No word yet on whether Ike Davis will be in the Mets' lineup tonight, but it certainly would make sense to put the left-handed Davis in the batting order against Cubs right-handed starter Randy Wells, who is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA this season. Wells lost his only decision to the Mets last year but pitched well in the process, giving up only one earned run and seven hits in six innings. The Mets have had limited exposure, if any, to the second-year pitcher, but David Wright and Jeff Francoeur are among those who have yet to get a hit off him.
This is the beginning of a vital 10-game homestand for the Mets. It's an opportunity to get their season pointed in the right direction while there's still time. But it's not going to be easy to get untracked against a Cubs pitching staff that has hit its stride with a 2.38 ERA over the past four games. Cubs pitchers have struck out at least 10 in five of 12 games and rank third in the major leagues with 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. As much as they have struggled at the plate, the Cubs still rank third in the majors with 30 two-out RBI. This will be their only trip to New York this season.
Mets left-handed starter Jon Niese (0-1, 6.55 ERA) will be facing a lineup dominated by right-handed hitters. Niese suffered the first loss of his major league career against the Cubs in 2008. Chicago manager Lou Piniella has announced changes in his batting order, moving Marlon Byrd to leadoff and Jeff Baker to second while dropping leadoff man Ryan Theriot into the eighth spot. Geovany Soto moves up from eighth to seventh. It's possible Xavier Nady will be the cleanup hitter.
In case you didn't know, the Mets' Davis is the son of former major league relief pitcher Ron Davis, who had an 11-year career, including three seasons with the Yankees. The Davis family is expected to arrive in time to see Tuesday's game. When he left Buffalo, Davis was riding a seven-game hitting streak.