The Cubs close out the first half of the 2012 season in New York against the Mets this weekend. This should be a pretty good series as both clubs are playing pretty good baseball right now. The Cubs, in probably their best stretch of the season, have gone 7-3 in their last ten games, while the wild card leading (Tied with the Giants) Mets are 6-4 in their last ten. The Cubs got the best of the Mets at the end of June in Chicago when they took two out of three. However, I’m sure the Cubs haven’t forgotten the one game they lost in that series, by the score of 17-1. The Mets are a well-rounded squad as they are 3rd in the NL in runs scored, and 7th in ERA. Not too many ways to beat this team at the moment, if the Cubs want to be successful they have to get into the Mets bullpen which is the worst in the National League with a 5.07 ERA. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.
It seems like the most interesting news surrounding the Cubs is what is happening off the field than on, that’s probably true. This is what most Cubs fans have waited for all year, the arrival of Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo will not be a savior, and he might struggle, but if most Cubs fans are like me, just seeing Rizzo play is a welcome departure from watching a lifeless team go through the motions game after game. Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Anthony Rizzo could be in the Cubs lineup as early as Tuesday night. The team he and the Cubs will be facing is one of the early season surprises, the New York Mets. The Mets are currently five games over .500 and are in second place in the East, just 3.5 games behind the Nationals. The Cubs will get a look at a big reason Monday night as they face a rejuvenated Johan Santana, but they will avoid knuckleball sensation R.A. Dickey. The Cubs, per usual, are struggling, they can’t score runs, a big reason is a dreadful stretch with guys in scoring position (3-25 over the weekend in Arizona). Maybe a Rizzo promotion will help in that department, stay tuned. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.