Cubs 7, Mets 0. Greg Maddux
was masterful over 6-2/3 innings and Kris Benson
struggled in his second start back off the disabled list, as the Mets were limited to just three hits in a 7-0 shutout loss.
Benson surrendered four home runs on a night when the Wrigley Field winds weren't quite so friendly to the Mets, a new career high for the right-hander: Corey Patterson went deep twice, while Jeromy Burnitz and Jason Dubois each homered once.
"I came in with a good game plan," Benson told reporters. "I found myself out there just doing the total opposite of what I should have been doing for some reason. Focus wise, it just wasn't there and that's the most frustrating part because I knew I was doing it and allowed myself to do it."
Benson was charged with six runs on 10 hits over six innings, striking out three and walking none. His ERA jumped to 6.75.
Of the Mets' three hits, two were contributed by reserve infielder Chris Woodward. Kaz Matsui had New York's third safety. The Mets fell to 18-16.
Chris Woodward was given the start Tuesday in place of David Wright, who fouled a ball off his foot in Monday's win over Chicago. Wright had X-rays taken on the foot Tuesday, but told reporters he thinks it is a bruise and nothing more serious.
Maddux's success against the Mets is nothing of a new phenomenon – Tuesday simply marked the latest time the soft-tossing righthander has stymied New York. Maddux's 6-2/3 inning performance helped the former longtime Brave to his 34th career win, as opposed to 16 losses, over the Mets.
Pedro Martinez was playful with New York reporters yesterday, who quizzed the ace righthander on the prospects of pitching against the Yankees on May 20 – of course, the club Martinez infamously called "my daddies" last year. Martinez proclaimed that there was no rivalry between the Mets and Yankees, and said he didn't know what he would expect at Shea Stadium for the weekend contests.
"I've never seen New Yorkers going after New Yorkers. That will be my first experience. I'm a rookie at that," Martinez told reporters.
It won't be an easy assignment for Victor Zambrano (2-3, 5.63) on Wednesday, as he draws Mark Prior (3-1, 3.09) in one of those classic Wrigley Field 2:05 p.m. matinees. Threatening weather is in the forecast, and the Mets leave town after the game to head back to New York and meet the Cardinals on Friday.