Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 04/18/09

Game Eleven: Cubs (6-4) vs. Cardinals (8-4)
Game Time – 2:40pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (1-0, 4.50/1.50) vs. Kyle Lohse (2-0, 1.13/0.56)

Updated – 11:45am C.T. – Milton Bradley Suspended for Two Games

With the first two games not being short on excitement, this afternoon’s game figures to be more of the same. Milton Bradley will likely be out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game…and the Cubs have yet to receive word on his possible suspension.

Geovany Soto had his best game of the year at the plate on Friday. The Cubs need for him to continue to improve and make up for his absence due to the WBC. Look for Aaron Miles to be in the starting lineup today, he has great career numbers against Kyle Lohse…as do several of the Cubs starters. Lohse has been very good in his first two starts against the Pirates and the Astros and is coming off one of the best games of his career.

Ryan Dempster will make his first start of the season today at Wrigley Field…where he was lights out last year. Dempster posted a 14-3 record in 20 home starts in 2008 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. After a horrible start by Carlos Zambrano on Friday afternoon, Lou Piniella would like to see Dempster put together a quality start (three earned runs or less in six innings)…something the Cubs starters have failed to do since last Monday.

Ryan Dempster struggled through six innings of work last Sunday night in Milwaukee. Reed Johnson took a grand slam away from Prince Fielder, which helped Dempster from allowing at least two more earned runs. Dempster allowed four earned on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts. The free passes are running up Dempster’s pitch count and he must cut down on the walks. In two starts, 12 innings, he has surrendered six walks with only 11 strikeouts…less than a 2:1 ratio and a recipe for a long, losing season.

Dempster was 2-0 in three games against the Cardinals last season with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP…for his career, 6-5 in 11 starts, 37 games (15 saves), with a 4.65 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. The Cardinals hit well against Dempster but have trouble scoring runs.

  • Rick Ankiel – 1-for-9
  • Chris Duncan – 2-for-4 with a triple
  • Khalil Greene – 1-for-10
  • Kyle Lohse – 0-for-2
  • Ryan Ludwick – 5-for-10 with a double and a home run
  • Yadier Molina – 4-for-12 with 2 walks
  • Albert Pujols – 8-for-30 with a double, 2 home runs and 3 walks
  • Skip Schumaker – 7-for-18 with a double

The Cubs will face another one of Dave Duncan’s reclamation projects in Kyle Lohse. After signing just a few weeks before the beginning of the 2008 season, Lohse has finally pitched to all of expectations…he is 17-6 (35 starts) in a Cardinals uniform.

The Cubs drafted Kyle Lohse in the 29th round back in 1996…and traded him to the Twins on May 21, 1999 along with Jay Ryan for Scott Downs and Rick Aguilera.

Lohse is coming off a complete game shutout of the Houston Astros last Sunday. Lohse gave up only three hits and did not walk a batter. Lohse struck out four and in 16 innings this season he has issued just one walk.

The Cubs hit Lohse pretty well a year ago and beat him once in three starts. Lohse was 0-1 against the Cubs in 2008 with a 6.38 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP…and the Cubs hit a robust .303 against him. The key with Lohse is waiting him out, he has good command but will make mistakes. A lot of early swings and misses will allow Lohse to settle in.

Lohse is 1-2 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP…but at Wrigley, 1-0 in 2 starts with a 1.00 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.

  • Milton Bradley – 3-for-12 with a double and 2 walks
  • Ryan Dempster – 1-for-2
  • Mike Fontenot – 1-for-6 with a home run and 4 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-7 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 3-for-9 with a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 6-for-15 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Aaron Miles – 5-for-10 with a double
  • Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-11 with 3 doubles and a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 13-for-35 with 3 doubles and 2 home runs
  • Geovany Soto – 3-for-8 with a double and a walk
  • Ryan Theriot – 9-for-17 with a triple

Update – According to reports from XM Radio and the Chicago Tribune, Milton Bradley has been suspended for two games and fined. Bradley will appeal and is available for today’s game.

From the Tribune:

“Cubs’ outfielder Milton Bradley was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for arguing a called third strike and being ejected from Thursday’s game against the Cardinals.

Bradley plans to appeal the suspension and is available to play Saturday against the Cardinals, though he is not in the lineup.”

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax