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At Last, The Truth About Alfonso Soriano: Cubs vs. Mets Preview, Sunday 8/30, 1:20 CT

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The information about Alfonso Soriano buried in one paragraph of this Sun-Times article today absolutely floored me:

Soriano injured the knee in April when he hit the outfield wall going after a ball. He has had treatment for months without complaining, but his mobility defensively and running have become increasingly affected. He has gone through some of the longest hitting slumps of his career -- including going without a home run from July 29 to Friday, when he hit a game-winning, three-run homer in the eighth inning.

He hurt his knee in April?? And they didn't do anything about it then? Those of us who have been saying since at least mid-May that Soriano didn't seem to be running well either in the outfield or on the bases were, apparently, correct. Why he didn't go on the DL for a couple of weeks in May -- when he was slumping and the team wasn't playing well -- and fix this problem, so he could be at full strength now, is absolutely mystifying.

And further:

Soriano admitted he hasn't been able to put weight on his left knee, "but I don't want to just watch games -- I want to play," he said Friday. "It's August. We only have one month left [in the regular season]."

I suppose you have to give credit to a guy who wants to get out there and help his team. But playing on a bad knee isn't really helpful, as we have seen by Soriano's play the last three months (with the exception of that three-week hot streak he had in July). If the treatment he can get along with a couple days' rest can get him out there and hitting again (as well as not dropping easy fly balls), great. If not, that's another mistake made by management in 2009, not getting Soriano's problems fixed three months ago.

Anyway, let's sweep this series. No matter what it ultimately means, and no matter how injury-depleted they are, it's always satisfying to beat the Mets.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Nelson Figueroa
Nelson Figueroa
Mets
7-5 W-L 1-3
3.80 ERA 5.40
105 SO 17
60 BB 8
9 HR 4
vs. NY -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Carlos Zambrano 7-5 28 21 0 0 0 0 128.0 117 60 54 9 60 105 3.80 1.38


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Nelson Figueroa 1-3 9 3 0 0 0 0 25.0 37 16 15 4 8 17 5.40 1.80

Nelson Figueroa is a New York City native who was originally drafted by the Mets in 1995. He was traded to the Diamondbacks in 1998 in a deal that featured Bernard Gilkey. Then he was involved in the deal that got Curt Schilling to Arizona from the Phillies. This is all to tell you that he's 35 and been around a long time. He is 0-4, 4.40 in nine career appearances (four starts) against the Cubs, the last of those being on April 22, 2008 at Wrigley Field. Aramis Ramirez is 4-for-9 with a double and a HR off Figueroa.

Carlos Zambrano has made eight career starts vs. the Mets and is 4-1, 3.76. He got hit pretty hard by them last September 24 in New York, but a lot of that damage was done by a grand slam from Carlos Delgado, who, along with $90 million worth of his teammates, won't play today. This would be a really good day for Z to step up and be that "ace" the Cubs need him to be.

This is an unusual TV day in this cable/satellite age: broadcast TV! WGN in Chicago, WPIX in New York. 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 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.