Game One Hundred Thirty-Four: Cubs (67-66) vs. Mets (61-74)
Game Time – 12:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – CitiField, Flushing, New York
Rich Harden (8-8, 4.19/1.29) vs. Nelson Figueroa (2-3, 4.50/1.66)
Lou Piniella’s crew enters play this afternoon just a game above .500 once again. A loss against the Mets today would mark the 21st time this season the Cubs have as many wins as losses.
Derrek Lee is expected back in the starting lineup after missing back-to-back games due to the birth of his second child. It is also time for Lou Piniella to use Andres Blanco at short. The Cubs must find out if Blanco can hit Major League pitching over the last 29 games of the season. While Ryan Theriot has turned himself into a solid big leaguer, the Cubs should consider moving him to second base next season and finding a shortstop.
Bobby Scales rejoined the team on Friday and recorded one of the Cubs’ nine hits. With Scales back, there is no reason whatsoever for Aaron Miles to play another game with the Cubs.
Today it all begins with Rich Harden and not mailing in the rest of the season … Rich Harden is coming off by far his worst outing of the second half. Harden labored through five innings against the Astros and gave up a season-high six walks (one short of this career-high). Harden’s line, a very unbelievable five runs on five hits in five innings with six walks and nine strikeouts.
Rich Harden may be nearing the end of his Cubs’ career. Harden is a free agent at the end of the year. With the Cubs’ ownership soon switching hands no one knows at this point how much the Cubs’ front office will have to spend on next year’s team. Right now ten players will eat up nearly $116 million of 2010’s payroll.
Rich Harden is 5-2 in ten road starts this year with a 2.02 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Today will be his first game against the Mets this season. He does not have a record in two career games, one start. In seven innings of work against the Metropolitans, Harden has allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits with five walks and six strikeouts (2.57 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP).
- Luis Castillo – 0-for-2
- Jeff Francoeur – 0-for-5
- Anderson Hernandez – 0-for-2
- Daniel Murphy – 0-for-3
- Jeremy Reed – 3-for-9 with 2 walks
- Gary Sheffield – 4-for-15 with a double, a home run and a walk
- David Wright – no official at bat, 2 walks
The last time the Cubs faced Nelson Figueroa they allowed him to have one of the best outings of his big league career. Last Sunday at Wrigley, Figueroa set a new career high in strikeouts (10) as the Cubs began swinging away at the remainder of the schedule.
Nelson Figueroa has won only two games this season … and one of them came last Sunday at Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs’ expense.
The Cubs must make Figueroa work today.
Figueroa is 1-2 in seven home games this season, two starts, with a 6.87 ERA and a 2.02 WHIP.
- Milton Bradley – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3
- Jake Fox – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-5 with a walk
- Sam Fuld – no official at bat, 1 walk
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-15 with a home run and 2 walks
- Aaron Miles – 0-for-1
- Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-12 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-1
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-4
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-4
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….