October Confidential: Cubs vs. Mets

October Confidential: Cubs vs. Mets

The Cubs and Mets clash in the NLCS in their first postseason meeting with Chicago eyeing its first World Series appearance since 1945 and New York seeking a return to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2000.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.


Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 17 NYM 4, CHC 2
Gm 2 Oct. 18 NYM 4, CHC 1
Gm 3 Oct. 20 NYM 5, CHC 2
Gm 4 Oct. 21 NYM 8, CHC 3

Anthony Rizzo
"He's able to stand on top of the plate. A lefty standing on top of the plate kind of forces me to throw that ball on the outer half. And that's where he does a lot of his damage. You really have to be confident in your stuff to throw on inner half of the plate and be kind of fine inside. Otherwise, you'll hit him. That's definitely something to his advantage."
-- NL Central pitcher

Kris Bryant
"His ability to stay inside the ball is ridiculous. I can run two-seam fastballs inside and off the plate. But he can foul it off or shoot the ball the other way -- he did that to me on a fastball in and up off the plate the last time we met. He was able to keep it fair down the right-field line. That's impressive stuff. To get him out, you have to hit your spots and mix up pitches."
-- NL Central pitcher

Jon Lester
"He has the really hard slider-cutter thing. For me, I like to see him out over the plate. As a right-handed hitter, anything that's moving down and in is going to be a ball. His fastball has to start middle away for it to be a strike because it's going to cut in there. You can rattle him on the bases. If guys get huge leads over there, he won't pick, because he can't pick. He has trouble throwing the ball to the bases. As a baserunner, you have to be aggressive and make him think about you a little bit. If you do that, he'll hopefully make a mistake out over the middle for the hitter." 
-- NL catcher

Read the complete Cubs October Confidential » 


Matt Harvey
"With that fastball, he can neutralize anybody, whether he's facing right-handers or left-handers. He's obviously got the curveball to go with it. He comes after you and he's a bulldog. He's not going to get beat with his secondary pitches. He's going to get beat with his best."
-- NL East first baseman

Noah Syndergaard
"He's got 98 and 99. It doesn't really move that much, but it's coming in with late life. I think he can work on his breaking ball a little more, but he's got the 88-91 mph changeup and he threw three or four good ones to me. He would start them on the plate outside and they would just fall off the table. He got me to strike out on one of those. I think the changeup is his second-best pitch. Once he works on his breaking ball, he's going to be right up there with Harvey and deGrom."
-- NL East first baseman

Travis d'Arnaud
"I try to throw him sinkers in and cutters down and away. I feel like he's a good mistake hitter. He's shown he can go deep if you leave something out over the middle of the plate. But he does a good job of getting to the ball inside. I think he's a pull-pop guy. So, I'd pitch him away in big situations. You don't want to give him a chance to turn on something inside. He'll also chase up in the zone."
-- NL East starting pitcher

Read the complete Mets October Confidential »