The Cubs hope that Travis Wood can redeem himself when he starts the series finale against Mets rookie Jacob deGrom on Thursday at Wrigley Field.
Wood faced 18 batters in 2 2/3 innings against the National League Central-leading Brewers last Friday, and he allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits and a walk in the Cubs' 11-5 loss at Miller Park.
Wood couldn't get into a rhythm, and Milwaukee took a two-run lead after just his third pitch. He needed 36 to get out of the first and was removed after having thrown 62 by the third.
Before that rough start, Wood was on target to earn his fifth win of May despite allowing 20 runs in 31 1/3 innings. Opponents scored on him twice as often in May (27) as they did in April (13).
When asked if Wood has done anything different to prepare for Thursday's game against the Mets, manager Rick Renteria said he had not.
"When we talk about the outings he's had, more than anything, he has to mix the usage of both sides of the plate to make his outer half effective," Renteria said. "Especially against right-handers, he has to run that cutter in against righties a little more to keep them off the outer part of the plate as much as he uses it. When he uses it down and he has those guys off the plate, it's very effective, so maybe it's just balancing that out a little bit."
Right-hander deGrom, 25, will be making his fifth start in the Majors and trying to capture his first big league win, though he logged four quality starts to open his career.
He came close to a victory on Saturday, when he allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings, retired the first 11 batters he faced and struck out 11. The Mets had a one-run lead but the bullpen, tired after a 14-inning game the previous night, squandered his chance, though the Mets eventually won, 5-4, in another 14-inning contest.
Cubs: Thursday's Draft brings fond memories
Renteria remembers being in school when his Draft class was being selected in 1980. He was a first-round pick, selected 20th overall by the Pirates.
"One of the scouts who worked at my high school asked what I was doing in school and not waiting at home for the phone call, because the Pirates were trying to get hold of me," he said. "It's pretty exciting. You dream about playing professional baseball, and when that opportunity presents itself, it's a big day."
The Cubs have the No. 4 and No. 45 overall picks on Day 1. In their history, they've made top 10 picks 25 times. Last year they took third baseman Kris Bryant in the No. 2 slot. Bryant has hit .348 with 19 homers and 51 RBIs in 58 games for the Double-A Smokies this season.
"Certainly, the two picks we make tomorrow are a significant investment, and you want to make sure you have all the information, and you double back on medical reports, double back on background information," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "You want to make sure you don't leave any stone unturned with two picks tomorrow."
Mets: Shortstops one-upping each other
On Wednesday, two days after Wilmer Flores hit a grand slam against the Phillies, Ruben Tejada hit his second home run in a week.
Ever since the Mets promoted Flores last month to take Tejada's starting shortstop job, both players have been performing at a high level. So manager Terry Collins sees no reason to give the job to one or the other, preferring to use the opportunity to give both regular rest.
"I hope they keep swinging the way they're swinging," Collins said. "[I can] give them a day off, keep them fresh."
Collins also lauded Flores' defensive work, which most scouts perceived as a significant weakness heading into the season.
• The Mets have the 10th overall pick on Thursday, and MLB.com's Jim Callis expects them to use it on University of Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb.
• Pitching in the Majors for the first time in three years, Buddy Carlyle gave the Mets four scoreless innings in two appearances, but he was designated for assignment on Wednesday night, with outfielder Andrew Brown called up to join the bench.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.