Matt Harvey has continued to pitch splendidly for the New York Mets but hasn't earned a victory in nearly a month.
While hoping to get some better run support from his struggling club, Harvey will try to end his winless stretch Friday against the Chicago Cubs, who will seek their fifth victory in six games.
During his breakout campaign, Harvey (4-0, 1.44 ERA) has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts and pitched at least seven innings in all but two outings. He gave up two runs over seven innings Sunday against Pittsburgh but the Mets were edged 3-2.
Harvey has received six runs of support in his four winless starts compared with 23 in his first four outings. The last of those four straight victories was April 19 versus Washington.
Since winning that series against the Nationals, the Mets (15-23) have lost 15 of 21, but they snapped a season high-tying six-game skid Thursday with a 5-2 victory in St. Louis. After batting .195 during the losing streak, New York had 11 hits with Daniel Murphy going 4 for 4.
"There were a lot of things we needed to have and we did," manager Terry Collins said. "Murphy had a good day. There were all positives, and hopefully that gets us going."
Harvey is hoping to get similar support in his attempt to become the 17th Mets starter to win his first five decisions in a season. Dillon Gee was the most recent to pull off that feat by beginning 7-0 in 2011, and Harvey will try again to join his teammate on that list in his first matchup with the resurgent Cubs (17-23).
Chicago has outscored opponents 29-16 in the last five games, and its once-beleaguered bullpen has a 1.62 ERA during the past six. Cubs relievers had a 4.57 ERA in the first 34 games.
David DeJesus has recorded three straight multihit games and has six of his 14 RBIs over his last six contests. DeJesus' leadoff homer Wednesday helped pave the way for a 6-3 win over visiting Colorado.
"We're playing great baseball and not shooting ourselves in the foot," winning pitcher Jeff Samardzija told the team's official website. "We're just looking to keep it going, keep the momentum going that we've built up in the last couple weeks."
Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02) will try to do his part while building on his first victory with the Cubs, 8-2 over his former team, Washington, on Saturday. The right-hander - signed to a four-year, $52 million deal before this season - allowed two runs over 5 1-3 innings and hit a two-run double.
"It was definitely nice to get that monkey off my back. ... It felt about the same size as me," he said.
Jackson went 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts against the Mets last season, taking the loss in his most recent matchup Aug. 18 despite allowing two runs and two hits while striking out 11 over seven innings.
Jackson will try to earn a win this time while leading the Cubs to their 11th victory in 16 games in the series. Chicago has won 10 of 14 against New York at Wrigley Field.