Game One Hundred Twenty-Four: Cubs (75-48) vs. Marlins (64-60)
Game Time – 12:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Dolphin Stadium, Miami
Ryan Dempster (13-5, 2.92/1.16) vs. Chris Volstad (4-2, 3.03/1.37)
Rain Delay – Expected Start Time – 12:30pm C.T.
The Cubs recent troubles with the weather could continue today. After rain, lighting and strong winds shortened the game on August 8th against the Astros at Wrigley, the Cubs had their first rainout of the season on Tuesday in Atlanta. Mother Nature could play another role in the outcome of today’s contest as well.
The weatherman is calling for a 100% chance of rain this morning in Miami, then clouds and rain in the afternoon with a high in the mid 80s. With this being the only trip to South Florida for the Cubs this season, the umpiring crew will figure to do everything they can to get this one in. One benefit for the Cubs is they have a scheduled off day on Monday before opening a 6-game homestand against the Reds on Tuesday.
For the second Sunday in a row, Ryan Dempster will make an important start for his team. Last week he beat the Cardinals and today he will make his first start in Dolphin Stadium since he pitched for the Marlins in 2002. Dempster will try to win the rubber game of the series against one of his former organizations and help his current team finish off the 6-game road trip with a 5-1 record.
In other news…. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Angel Guzman will make his second rehab start today for the Iowa Cubs and is expected to be called up to the big league club when rosters expand on September 1st. If Guzman is healthy, he would give Piniella another power arm in the bullpen.
Last week several reports mentioned Koyie Hill could also be a September call-up. Hill has played extremely well for the I-Cubs this season but will have to be added to the 40-man roster in order to return to Chicago. Other callups….Felix Pie and Micah Hoffpauir along with Jon Lieber and Chad Fox.
According to a report in the Tribune, Rich Hill “is stll working out at the Cubs’ minor league facility in Mesa after developing biceps tendonitis while rehabbing at Class A Daytona.” The Tribune stated Hill is likely not to be called up and could be shutdown soon for the remainder of the season.
Finally…. Words of wisdom from Sweet Lou in the Tribune: “You know, I caution. I don’t get too excited. We’ve still got 39 games to go, and there’s a lot of work to be done. Five-and-a-half games is what, a week? We’ve just got to keep playing, keep winning series.”
Despite the short outing and 5-inning loss to the Astros on August 4th, Dempster is one of the big reasons for not only the team’s success this year, but their surge in the over the last 20 games. With Carlos Zambrano struggling, Dempster has posted a 3-1 record in 5 starts since the break with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP while teams have hit only .202 against him.
After not posting a win in his first 8 road starts of the season, Dempster has won his last 2 and is 2-3 away from Wrigley in 10 starts with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Dempster will be making his second start of the season against one of his former organizations. Dempster received a no decision on July 25th against the Fish at the Friendly Confines after leaving with the lead on a day he struggled with his command. Dempster surrendered a season-high 6 walks but allowed only 1 run on 2 hits with 6 strikeouts in 6 innings of work.
Dempster is 1-1 in 11 career games, 1 start, versus Florida with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP….at Dolphin Stadium, 21-13 with a save, a complete game and a complete game shutout in 62 games, 56 starts, with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.
- Jorge Cantu – 0-for-2
- Luis Gonzalez – 11-for-19 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
- Wes Helms – 5-for-10 with a double
- Jeremy Hermida – 0-for-1
- Mike Jacobs – 1-for-3
- Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-6
- Cody Ross – 1-for-3 with a double
- Dan Uggla – 0-for-3
- Josh Willingham – 1-for-4 with a double and 2 walks
Chris Volstad will make his second start against the Cubs in the last month and in his career. Volstad was very good in his first appearance at Wrigley on July 26th and left in the 6th inning trailing 2-1. Rich Harden outpitched Volstad but Jeremy Hermida tied the game off of Sean Marshall and scored the winning run on a double by Jorge Cantu off of Chad Gaudin. Volstad allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks….the Cubs’ offense should have a better idea of how to attack Volstad today.
Volstad is coming off his first win of the season at home against the Cardinals. He allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings and for the second start in a row walked more batters than he struck out. In his last two outings Volstad has walked 7 and struck out 5 (11 innings) and his 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.
Volstad’s success this season has come on the road….he is 1-2 in 3 starts with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP at home while opponents have hit .288 against him. On the road, Volstad is 3-0 in 4 games, 3 starts, with a 1.19 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP….teams have hit .200 against him.
- Mark DeRosa – 0-for-3
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-1 with a walk
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-3 with a double
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-3 with a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-3 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….