Friday, August 28, 2009

Cubs-Mets Series Preview

Two teams that are having awful seasons meet for the first time in 2009. Both the Cubs and Mets entered the season with high expectations, and both are going to end the season as major disappointments. They haven't Met yet this season, and will play each other six times in a short time period. Here are the matchups.

Friday- Ted Lilly (9-8 3.40) vs. Pat Misch (0-1 4.09)
Ted Lilly tries to get this tenth win of the season against a bad lineup and a bad pitcher. Of course Ted has a bad lineup behind him too. Ted has been money at home this season going 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA. Since the team is just about out of it, I'm betting it's time to start a nice winning streak of false hope.
Misch is a mystery to me, though he appeared in Wrigley once for the Giants in 2007 and gave up three runs. He has been starting for the Mets AAA team most of the season, and while I wish him the best of luck after this start, let's hope he's more Jeff Samardzija than Randy Wells. 

Saturday- Ryan Dempster (7-7 4.07) vs. Bobby Parnell (3-6 5.08)
Ryan Dempster tries to build on his solid effort against the Dodgers last week. This last month of starts should be interesting to watch from Dempster as his stint on the DL probably has his arm nice and fresh for the stretch run of meaningless baseball. I see no reason for Dempster not to give a solid effort in front of the whole country.
Parnell continues the Mets mystery starter tour. He has had both good and bad starts this season for the Mets, hopefully this time he has a bad one. Ryan Theriot is the only Cub that has gotten a hit off Parnell, so we should put the pressure on him to have a big game. Parnell did have two relief appearances against the Cubs in September last year.  

Sunday- Carlos Zambrano (7-5 3.80) vs. Nelson Figueroa (1-3 5.40)
Big Z tries to rebound from his horrid return to the Cubs last time out. He's found the right lineup to abuse with his sinker. Again I expect big things from the Cubs starters this weekend, and Z has a lot of writers to shut up. Not to mention he should be trying to get his own trade value higher.
Figueroa isn't good. I say this knowing that he will dominate the Cubs because the Cubs are poor at offense. He features five pitches, but he said his success in his last start was because the Marlins hadn't seen him before. The Cubs have gotten to him before as he is 0-4 against us.

Batters to watch
This is where I list Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, Carlos Delgado, and John Maine. Wait they are all on the DL right now. Have to feel bad for the Mets fans the way this season has gone. Still they do have some potent bats in the lineup and here they are.

Angel Pagan CF- .290/.339/.493/.832 116 OPS+ 6 HR 26 RBI 11 SB
A former Cub outfielder Pagan is probably most known for his time on the DL and his part in Hawk Harrelson's greatest meltdown. He has filled in nicely for the Mets and is probably their best player right now. I was a bit sad to see him go after 2007, but I'm happy that he has found a place to play, and I'm sure he figures in the Mets future plans with his play this season.

Daniel Murphy 1B- .262/.317/.395/.712 86 OPS+ 7 HR 45 RBI
No Murphy isn't the greatest player on earth, and I'll bet he would be on the bench for a healthy Mets team, but he is what they have right now. Plus he is exactly the kind of player that beats the Cubs pretty good.

Luis Castillo 2B- .315/.406/.369/.776 107 OPS+ 1 HR 34 RBI 15 SB
Sort of the Mets fans whipping boy, Castillo has turned in a very good season for the Mets despite some early miscues. Plus he is a notorious Cub killer so I'll bet he has a five hit series with at least one homer and three or four stolen bases. 

This isn't a good Mets team, but the Cubs aren't a good team either. I'm serious when I say I expect this team to go on a run now that they are out of it. The starting pitching has come together and should have some rested arms. Again I'll say the Cubs should sweep this series, but knowing the Cubs they will be lucky to take two of three. 

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