Game Fifty-Six: Cubs (34-21) vs. Rockies (20-35)
Game Time – 12:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (6-2, 2.56/1.09) vs. Glendon Rusch (1-2, 6.41/1.68)
After starting the season 17-10, Lou Piniella’s crew has a chance to pick up their 18th win of the month today. The Cubs enter the final day of May with a 17-11 record after three dramatic come from behind wins. Piniella needs a quality start today from Ryan Dempster after Ted Lilly’s short start on Friday taxed an already over worked bullpen. Dempster will face his former teammate, Glendon Rusch. Rusch made 12 appearances out of the Padres pen before being released earlier in the month….today will be his first start since he was a Cub back in 2006.
In other news…. The Cubs made an addition to their minor league roster on Friday. Right- handed pitcher, Jim Brower, was acquired from the Reds for cash considerations. Brower pitched 3 2/3 innings out of the Yankees bullpen last season with a 13.50 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Brower is 33-32 with 5 saves in 354 career big league games, 28 starts, with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Brower was 0-1 in 17 games with a 2.88 ERA and 2 saves for the Louisville Bats (Triple-A affiliate of the Reds). Ryan Dempster is coming off an impressive 3-1 win over the Dodgers. Dempster not only ended his team’s 2-game losing streak, he gave his skipper 7 solid innings and the bullpen a much-needed rest. Dempster pitched out of trouble in the 7th and allowed only 1 run on 7 hits with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Dempster has been very good at Wrigley this year (6-0 in 7 starts with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP) and must keep the ball down, and in the park, today against the Rockies. Clint Hurdle’s team showed on Friday their entire roster can hit the ball and while the dramatic comebacks have been a welcomed sight to see, a well-pitched game is what Lou Piniella needs to today from Dempster.
Dempster is 2-2 in 5 starts in May with a 1.89 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
Like Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster has struggled in his career against the Rockies. He is 3-3 with 2 saves in 14 career games, 7 starts, with a 7.06 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. As always the key with Dempster is to get ahead in the count early and get them to chase the slider in the dirt. If Dempster falls behind, especially early in the game, it could be another long day for Piniella’s pen.
- Garrett Atkins – 0-for-3
- Todd Helton – 6-for-17 with a double and 2 home runs
- Scott Podsednik – 2-for-10 with a triple
- Glendon Rusch – 1-for-14
The Cubs will see a familiar face on the mound today in Glendon Rusch. Rusch will square off against his former team for the first time since 2003 when he was with the Brewers. Rusch signed a minor league contract with the Rockies on May 17th after being released by the Padres on May 12th. Today will be his first start and appearance of the season with the Rockies.
Rusch pitched with the Cubs from 2004 to 2006 before a blood clot in his lung threatened to end his career. Rusch missed the entire 2007 campaign but got into playing shape and signed with the Padres during the off-season.
Rusch is 7-3 in 13 career games, 9 starts, against the Cubs with a 4.48 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP…. back in 2003 he was 0-2 in 5 games, 2 starts, versus the Cubs with a 7.20 ERA and a 2.27 WHIP.
The Cubs’ offense must be patient with Rusch today and make him work. If they don’t….Rusch could match the outing Shawn Estes turned in against the Cubs on May 13th.
- Ryan Dempster – 1-for-12 with a double
- Mark DeRosa – 5-for-7 with a triple
- Jim Edmonds – 13-for-51 with a home run
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-3 with a triple
- Derrek Lee – 9-for-23 with a double and 2 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 9-for-32 with 4 doubles
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
- Kerry Wood – 2-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….