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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Mets, Saturday 8/4, 2:55 CT

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The Mets owe a big "thank you" to Kris Benson, who threw one and a half mediocre seasons for them, winning 14, losing 12, and having a 4.23 combined ERA in his time in New York in 2004 and 2005.

Why is this? Because Benson brought them two-fifths of their current starting rotation. He was traded to the Orioles for today's Met starter, John Maine and reliever Jorge Julio. Julio was then sent to the Diamondbacks for yesterday's Met starter, Orlando Hernandez.

Remember the actions of the GM's in Arizona and Baltimore the next time you think Jim Hendry makes bad trades.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. John Maine
J. Maine
Mets
11-5 W-L 12-5
3.60 ERA 2.92
111 SO 113
35 BB 46
16 HR 14
vs. NY -- vs. Cubs
John Maine, the only active player whose last name is the same as a U.S. state, has been the Mets' most consistent starter all season; in fact, he and Tom Glavine, tomorrow's starter, have been the only Mets to not miss a turn this year. The Mets, who have the best record in the league, have used ten different starters this year, including Dave Williams (!) and Chan Ho Park (!!!). Maine's been good, but he is also the only Met pitcher to have lost to the Cubs in 2007, on May 15 at Shea Stadium. Alfonso Soriano has gone only 2-for-15 off Maine, but both hits are HR.

Ted Lilly had been really good up until his last start, when he threw a ridiculous 97 pitches in five innings in losing to the Phillies. He's going to have to step up today. His past record vs. the Mets (0-1, 6.52 in three games) is pretty meaningless, because he hasn't faced them in five years, since June 29, 2002, when he was with the Yankees. He hasn't faced any current Met more than ten times.

Today's game is on Fox, available to 76% of the country -- most of the USA outside of the West Coast, and markets in the Cleveland/Minnesota "sphere of influence", wherever that is. Here's today's Mediacenter anyway.

Finally, a shoutout today to three of my SB Nation colleagues: Dave from the U. of Michigan site Maize n Brew, Chris from the Jacksonville Jaguars site Big Cat Country, and Matt from the Chicago Bulls site Blog-a-Bull, with whom I shared a nice evening of drinks last night at a Wrigleyville watering hole. It was enjoyable even after the waitress spilled a beer all over me. Nice to meet all of you.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

MLB.com Gameday for the Phillies/Brewers game

Discuss amongst yourselves.