Mets Game 131: Win Over Cubs

Mets 4 Cubs 1

The Mets continue to impress by salvaging at least one win per series. If they can continue to win at least one out of every three, they are almost guaranteed to stay ahead of the cellar-dwelling Nationals. Keep fighting, men!

Though the season is over for most of the Mets fan base, it’s just beginning for Nelson Figueroa. He made the most of his opportunity in Chicago, pulling off perhaps the best start of his Major League career. Figgy struck out 10, walked 2, and allowed only 6 hits and 1 earned run in 7 innings.

Meanwhile, the Mets made mincemeat out of Carlos Zambrano, pummeling him for 4 runs and 11 hits in only 3 1/1 innings of work. Strangely enough, the Mets basically singled him to death — Anderson Hernandez’s run-scoring triple in the fourth was the only extra-base hit of the afternoon.

Brian Stokes pitched a perfect eighth and Frankie Fantastic earned his 28th save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

Notes

Figueroa also had an RBI single, scoring the fourth run of the ballgame.

Figgy became the only Mets pitcher not named Santana to strike out 10 in a game this season.

Former Cub Angel Pagan was 3-for-5 with a run scored and his 12th stolen base. Luis Castillo was the only other Met with more than one hit; he was 2-for-5 but struck out twice — unusual for him.

After Zambrano left the game, the Mets mustered only one hit the rest of the way against four Cub relievers.

Next Mets Game

The Mets get a well-deserved day off on Monday, then meet the Rockies in Colorado on Tuesday night. Mike Pelfrey starts for the Mets, no word yet on the Colorado hurler. Game time is 8:40 PM EST.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Mike August 31, 2009 at 9:00 am
    Hey Joe all kidding aside, is it safe to say Pagan is some kind of hitter? We discussed him a while back and since then he tempered expectations a bit by going into a slump. However the overall results have continued to be productive. Your assessment that he is a bad fielder who makes up for errors with speed is still correct, and the base running mistakes have been concerning, but overall as a hitter I would gladly take him on my team as the 4th outfielder.
  2. joejanish August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am
    I like Pagan as a fourth outfielder too. Playing a few times a week, he’s fine enough defensively at any of the three OF spots, he hits from both sides, he has speed, and he’s showing this year that he can drive the ball.

    One thing I’d like to see from him is the ability to bunt. We’ve seen him sacrifice a few times, but I don’t recall any bunting for hits. With his speed, that’s something that I personally would like to see — both to add a few hits and also to draw in the corners (and lead to more hits).

    The only issue is he appears to be a streak hitter, which could be a problem for a bench player when not getting consistent at-bats. Though, with his strength and big swing he may still have room to develop HR power, and if that does happen then the inconsistency is more acceptable.