Game Eighty: Cubs (49-30) vs. White Sox (43-35)
Game Time – 3:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN (Sox), Comcast Sports Net (Cubs) – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 178
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (9-2, 2.63/1.11) vs. Jose Contreras (6-6, 3.96/1.23)
It’s game one of round two….it’s the Cubs versus the Sox, it’s the North Side versus the South Side….it’s the Crosstown Classic. The White Sox will be looking to prove a point after getting swept at Wrigley last weekend and with Jim Thome back in the lineup, Ozzie Guillen will have all of his offensive weapons at the Cell….where the Sox are 24-11 compared to 19-24 on the road.
The Cubs open their longest road series of the season with the first of three against the Sox. The next time Lou Piniella’s crew will see the ivy on the bricks at Wrigley is not until July 8th against the Reds and they need to find a way to improve on their 16-20 road record over the next 10 games.
The Sox will be looking for payback while Ryan Dempster will be looking for his first win on the road this season. Ryan Dempster will make his second start in less than a week against the White Sox. Dempster shutdown the Sox last Sunday night and came very close to tossing his second complete game of the year. Dempster departed in the 9th inning after allowing the first two hitters to reach. Bobby Howry retired the next three hitters he faced and the Cubs won the game 7-1 to complete the sweep.
Dempster allowed only 1 run on 10 hits with 4 strikeouts and a walk in 8+ innings and was very efficient on the mound. Lou Piniella talked about pushing Dempster back until the Saturday afternoon game but decided to keep him on regular rest, which would result in an additional start before the break.
While all 9 of Dempster’s wins have come at Wrigley, he has actually pitched better on the road but does not have a win to show for it. Dempster is 0-2 in 6 starts away from Wrigley with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP while holding opponents to a .194 batting average.
The Cubs need Dempster to pick up his first road victory of the year today….but in order to do so, the offense needs to give him a little support. In Dempster’s six road outings of the year, the Cubs have been outscored 25-21.
- Orlando Cabrera – 11-for-32 with 3 doubles
- Joe Crede – 1-for-6
- Jermaine Dye – 2-for-5 with a double
- A.J. Pierzynski – 3-for-8 with a home run
- Carlos Quentin – 1-for-4
- Jim Thome – 3-for-10 with a double
- Dewayne Wise – 2-for-5
The Cubs put up 9 runs in a record setting 4th inning the last time they faced Jose Contreras…..and the offense must put that inning out of their minds before they take the field today. Contreras is a different pitcher at home and the Cubs can bet Contreras will bring his A-game today.
Contreras is 3-3 in 7 starts at the Cell with a 3.04 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP compared to a 3-3 record in 8 road starts with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP….almost 2 runs more on the road.
The Cubs offense will receive an extra hitter today and they must Contreras work. If he gets comfortable, it could be a very long afternoon.
- Henry Blanco – 1-for-5
- Ronny Cedeno – 1-for-4
- Mark DeRosa – 0-for-6
- Jim Edmonds – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Mike Fontenot – 3-for-6 with a home run
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-13 with a double
- Eric Patterson – 3-for-3 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-14 with a double and 4 home runs
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-2
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….