Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rockies – 08/08/09

Game One Hundred-Eight: Cubs (57-50) vs. Rockies (60-49)
Game Time – 7:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet/MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Coors Field, Denver

Ryan Dempster (5-5, 4.09/1.38) vs. Jason Marquis (12-7, 3.49/1.25)

Updated – 3:00pmCarlos Zambrano placed on 15-day DL – Jeff Stevens Recalled

Updated 6:52pm C.T. – During his pre-game show on WGN Radio, Lou Piniella said Jeff Samardzija would get the ball on Wednesday and make the start against the Phillies … taking Carlos Zambrano’s turn in the rotation.

The Cubs very important seven-game stretch began on a negative note Friday night and it will be up to Ryan Dempster to right the ship tonight. Lou Piniella questioned Carlos Zambrano’s injury on Friday night. Piniella, and Randy Bush on Saturday morning, could not understand why Zambrano did not mention his injury sooner than fifteen minutes before game time.

Carlos Zambrano threw three warm up pitches then indicated he could not start. The Cubs said he threw his side sessions during the week and everything pointed to him being okay, ready for Friday night. Zambrano received no treatment for his back after leaving last Saturday night in Miami.

Randy Bush told Bruce Levine that if they would have known he was hurt they could have moved up Ryan Dempster and adjusted the rotation. The Cubs did not see this coming and the team can only go by what the player tells them. This is obviously a huge concern for the club. Carlos Zambrano traveled back to Chicago on Saturday to have a MRI on his back. Bush said, “it looks like a DL stint” for the Cubs’ number one pitcher.

Tonight’s game, as well as at least the next week, depends on the right arm of Ryan Dempster. The Cubs’ offense must do their job as well, because two runs will not cut it against the Rockies at Coors. Dempster must give this team a calming influence on the field and turn Friday night’s negative into a positive … and it will not be easy for Dempster in Denver. He has never posted a win at Coors in seven games (three starts) and owns an unbelievable 15.23 career ERA in the thin air.

The Cubs will be without Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall tonight … and should make a roster move and bring up Mitch Atkins (has not pitched since August 3) in order to give them a fresh arm that can give them innings out of the pen.

The Cubs will face a familiar face in Jason Marquis. The 2009 All-Star has been very, very good for the Rockies but is coming off a bad outing. Marquis was in cruise control against the Reds until he hit former teammate Scott Rolen in the head. Marquis surrendered the game tying three-run homer to Laynce Nix two batters later. Marquis’ second half woes is one of the reasons the Cubs traded him in the off-season. In order to beat him tonight, they must not allow him to get comfortable on the mound … and regain his confidence.

Jason Marquis stuck it to the Cubs back in April and will be fired up again once tonight.

While the offense must do their job against Jason Marquis, it all begins with Ryan Dempster … and one win at a time.

Ryan Dempster will make his third start tonight since coming back from the DL on July 28. Dempster put together an excellent outing against the Marlins last Sunday but came away with a no decision after the Cubs’ pen blew the game. Dempster tossed six innings of three-hit ball with four walks and four strikeouts. Dempster’s outing was very reminiscent of several of his performances from a year ago.

Dempster has posted only one win in 11 road starts this season. He is 1-4 with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. His teammates need a good start tonight from one of their clubhouse leaders.

Tonight will be Dempster’s first start of the year against the Rockies. In his career, Dempster is 4-3 in 15 games, eight starts, versus Colorado with a 6.89 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP … at Coors Field, 0-2 in seven career games, three starts, with a 15.23 ERA and a 2.31 WHIP. To say Dempster has struggled at Coors Field would be an understatement.

  • Garrett Atkins – 0-for-3
  • Brad Hawpe – 0-for-1
  • Todd Helton – 7-for-18 with a double, 3 home runs and 5 walks
  • Chris Iannetta – 0-for-2
  • Omar Quintanilla – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Seth Smith – 0-for-3
  • Ian Stewart – 0-for-3
  • Troy Tulowitzki – 0-for-1

Jason Marquis has put together an excellent season for the Colorado Rockies … after being dealt there in the off-season by the Cubs for Luis Vizcaino. Marquis has posted 12 wins and one of them came at the expense of the Cubs back on April 15 at Wrigley. Marquis shutdown his former team and allowed only one run on five hits in seven innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

After inconsistent seasons in Atlanta, St. Louis and Chicago, Marquis appears to have found a home in Colorado. He is a solid 5-3 in nine starts at Coors Field this season with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Marquis was 2-2 in four starts in July and while the record is not impressive, his stat line is from last month. Marquis posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in four games (28 innings) and allowed just seven runs, six earned, on 26 hits with five walks and 13 strikeouts. Marquis is keeping the ball down and is not serving up the longballs the way he did with the Cubs. In 144 1/3 innings, teams have gone deep on Marquis just ten times.

The former Cub is coming off a no decision to the Reds. He allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings … the most earned runs he’s allowed since July 11 against the Braves.

Jason Marquis is 4-5 in 12 career games, 11 starts, versus the Cubs with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
  • Milton Bradley – 0-for-6
  • Mike Fontenot – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Derrek Lee – 16-for-33 with 2 doubles, 4 home runs and 3 walks
  • Aaron Miles – 6-for-16 with a double
  • Aramis Ramirez – 9-for-21 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-9 with a double and 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-3
  • Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne