citi field metsThe Cubs have now lost two in a row in New York after sweeping the Reds in Cincinnati. If they want to avoid a series loss (at a minimum), they’ll have to beat the Mets tonight.

And, hey, recent struggles (which is probably too strong of a word) aside, Jake Arrieta is still Jake Arrieta. You want to stop a losing trend? He’s the guy you want on the mound. Maybe those mechanical and approach tweaks will finally take hold in this one, and Arrieta will be off to the races. And maybe he’ll sock a dinger, too.

Mostly, you’d just like to see Arrieta more confidently able to attack the zone without, as he recently put it, being his own worst enemy by setting Mets hitters up with good counts and giving up free passes.

On the other side of the bump is 43-year-old Bartolo Colon, who just keeps cruising along. He pretty much just throws fastballs at this point, a four-seamer and a two-seamer, neither of which averages better than 90mph, and very occasionally mixes in a slider and a changeup. If there’s a quintessential “here’s my pitch, go ahead and hit it” guy in baseball, it’s Colon. It’s working for him this year, as his pitching line down below indicates. There’s plenty of room for regression, though, as his BABIP is the lowest it’s been since 2012 and his LOB% is the highest it’s ever been. That means it’s fair to expect, over the course of the rest of the year, a few more hits will fall in than have been, and a few more hits will be clustered together than have been.

Hopefully that starts tonight against the Cubs. Colon doesn’t walk anyone – 3.9% this year – so they’re going to swing and generate hard contact.

Also: we get to watch Bartolo Colon bat against Jake Arrieta. Haven’t the fans already won?



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (51-28) at New York Mets (42-37), 6:15 CT on FOX, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 2.10 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 3.31 xFIP; 2.78 K/BB

versus

Mets: Bartolo Colon (R): 2.86 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 4.02 xFIP; 4.14 K/BB



New York Mets Lineup:

1. Brandon Nimmo, LF

2. Neil Walker, 2B

3. Yoenis Cespedes, CF

4. James Loney, 1B

5. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

6. Wilmer Flores, 3B

7. Alejandro De Aza, RF

8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

9. Bartolo Colon, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Ben Zobrist, 2B

2. Jason Heyward, CF

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Willson Contreras, LF

6. Miguel Montero, C

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. Chris Coghlan, RF

9. Jake Arrieta, P


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