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New York Mets (53-36) at Chicago Cubs (34-54) at 2:20 on 7/14/06 Live on ESPN

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Trachsel on tap to get Mets going

N.Y. Mets (53-36) at Chicago Cubs (34-54), Friday, 2:20 p.m. ET


The Mets come off the All-Star break still comfortably in the National League East lead. The Phillies trail the Mets by 12 games, while the Braves are 13 games back and the Marlins trail by 13 1/2.

The Mets went 5-3 on the eight-game homestand leading up to the All-Star break, getting solid starts from rookies John Maine and Mike Pelfrey. Maine lost his third game of the season in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, but pitched well and improved his command. Pelfrey recorded a win in his Major League debut in Saturday's second game.


Steve Trachsel makes his 18th start of the season on Friday as the Mets resume play. Trachsel has won six starts in a row and the Mets have provided the 35-year-old righty with plenty of run support. In Trachsel's previous four starts, the Mets have scored at least seven runs, and they have plated five runs in nine of his last 10 starts.


Trachsel pitched wonderfully in his last start on July 6 in the Mets' 7-5 victory over the Pirates. The 6-foot-4 right-hander went 6 1/3 innings and gave up three runs and seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts.


The Cubs counter with Greg Maddux, who makes his 19th start of the season. Maddux has not won since June 9, when the Cubs beat the Reds, 6-5. Maddux went 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs. Maddux has lost four straight decisions, with the Cubs losing the last five games he has started.


Pitching matchup

NYM: RHP Steve Trachsel (8-4, 4.67 ERA)

Trachsel has held the Cubs' likely starting lineup to a .254 batting average with only three homers against him in 193 at-bats.


CHC: Greg Maddux (7-9, 4.89 ERA)

Maddux's command is typical for the veteran ace. He has thrown 62 strikeouts against 20 walks in 110 1/3 innings this season.


Player to watch

Cliff Floyd has two homers and eight RBIs with a .231 average in 65 at-bats against Maddux.


On the Internet


Gameday Audio

• Gameday

• Official game notes


On television



On radio

• WFAN 660 AM, WADO 1280 AM (Español)


Up next

Saturday: Mets (LHP Tom Glavine, 11-2, 3.48) at Cubs (RHP Carlos Zambrano, 8-3, 3.24), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: Mets (RHP Orlando Hernandez, 5-8, 5.12) at Cubs (RHP Mark Prior, 0-4, 7.71), 6:05 p.m. ET

Monday: Off-day

Tuesday: Mets (TBD) at Reds (TBD), 7:10 p.m. ET

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