Game One Hundred Three: Cubs (60-42) vs. Marlins (53-49)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (11-4, 3.05/1.16) vs. Josh Johnson (0-0, 3.86/1.37)
Updated – 12:14 pm C.T. – Jeff Samardzija Recalled according to a report on Cubs.com
Lou Piniella’s crew will try to win the second of four today against the Marlins behind Ryan Dempster. With Kerry Wood on the DL and Carlos Marmol’s 38-pitch outing on Thursday night, it will be interesting to see how Lou Piniella utilizes his bullpen. Piniella has not stated who will be the closer this afternoon.
The Cubs are expected to call-up Jeff Samardzija before today’s game to take Wood’s place on the active roster. Several reports mentioned the Shark would end up pitching out the bullpen over the weekend, but a report from the Sun-Times indicated Samardzija could make the start on Saturday and push Rich Harden back to Sunday in the finale.
Jim Edmonds had a MRI on his sore left knee on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day. Edmonds is expected to return to the lineup at some point this weekend. Ryan Dempster is coming off his first road win of the year in Houston his last time out. Dempster salvaged the series finale and threw 8 shutout innings….allowed 6 hits with a walk and 7 strikeouts. Dempster gave his team time to score runs against Brandon Backe after his teammates gave him a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning. When the season began, who would have thought Ryan Dempster would be tied with Carlos Zambrano for the most wins on the Cubs’ staff?
The last time Dempster pitched at Wrigley, he lost his first home game of the season. Dempster gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 2/3 innings on the last day before the All-Star break. On the season, Dempster is 10-1 with a complete game in 12 starts at home with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP….while opponents have hit just .208 against him.
The Cubs former closer will face his former team for the first time as a starter. Dempster is 1-1 with 3 saves in 10 career games against the Fish with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
- Luis Gonzalez – 10-for-18 with a double and 2 home runs
- Jeremy Hermida – 0-for-1
- Mike Jacobs – 1-for-1
- Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-3
- Cody Ross – 1-for-1 with a double
- Dan Uggla – 0-for-1
- Josh Willingham – 0-for-2
Josh Johnson will make his third start of the season after season ending Tommy John surgery a year ago. Johnson has not posted a win or a loss but has been very good in his first two starts. Johnson gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and showed a lot of improvement in his last start against the Phillies.
Johnson gave up 2 runs on 7 hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 3-2 Florida win….the Marlins have posted a win in both of Johnson’s first two starts.
Johnson will make his first career start against the Cubs in his second career appearance at Wrigley Field. Johnson blew the save against the Cubs back on April 24th of 2006….he gave up 4 runs on 2 hits with a walk and 2 strikeouts in an inning of work, a 3-run home run by Jacque Jones was the big hit against Johnson.
Aramis Ramirez (0-for-1) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-7 with a double) are the only two Cubs on the active roster that have faced Josh Johnson.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….