The New York Mets have fared well on the road this season. However, that hasn’t been the case recently when they visit the Chicago Cubs.
Coming off another winning road series, the Mets will look to halt their struggles at Wrigley Field by handing the Cubs a seventh straight defeat on Thursday night.
Leading the National League East thanks to a 27-19 road mark, New York took two of three at second-place Atlanta to win its fourth consecutive away series of at least three games. Francisco Lindor’s three-run homer highlighted Wednesday’s series-winning 7-3 victory over the Braves.
“The next game against Chicago is just as important as (Wednesday’s) game,” Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt told SNY.
Now, the Mets will look to avoid a fifth consecutive loss at Wrigley, where they were swept in a three-game set last season.
Although New York won twice there to clinch the NL pennant in 2015, it’s 4-19 at Chicago during the regular season since the start of the 2014 campaign.
Lindor has hit three of his 16 home runs over the last six games.
“I’m happy I’m contributing to the team,” Lindor told the Mets’ official website. “I came here to win ballgames. However, we’re still not done with that.”
Including the postseason, Lindor is batting .375 with two homers and eight RBIs in 12 career games at Chicago.
Meanwhile, Thursday’s scheduled Mets’ starter, Carlos Carrasco (9-4, 4.55 ERA), endured a four-outing stretch from June 11-28 in which he posted a 1-3 record with a 9.68 ERA. However in his last two starts, Carrasco is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision against Miami on Saturday.
Carrasco’s only two previous appearances against the Cubs came with Cleveland in 2020, going 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA. Chicago All-Star Willson Contreras is 2-for-6 vs. Carrasco but 3-for-31 in eight contests in July.
Meanwhile, fellow All-Star Ian Happ is 11-for-25 in his last seven home games for the Cubs, who are batting .191 while being outscored 35-20 during their current six-game slide. It’s Chicago’s third skid of at least five losses this season.
Scheduled Cubs starter Keegan Thompson (7-3, 3.04) is 1-1 with a stellar 1.93 ERA in his last five starts. The right-hander had significant success with his four-seam fastball while allowing an unearned run, two hits and striking out eight over 5 2/3 innings of the Cubs’ 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
“If I can locate it up in the zone … I can get a lot of swing-and-miss or balls in the air with weak contact,” Thompson told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Thompson could see a pair of key contributors return to the Mets’ lineup.
Jeff McNeil, batting .311, may be back from the paternity list after missing the Atlanta series. Also possibly returning will be Starling Marte, who is hitting .381 in his last five road contests and has missed four straight games with a groin issue.
–Field Level Media