Just like the March / April Brewers series, it’s never too early to get excited about a series against an MLB team from New York. The Cubs squared off against the Mets in April – and the 2 teams wouldn’t meet again during the 2008 MLB season until a 4 game series at Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows in New York in September. With the off-season addition of Johan Santana, the Mets were considered one of the top NL teams capable of winning the pennant in 2008. The Cubs, however, had gotten off to a hot start in 2008, and they needed to prove their mettle with a big series against the Mets.
Boy did they deliver:
Monday 4/21 – Carlos Zambrano pitched 7 innings, giving up only 1 earned run and 5 hits, to best Mets starter John Maine. The Cubs took the lead on a 2-run home run by Aramis Ramirez. Then they broke the 2-1 game open in the 8th inning with 5 quick runs. Ronny Cedeno hit a clutch 2-run single and then Felix Pie delivered the knockout punch with a 3-run home run. The Cubs had sent a message to the Mets and the rest of the National League that they were going to be a force to be reckoned with all season long.
Tuesday 4/22 – In the day game early the next day, the Cubs kept up the onslaught. Ted Lilly out-dueled Nelson Figueroa, going 6 innings and allowing only 1 earned run. He did not have his best stuff, walking 4 batters along the way, but he kept his team in it all throughout his start, to give his team a chance to win. Ronny Cedeno had another big game. He started off the Cubs scoring with an RBI-double in the 4th inning and he closed out the scoring with a Grand Slam in the 8th inning to seal the victory.
Cubs 2 games to nothing over the New York Mets. The Cubs knew it in their club house, and now the rest of the National League knew it. The Cubs were ready to play in 2008, and they weren’t going to go down without a fight. It was going to be a special season on the North Side of Chicago…