MLB Game Preview - NY Mets at Chicago
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:20 PM EDT

NYM
5
CHC
4
F
SD
1
PIT
2
F
MIA
2
PHI
1
F
ATL
3
WAS
4
F
HOU
1
NYY
4
F
TOR
5
BOS
7
F(10)
DET
6
CLE
7
F
CHW
5
TEX
4
F(10)
CIN
11
MIL
7
F
LAA
1
STL
5
F
MIN
8
KC
7
F
SF
11
ARI
5
F
TB
5
OAK
3
F
BAL
9
SEA
10
F
COL
2
LAD
4
F
Darvish, Vargas face off as Cubs host Mets
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:59 AM

Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish officially put an unpleasant chapter of his career in the rearview mirror in his previous start Saturday. On Friday afternoon, the visiting New York Mets hope Jason Vargas can begin doing the same thing for them.

The Mets will look to the oldest member of their rotation to provide some much-needed stability when the left-handed Vargas (3-3, 3.74 ERA) takes the mound against the right-handed Darvish (2-3, 4.65 ERA) and the Cubs in the second game of a four-game series.

The Cubs came back from an early three-run deficit to earn a 7-4 win in the series opener Thursday night, when Anthony Rizzo gave Chicago the lead for good with a two-run double during a six-run third inning. Rookie Adbert Alzolay tossed four innings of one-hit relief and earned the victory in his big-league debut.

The fourth loss in five games for the Mets came hours after pitching coach Dave Eiland and bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez were fired and replaced by Phil Regan and Ricky Bones, respectively. New York, which also added minor league pitching coordinator Jeremy Accardo to the big-league staff as a "pitching strategist," entered Thursday with the 11th-worst ERA in the majors (4.67) and the third-worst bullpen ERA (5.38).

"I think if you look at our performance, it's hard to say that we made a change to our coaching staff because we woke up with a new feeling in our stomach," first-year Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said during a press conference at Wrigley Field. "I think that our performance has shown that we can be better. And if we have an opportunity to be better with new coaches, then we're going to do everything in our power to try to give that a chance."

Darvish's winless streak reached nine starts -- a span in which he hasn't recorded a decision -- on Saturday, but he still shed some demons by limiting the two-time defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers to one run on two hits while striking out 10 over seven innings in the Cubs' 2-1 win.

It was Darvish's first appearance at Dodger Stadium since he took the loss for Los Angeles in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, when he allowed five runs (four earned) in just 1 2/3 innings as the Houston Astros won their first title with a 5-1 victory.

"This was really important in my life," Darvish told reporters following Saturday's start. "I think now I can move forward. I pitched good here."

Vargas didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start Sunday, when he allowed three runs (two earned) over four innings before exiting with cramping in his legs in the Mets' 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The 36-year-old southpaw said afterward he felt fine and his between-starts routine was not impacted.

Darvish is 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three career starts against the Mets. Vargas is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in six starts against the Cubs.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
NY Mets            
Chicago            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Jason Vargas - PHI
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Chicago
Yu Darvish - CHC
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. NY Mets

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report