The lineups â€”
METS (86-70, 2nd, -2.5 NL East):
7 Reyes, SS
1 Castillo, 2B
5 Wright, 3B
15 Beltran, CF
21 Delgado, 1B
11 Castro, C
19 Church, RF
6 Evans, LF
57 Santana, LHP
CUBS (95-60, 1st, +10.5 NL Central):
12 Soriano, LF
5 Cedeno, SS
25 Lee, 1B
9 Johnson, CF
7 DeRosa, 2B
27 McGehee, 3B
1 Fukudome, RF
24 Blanco, C
45 Marshall, LHP
The notes â€”
WILPON MUM: A few of us grabbed owner Fred Wilpon as he left the clubhouse about a half hour ago, but Wilpon declined comment. “Talk to them,” Wilpon said. “I’m not the team spokesman anymore.”
MAINE IN LIMBO: John Maine (shoulder) isn’t sure whether he’ll be activated tomorrow, Thursday or at some point this weekend. He played catch today and felt normal soreness. When asked if he expects to be in the ‘pen tomorrow, Maine said: “I hope. I want to pitch. But that’s not my call. I have to see what Jerry has to say and talk to the doctor.”
BELTRAN BACK: Carlos Beltran (ribs, knee) is in the lineup and batting fourth tonight. As I wrote earlier, Beltran said it’s the ribs bothering him more, but he is OK to play. Beltran considers himself 80-85 percent.
SPARKING CASTILLO: Jerry Manuel said he think Luis Castillo is more comfortable in the two-hole, which is why he will try him there tonight. Castillo is 9 for 48 with four runs scored since returning from the DL on Aug. 25.
WATCH OUT FOR JOHNSON: Johan Santana has pitched 13 innings against the Cubs and is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. But during his time in the AL, Santana struggled against (of all people) Reed Johnson, the former Blue Jay, who is 10 for 19 with a homer off the Met ace.
SINCE JULY 1st: Here’s something to give you hope. The Mets are still second in baseball in victories since July 1 with 46, two behind the Angels and one ahead of the Cubs and Phillies.
More on the game in a bit…
UPDATE, 7:48 p.m.: The Cubs have hit three doubles off Santana and there’s only one out in the third. He looks pretty sharp otherwise, but it definitely makes you raise your eyebrows. The Mets can ill-afford a so-so start here.
UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: Well, the Mets trail 2-0 behind Johan Santana and there are already bad signs through three innings. The crowd is booing outs, and just booing Luis Castillo in general.
It’s odd to say this because 18 outs is 2/3 of a game, but it almost seems like the Met offense is down to its last outs. Do you have the same feeling when they come to bat?
UPDATE, 8:14 p.m.: A leadoff walk by David Wright should’ve set up a good inning, but Sean Marshall struck out Carlos Beltran (looking) and Carlos Delgado (swinging), and retired Ramon Castro to end the inning with Wright was left standed on first.
In other news, the Mets wouldn’t confirm Minaya’s contract extension. They said: “The matter will be addressed at the end of teh season.”
UPDATE, 8:29 p.m.: Big spot here for David Wright with the bases loaded. Sean Marshall just issued about the worst walk on the planet to Luis Castillo to set up the situation.
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: Tie ballgame, 2-2.
Marshall can’t expect to issue a walk like that and get away with it.
UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: Before the two-run single, David Wright was 3 for 16 this season with the bases loaded.
UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: Just had a hard-hit foul ball here in the press box off the bat of Fukudome. I won’t tell you what happened, but let’s just say that much like Jeremy Shockey on third down, reporters aren’t known for their hands.
UPDATE, 9:01 p.m.: After two more bizarre moments (a Ramon Castro infield single to the pitcher and a fan running onto the field during Johan Santana’s bases-loaded at-bat), Jose Reyes just pulled his 200th hit of the year down the line in right. Boy, was it a big one: a three-run triple that gave the Mets a 6-2 lead through the sixth.
Reyes became only the second player to have 200 hits in a year, joining One Dog, Lance Johnson, who holds the club record with 227 (1996).
Santana should finish the seventh at about 100 pitches. Let’s see how long he can go.
UPDATE, 9:17 p.m.: With Santana right at 100 pitches to start the eighth, the bullpen is quiet as a library right now.