MLB Game Preview - NY Mets at Chicago
Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:20 PM EDT

LAA
2
STL
4
F
MIN
5
KC
3
F(10)
NYM
10
CHC
2
F
SD
3
PIT
6
F
MIA
5
PHI
3
F
TOR
8
BOS
7
F
TB
2
OAK
4
F
BAL
8
SEA
4
F
CIN
5
MIL
6
F
DET
0
CLE
2
F
ATL
13
WAS
9
F
COL
4
LAD
5
F(11)
HOU
5
NYY
7
F
CHW
5
TEX
6
F
SF
7
ARI
4
F
Cubs look to contain McNeil, visiting Mets
Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:57 AM

The New York Mets probably won't need Jeff McNeil to take the mound Saturday afternoon. But after his performance Friday, the Mets couldn't be blamed for thinking he'd figure out a way to perform like an All-Star there, too.

McNeil will look to continue his breakout season Saturday afternoon, when the Mets visit the Chicago Cubs in the third game of a four-game series.

Right-hander Zack Wheeler (5-5, 4.94 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (4-6, 3.87 ERA).

Thanks largely to McNeil's one-man wrecking crew efforts, the Mets evened the series Friday afternoon with a 5-4 win. McNeil finished with three RBIs via a pair of go-ahead hits -- a two-run homer in the third inning and a run-scoring single in the seventh that snapped a 4-4 tie.

McNeil was almost as impressive in the field. The 27-year-old, who is a natural second baseman but shifted to left field following the December acquisition of Robinson Cano, made his first career start in right field and made a leaping catch of a Kris Bryant foul ball against the ivy-lined walls at Wrigley Field.

After shifting back to left field later in the game, McNeil preserved the Mets' one-run lead in the eighth inning when he let a Willson Contreras bloop fall in front of him before firing to second to begin an inning-ending rundown ensnaring Anthony Rizzo, who was running on contact from first base with two outs and became hung up between second and third.

"Too many mistakes," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after Chicago fell for the seventh time in 11 games. "They didn't make mistakes and we did, and thus they won the game."

McNeil's big afternoon came just hours after Mets manager Mickey Callaway said during his pregame news conference that McNeil would play any position required and would declare, "... He thinks he can go throw a shutout tonight," if asked to pitch.

Afterward, Callaway began stumping for McNeil to make the All-Star team. McNeil entered Friday ranked third in the National League in both batting average (which he raised from .339 to .341 on Friday) and on-base percentage (which remained at .407).

"You can use the word 'complete,' you can use the word 'All-Star,'" Callaway said. "I think that this guy is playing the type of baseball that you want everybody to play, and he's definitely been an All-Star so far."

Wheeler lost his second straight start Monday night, when he allowed five runs (four earned) over six innings as the Mets fell to the Atlanta Braves, 12-3. He has given up 14 runs (nine earned) in the back-to-back losses, a span in which his ERA has risen from 4.61 to 4.94.

Quintana's winless streak reached eight starts last Sunday, when he gave up two runs over five innings as the Cubs lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-2. He is 0-5 with a 4.30 ERA since earning the victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 5.

Wheeler is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs. Quintana is 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts against the Mets.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

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

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Zack Wheeler - NYM
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Chicago
José Quintana - CHC
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. NY Mets

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report