Game Seventy-Six: Cubs (47-28) vs. White Sox (41-33)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (8-2, 2.76/1.09) vs. Javier Vazquez (7-5, 4.13/1.31)
It’s game three of round one….it’s the Cubs versus the Sox, it’s the North Side versus the South Side….it’s the Crosstown Classic. While many in attendance tonight will be carrying brooms with them to the old ballpark, Lou Piniella’s crew will certainly receive the best the White Sox have to offer. Neither team wants to get swept in these series and the Sox have a lot to prove….especially with the way the Chicago media has reacted after the first two games.
Eric Patterson should be in the starting lineup tonight. Lou Piniella said he earned another start after his performance on Saturday. And the Cubs offense will have the tough task against a pitcher they have a history against, but one that has had just as much success against them. The Cubs will look to keep the streak going not only at home, but against the Sox.
In other news…. According to a report from Scout.com, Jeff Samardzija will be promoted to Triple-A and join the Iowa Cubs rotation on Tuesday. With Kevin Hart on the DL with a concussion and both Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall with the big league club, the I-Cubs need a starter and Samardzija has pitched much better of late. The Shark is 3-5 this season with a 4.86 ERA….44 strikeouts with 42 walks in 76 innings at Double-A Tennessee. Ryan Dempster is coming off a solid outing against the Rays in Tampa but picked up a no decision in a 3-2 Cubs’ loss. Dempster gave up a run on 6 hits in 5 innings with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. Neal Cotts replaced Dempster to start the 6th and gave up the lead on his first pitch to Evan Langoria.
The last time Dempster pitched at Wrigley he tossed a complete game gem against the Braves….but was over shadowed by the injury to Alfonso Soriano. Dempster is 8-0 in 9 starts at the Friendly Confines this year with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Dempster must keep the ball down tonight against the Sox, especially Jermaine Dye, and not give them any help. Dempster has been throwing a lot of strikes of late. In his last 2 starts, 14 innings, he has 17 strikeouts to just 2 walks. If Dempster reverts to his ways of the end of May it could be a very long, short outing for Dempster.
The Cubs are 11-4 in games that Dempster has started this season.
Tonight will be Dempster’s first career start against the White Sox. The Cubs’ former closer is 0-1 (A.J. Pierzynski’s home run in 2006) in 7 games with 3 saves, a 3.86 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP.
- Orlando Cabrera – 9-for-28 with 3 doubles
- Joe Crede – 0-for-3
- Jermaine Dye – 0-for-1
- A.J. Pierzynski – 3-for-4 with a home run
- Jim Thome – 2-for-9
- Juan Uribe – 0-for-4
- Javier Vazquez – 0-for-4
The Cubs will see another familiar face on the mound tonight in Javier Vazquez. The former Montreal Expo has struggled away from the South Side this season and is coming off a string of starts in which he has allowed 4 runs or more….but has a winning record.
Vazquez is 2-1 in his last 3 starts with a 7.27 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP while opponents have hit .333 against him. Vazquez is giving up a lot of runs, but the Sox offense is scoring more with him on the mound. Vazquez is due for a good outing and like Ozzie told Big Z, maybe it could wait for another start or two.
Vazquez is 2-4 in 8 starts on the road this year with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.
Tonight will be the 15th career start for Vazquez against the Cubs. He is 3-3 in his first 14 with a complete game and a 4.84 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP….last season, 0-0 in 2 starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP. Vazquez struck out 16 Cubs and walked only 1 in 14 innings. The Cubs must be patient and make him work tonight.
- Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-3
- Mark DeRosa – 6-for-19 with a home run
- Jim Edmonds – 8-for-17 with 3 doubles and 2 home runs
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 16-for-44 with 6 doubles and 3 home runs
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-24 with 2 doubles, a triple and a home run
- Kevin Tapani – 1-for-4 with a home run
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-6
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….