Cubs

LIVE: Mets lead Cubs in New York

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LIVE: Mets lead Cubs in New York

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011Posted: 10:11 a.m.

Associated Press

After a prosperous two weeks, the New York Mets faltered in their return to Citi Field. A matchup with the Chicago Cubs could get them back on track.

Mike Pelfrey will try to start this three-game series on a positive note for the Mets by adding to his recent success against the Cubs on Friday night.

The Mets had won 10 of 13 before heading home to play a doubleheader against Atlanta on Thursday, rescheduled games due to the threat of Hurricane Irene last month.

New York (70-73) couldn't capitalize on a four-run first inning while dropping the opening game 6-5 and scored its lone run in the finale during the first inning en route to a 5-1 defeat.

"It's been a disappointing season," outfielder Jason Bay said. "You can kind of let it be that way or try to use the last month as a stepping stone going into the offseason and feeling a little bit better of what you're working on in spring training. That was kind of the focus over the last couple of weeks."

As they continue a nine-game homestand, the Mets will try to bounce back with their seventh win in nine home games against Chicago (62-81). The Cubs enter this series having won three of four following a 5-12 stretch but they've dropped six of eight on the road.

Pelfrey (7-11, 4.68 ERA) will try to add to Chicago's road woes with another dominant outing against the Cubs. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two career matchups and will face them for the first time since April 20, 2010.

Pelfrey, though, is 1-2 in his last seven starts and hasn't given up fewer than three runs in any of those outings. The right-hander allowed three runs and five hits over 4 2-3 innings Sunday in Washington but also matched a career high with five walks while failing to factor in the decision during a 6-3 win.

In his search for another victory, Pelfrey will try to get help from Jose Reyes, who leads the NL with a .335 average. The shortstop is also on an 11-game hit streak since returning from a stint on the disabled list for a strained left hamstring.

Reyes is hitting .400 in his last 11 games against the Cubs and went 1 for 2 versus Casey Coleman (2-7, 6.61) during a 7-4 win at Wrigley Field on May 25. Coleman gave up six runs over a career-low 1 1-3 innings during that game and enters this one winless in the majors since May 19.

The right-hander has lost three of his last four outings but nearly won his previous one. He allowed two runs over six innings Saturday against Pittsburgh but was denied a victory when closer Carlos Marmol gave up a grand slam in the ninth of a 7-5 loss.

"We talked before the game about him getting better each time and being consistent. He threw the ball extremely well," manager Mike Quade said. "I was glad to get him out in a position to win the game. We didn't get it done for him, but he pitched great and gave us a chance to win. That's all you can ask."

Starlin Castro, the NL leader with 182 hits, will try to extend his hit streak to 10 games. He's batting .375 in six career matchups with the Mets but has never played at Citi Field.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Where Cubs stand in updated All-Star voting

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USA TODAY

Where Cubs stand in updated All-Star voting

The Cubs were swept in four games at the hands of the Reds. The news on the All-Star ballot hasn’t been kind as well.

Starting positions for Cubs players at the 2018 MLB All-Star game is looking a little bleak. But catcher Willson Contreras is still in striking distance.

MLB updated its third round of All-Star ballots for the National League. Dating back a week ago, Contreras was behind Giants catcher Buster Posey by 90,000 votes. As of now, that number is quite similar with Posey up 92,000 votes.

For other Cubs players, the margins have continued to grow in the wrong direction as the week has gone along.

The race for first base is a clear cut path for Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman. With nearly 2,200,000 votes to Freeman’s name, he’s ahead of Anthony Rizzo by nearly 1.3 million votes. At this point last week, Rizzo was down 870,000 votes.

The race for second base is a bit closer. Javier Baez has complied 1,186,243 votes, but he still trails Braves’ Ozzie Albies by 222,000 votes.

But Baez shouldn’t be too comfortable. Reds second basemen Scooter Gennett is just 19,000 votes behind him. Gennett could leap frog Baez, with still 10 days left to vote.

If Baez can get his name ahead of Albies, he’d become the second Cub to start at second base in three years, when Ben Zobrist started in 2016.

Kris Bryant, who has struggled this year offensively, is still struggling in the Midsummer Classic standings. Rockies third basemen Nolan Arenado leads Bryant by 646,400 votes, compared to 447,000 votes last week.

Rounding out the infield with Addison Russell at shortstop, he still sits in third place, trailing Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and Giants Brandon Crawford.

In the outfield, it is more of the same for Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, and Ben Zobrist. Heyward sits in seventh place with 750,688 votes. Schwarber in eighth has 706,374 votes, and Zobrist has 694,377 votes in ninth.

Even though the Cubs probably won’t see multiple starters on the field this time around, it doesn’t mean they won’t have a chance to be selected as reserves.

Cub faithful still has time to get their players to the All-Star game. Voting ends July 5 at 11 p.m. CT.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa victimized the Tigers pitching staff again on the next night, taking Brian Moehler deep in the 7th inning for a 400-foot solo blast.

The homer tied the game at 3, but the Cubs blew the lead in the bottom of the 7th when the Terrys (Adams and Mulholland) gave up 3 runs. The Cubs wound up losing 6-4.

The Cubs were putting together a really nice season in 1998 that ended with a trip to October. They entered the series with the Tigers with a 42-34 record, yet lost both games to a Detroit team that entered the series with a 28-45 record. The Tigers finished the season 65-94; the Cubs finished 90-73.

Fun fact: Luis Gonzalez was the Tigers left fielder and No. 5 hitter for both games of the series. He spent part of the 1995 season and all of '96 on Chicago's North Side. 1998 was his only year in Detroit before he moved on to Arizona, where he hit 57 homers in 2001 and helped the Diamondbacks to a World Series championship with that famous broken-bat single in Game 7.

Fun fact  No. 2: Remember Pedro Valdes? He only had a cup of coffee with the Cubs (9 games in 1996 and 14 in '98), but started in left field on June 25, 1998. He walked and went 0-for-1 before being removed from the game for a pinch-hitter (Jose Hernandez).