Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight: Cubs (96-61) vs. Mets (87-71)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 174, 188
Location – Shea Stadium, New York
Rich Harden (10-2, 2.03/1.06, 5-1, 1.66/1.06) vs. Pedro Martinez (5-6, 5.50/1.55)
Updated – 4:48pm C.T. - It’s Official… According to a report from the Sun-Times, Lou Piniella named Ryan Dempster the Cubs’ Game One starter on Thursday afternoon.
Weather permitting is the phrase that pays for the Cubs today. Rain is in the forecast in the Big Apple for the next several days and many think the Cubs will have to return to New York on Monday to make this one up. The Cubs are scheduled to play in Houston as well on Monday….if the Astros are still in the hunt. So while Lou Piniella is preparing for the post-season, maybe he should work out a rain schedule as well.
Tonight is scheduled to be the last regular season game for the Cubs at Shea Stadium….and if you ask Ron Santo, it could not come quick enough.
Rich Harden will make his playoff tune-up tonight against Pedro Martinez….who could be making the last start of his career. Rich Harden is scheduled to make his last start of the regular season tonight. If the storm does show up as expected, Harden may not make an appearance tonight…..one thing is certain Harden will not start his warm-ups until the Cubs are sure they can play ball.
Harden needs this start. His velocity returned against the Brewers (Harden last pitched in the Miracle Comeback against the Brewers) in his last start but he struggled with his command. A mental error by Mark DeRosa helped run up Harden’s pitch count and at the end of 5 innings he tied a season high with 115 pitches. Harden walked a season-high 6 batters and struck out 7….but gave up only 1 run on 1 hit. When he was in the strike zone, Harden was unhittable.
Harden is 1-0 in his last 2 starts with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP after posting a 3-0 record in 5 starts in August with a 1.82 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Harden has been a very good addition to the Cubs rotation and should start either game two or game three of the NLDS next week.
Tonight is the first career start for Harden against the Mets. He pitched an inning of relief at Shea Stadium on June 22nd of last year….no hits, no runs, no walks and two strikeouts.
- Marlon Anderson – 2-for-6 with a double
- Carlos Beltran – 1-for-5
- Luis Castillo – 0-for-2
- Carlos Delgado – 1-for-7 with a home run
The Cubs will face Pedro Martinez for the first time in a Mets uniform….and the first time since he pitched half of his games North of the border. Martinez is a shell of his former self and is 0-3 in his last 3 starts with a 7.88 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP while allowing a .358 OBA. Martinez was effective in August but has made only 19 starts in the final year of a 4-year contract with the Mets.
Tonight could be the final start in the Hall of Fame career of Pedro Martinez.
Pedro is 4-3 in 12 career games, 7 starts, against the Cubs with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
- Jim Edmonds – 3-for-13 with a home run
- Reed Johnson – 4-for-20 with a triple and a home run
- Derrek Lee – 0-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-43 with 3 doubles
- Daryle Ward – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….