The Cubs Will Break A Major League Record Today: Cubs vs. Mets Preview, Saturday 8/29, 3:10 CT

That got your attention. The Cubs will break a record when they get their first hit off the Mets' Bobby Parnell this afternoon.

You're still wondering what this is all about. Let me explain.

On September 20, 1958, Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm threw a no-hitter against the Yankees, while pitching for the Orioles. The Yankees then went 6,980 games without being no-hit, until six Astros pitchers no-hit them on June 11, 2003, about 44 1/2 years' worth of games.

The last time the Cubs were no-hit was Sandy Koufax's perfect game on September 9, 1965, a little less than 44 years ago. Through yesterday, the Cubs had completed 6,980 games without being no-hit. Thus, when the Cubs get their first hit this afternoon, they'll break that record. Thanks to SABR member Madison McEntire for the research and confirming to me the exact date of this record-breaking event.

The other big issue to discuss this morning is: where are Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman going to finish the year? Both have been claimed on waivers, Harden by the Twins, and Heilman by the Giants. (Ironic -- Heilman was brought in, at least in part, to replace Bob Howry, who was signed by the Giants. Now, they could become teammates, and further, the Cubs could wind up facing Heilman in San Francisco in September.) My feeling is: let Heilman go -- he's not likely to be back next year and the Cubs could easily replace him with Jeff Stevens or Justin Berg, for now. As for Harden, if the Cubs keep him and he then leaves as a free agent (presuming arbitration is offered, which it likely would be), he would net the Cubs two draft picks. Jim Hendry thus has to find out whether he can get two prospects from the Twins who would be worth more to the organization than the draft picks. If so, let him go -- because you could then re-sign Harden anyway as a free agent.

We'll know the results by Monday, the last day a player can be traded to a new team and still qualify for postseason play.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Bobby Parnell
Bobby Parnell
Mets
7-7 W-L 3-6
4.07 ERA 5.08
122 SO 50
54 BB 30
18 HR 5
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ryan Dempster 7-7 23 23 0 0 0 0 143.2 141 75 65 18 54 122 4.07 1.36


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Bobby Parnell 3-6 58 4 0 0 1 4 62.0 71 37 35 5 30 50 5.08 1.63

Bobby Parnell was supposed to be a mainstay of the Mets' bullpen this year. He was doing a pretty good job of it till mid-June, when he started to get pounded; in 25 relief appearances between June 10 and August 5, he put up a 5.56 relief ERA. Then, due to injuries, he wound up in the Mets' rotation; he is 1-3 in four starts with an even worse 8.82 ERA. He made two relief appearances vs. the Cubs last September; no current Cub has more than two AB against him.

Ryan Dempster's career numbers vs. the Mets aren't too good -- 8-4, but with a 5.54 ERA, in 23 lifetime appearances (12 starts). However, all of those starts were in his previous incarnation as a starter with the Marlins and Reds -- he didn't start vs. the Mets last year. Most of the Mets who hit him well (Carlos Beltran, David Wright) are on the DL.

The Cubs and Mets are on Fox-TV today. Surprisingly, this game is being considered Fox's "A" game. The list of markets is too long to post here; click here to see if the game is on in your city. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Mets site Amazin' Avenue.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 4:15 pm, 5:15 pm and 6 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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