Game Day Preview: 4/19, Metsies vs. Cubbies

Nym-logo_medium vs. Cubscoutlogo_medium
SBNation coverage--Bleed Cubbie Blue--TV: SNY, ESPN--7:10 EST


So begins the Ike Davis era experiment. He will make his debut against a right-handed pitcher, a young one at that, so contain yourself if he hits like a monster. He wasn't in the minors for his lack of hitting ability versus righties. Jose Reyes gets the day off, which means...


  1. Angel Pagan-CF
  2. Luis Castillo-"2B"
  3. David Wright-3B
  4. Jason Bay-LF
  5. Jeff Francoeur-RF
  6. Izaak Davis-1B
  7. Rod Barajas-C
  8. Alex Cora-"SS"
  9. Marathon Niese-P

Lou Pinella is not happy with his team's offensive production of late, so expect something like this atrocity: 

  1. Marlon Byrd-CF
  2. Jeff Baker-The one on the Rockies?
  3. Derek Lee-1B
  4. Xavier Nady-RF
  5. Aramis Ramirez-3B
  6. Geovany Soto-C
  7. Alfonso Soriano-LF
  8. Ryan Theriot-SS
  9. Randy Wells-P

Probable Pitchers

Jon Niese

#49 / Pitcher / New York Mets





Oct 27, 1986

Looks like Jonathon finally got a SBN picture. I still think there's something symmetrically-unsettling about his face. Borderline cubist:


...anyway. I was surprised looking at Niese's stats so far this season (6.55 ERA, 5:3 K:BB), because having watched both his starts, I thought he pitched pretty decently. It's hard to say whether that's because my standards are so badly lowered by watching John Maine the day before, or because Niese has been pitching well, the results just aren't there yet. Here's the generic scouting report from his first start:

Jon throws a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, cut-fastball, curveball, and changeup. Due to a lack of velocity, his fastball is limited in its effectiveness as a primary pitch. His ability to run the two-seamer in on lefties and the cutter in on righties compensates quite well, however, and generates some groundballs. A 12-6 curveball is his out-pitch. His control projects to be at least decent, a feat on this team. 

Niese, however, has only thrown that supposed out-pitch <5% of the time so far. The first game, one could guess he was trying to establish his fastballs as respectable offerings. And the second game, there was the Coors Field excuse. This time, however, he better start throwing some curves, or he's officially Warthen'd. 

Key Matchups

  • Aramis Ramirez hits most pitches well, but he handles cutters and curveballs better than most.
  • Ryan Theriot is batting 1.000 (1-1) career vs. Niese. In other words, I couldn't think of a second important matchup. 

Randy Wells

#36 / Pitcher / Chicago Cubs





Aug 28, 1982

Wells: Woah, Jeff, look at this.

Samardzija: wut

Wells: They sell jerseys that say 'stoner' on the back!

Samardzija: No way.

Wells: No, way. 

Samardzija: Woah.

Wells: ...

Samardzija: Dude, where's my glove? 

Scouting report: Randy Wells throws strikes. Like Niese, he doesn't throw hard, but hard enough to make his fastball a credible offering. His average fastball velocity was 89.6 last season, though it's up a little so far this year. His best pitch is a slider, although it's hardly an "out-pitch" in the sense that it will strike people out. I feel like Wells is the type of pitcher that could give the Mets fits, as he rarely beats himself. 

Key Matchups

  • Luis Castillo: Luis hits can't hit fastballs so well these days, but he loves poor changeups, and Wells' is nothing special. He'll be batting from the left-side, which means more of the "small ball," slap-approach, versus a pitcher who pounds the strikezone. Really tedious at bats, featuring four or five fouled two-strike pitches, seem inevitable. 
  • Jeff Francoeur: Can the French god of Walks handle a disciplined right-handed pitcher with a good slider? It's the latest test for Jeff 2.0.

Things to do when Ike Davis isn't up:

  • Watch the other Mets (least fun)
  • knit (more fun)
  • do homework (more fun)
  • read a book (more fun)
  • visit Amazin' Avenue (most fun)

Special Debut-Edition GKR drinking game addenda:

  • Keith says "nicely done, Ike" --one sip
  • Gary says Ike Davis is "hitting a thousand in the big leagues" --two sips
  • Gary mentions "the mantlepiece of Ike Davis" -- two sips
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