares
  • RF – Michael Conforto

Unavailable: Tomas Nido, Robinson Cano, Robert Gsellman, Dominic Smith, Yoenis Cespedes, Jed Lowrie, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob Rhame, Drew Smith

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Jon Lester needs a big bounce-back start in the biggest way possible. He’s had far too many blowups here in the second half of the season, including his last outing against the Nationals (6 ER in 4.1 IP), and the Cubs will need him to be good if they hope to reach October at all – let alone go deep into the postseason.

Cubs Player: Javy Baez has seen his season-long slash line drift down to just .281/.313/.530 (112 wRC+). Obviously, for a player with his skillset on defense and around the bases, that’s still very good, but it’s a far cry from 2018. Like Lester, Javy Baez needs to get hot, like right now, if the Cubs are gonna be the best version of themselves.

Mets Pitcher: Marcus Stroman will face the Cubs tonight in his fifth start as a member of the Mets. He hasn’t been particularly effective through his first four outings (10 ER in 19.2 IP) and has walked plenty of batters along the way, so hopefully the Cubs can get to him early and hold on, because this is a tough week of pitching matchups for Chicago.

Mets Player: Peter Alonso is scorching hot in the month of August, with a .302/.388/.616 (156 wRC+) since the beginning of the month. Cubs pitchers would be wise to stay clear of him when possible.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami