Chicago 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.

Cubs' Ben Zobrist has travel issues just like us

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USA TODAY

Cubs' Ben Zobrist has travel issues just like us

Even World Series MVP's have travel headaches. 

Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist was a late scratch from Tuesday night's lineup because of a rental car mix-up in Nashville, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers and WSCR's Mark Grote

So Ian Happ had to fill in. When the Cubs' glue guy finally did show up, though, he made his presence felt immediately by smacking a pinch-hit, two-run double to give the North Siders an 8-6 lead: 

Zobrist finished with three RBIs off the bench, but this story is truly great because of the Twitter reaction it inspired: 

[MORE: Anthony Rizzo, the greatest third baseman ever?] 

So think about that next time you're on the cusp of complaining about traffic, Metra or the CTA. 

Anthony Rizzo, the greatest third baseman ever?

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USA TODAY

Anthony Rizzo, the greatest third baseman ever?

Look out, Kris Bryant: Anthony Rizzo might be coming for you.

After Bryant suffered a left hand contusion in the top of the eighth inning during Tuesday's 13-9 win over Cincinnati, Joe Maddon shuffled his infield by moving Rizzo from first to third base for the first time in his career to replace the reigning NL MVP and it didn't take long for the Cubs to take advantage of the rare occurence on social media:

Pretty amazing that in one season he's been dubbed the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time and best third baseman ever.

Here's another cool fact:

Earlier this season, Rizzo became second-base eligible in ESPN and CBS Sports fantasy leagues because of a weird rule that allows him to switch positions with how the Cubs defend certain bunt situations. 

At this rate, he may become eligible for every infield position. Next up, shortstop?