Game Thirteen: Cubs (7-5) vs. Reds (6-7)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (1-0, 0.69/0.62) vs. Aaron Harang (1-1, 2.14/0.90)
Lou Piniella’s crew opens an 8-game homestand tonight against a familiar face in Dusty Baker….as well as a list of several former Cubs that includes Corey Patterson, Paul Bako, Chris Speier, David Weathers and Kent Mercker. The Reds send their ace, Aaron Harang, to the mound in the first night game of the new season at Wrigley Field. Tonight’s game figures to be filled with a tremendous amount of determination by the Reds to beat the Cubs for their new manager….and at the same time, end their 3-game losing streak. Both teams will have players wearing number 42 tonight in honor of Jackie Robinson. Derrek Lee, Daryle Ward, Gerald Perry and Lester Strode will don the legend’s number for the Cubs.
The Reds have been a thorn in the Cubs’ side for many years and with Dusty Baker now in the dugout, the competition between the two teams figures to take it up a notch. The Cubs have had trouble hitting against the Reds while the Cubs’ pitchers have had problems keeping the always-dangerous Reds’ offense off the board.
The Reds always seem to bring their ‘A-game’ when they play the Cubs, especially at Wrigley, and tonight Lou Piniella’s crew should receive the best Cincinnati has to offer.
Ryan Dempster should be 2-0 on the young season and to this point has been the Cubs best starting pitcher. Dempster is coming off a gem against the Pirates and if not for a mistake by Kerry Wood to Jason Bay….the Cubs former closer would have two wins to go along with his other unbelievable stats. Tonight is a big test for Ryan Dempster.
Ryan Dempster will face his former team for the first time as a starter since April 27, 2005. Dempster beat the Reds at Wrigley, 8-7, and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits in 5 1/3 innings with 5 walks and 7 strikeouts.
Dempster is 3-3 in 31 games, 7 starts, with 5 saves in his career versus the Reds with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.
- Paul Bako – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and 4 walks
- Adam Dunn – 3-for-6 with a double and 6 walks
- Ryan Freel – 1-for-5 with a double
- Ken Griffey, Jr. – 6-for-19 with a double and 3 walks
- Jeff Keppinger – 1-for-3 with a double
- Corey Patterson – 5-for-14 with 2 doubles
Aaron Harang is arguably the most underrated pitcher in all of baseball. Harang has put up Cy Young type numbers for the past two years….and always has his way with the Cubs’ free-swinging offense.
Harang, like Dempster, should be sporting a better record. Harang has been just short of dominating in his first three starts and an unearned run was the difference in his last start being a loss instead of a no-decision. Harang has allowed only 6 runs, 5 earned, in his first 3 starts (21 innings) with 15 strikeouts and just 5 walks.
In 15 career starts against the Cubs, Harang is 8-3 with 2 complete games, a 4.44 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Last season he was 3-2 in 6 starts with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP….in 8 career starts at Wrigley, Harang is undefeated….4-0 with a 4.65 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
- Ronny Cedeno – 2-for-13 with a home run
- Mark DeRosa – 3-for-9 with 3 walks
- Derrek Lee – 12-for-35 with 2 doubles, 4 home runs and 3 walks
- Felix Pie – 2-for-4
- Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-30 with 3 home runs
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-15 with a double
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-4 with 2 doubles
A report in the Chicago Tribune on Monday night indicated Felix Pie would be back in the starting lineup on Tuesday.
Also, for all of you that are attending tonight’s game….remember, Stay Classy Cubs Fans! The last thing anyone needs to do is boo Dusty and fuel the Reds fire.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….