Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 08/18/09

Game One Hundred-Seventeen: Cubs (60-56) vs. Padres (50-70)
Game Time – 9:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego

Ryan Dempster (6-6, 4.23/1.39) vs. Cesar Carrillo (0-1, 30.86/2.57)

Updated 6:30pm C.T. – Carlos Marmol Named Closer Carlos Marmol will replace Kevin Gregg in the ninth inning beginning on Tuesday night. Marmol has wanted this job since Spring Training, now it is up to him to keep it.

After Monday’s disappointing loss in the ninth inning, the Cubs will have a new closer tonight according to multiple reports. Kevin Gregg is done, but who’s next? Who will Lou Piniella insert in the role?

Regardless of which pitcher Lou Piniella runs out in the ninth inning from this point forward, tonight is a must win for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs enter play six games back of the Cardinals (the first time since July 2, 2007 the Cubs have been as much as six games out of first place) and cannot afford to slip any further behind in the race. If the Cardinals finally lose, they will makeup ground in the standings.

It appears Ryan Theriot will be out of the lineup once again. Theriot stayed in Chicago on Monday and is expected to rejoin the team in San Diego today. If Theriot is out for the third game in a row due to illness, Aaron Miles will be at short in back-to-back games.

Jake Fox will probably be back on the bench tonight with Alfonso Soriano out of the starting lineup for the second straight game. While the Cubs did not play on Sunday, Soriano was not in Piniella’s starting eight for the finale against the Pirates or for the opener against the Padres on Monday. The Cubs need Soriano to start producing in order to pickup their first win of the year in San Diego.

Lou Piniella shifted his rotation after Sunday’s rainout. Rich Harden will pitch the final game of the year in San Diego on Wednesday and Randy Wells will go in game two on Friday at Dodger Stadium … with Tom Gorzelanny pitching the opener on Thursday.

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

Ryan Dempster is coming off a loss to the Phillies and another rough start this season. Dempster has been extremely inconsistent this year and the Cubs need one of his good starts tonight.

Dempster put together an excellent start against the Marlins in his second game back from the DL. He was inline for the win after scattering three hits over six scoreless innings. Then in Colorado, Dempster worked around a lot of bad defense and picked up the only victory in Denver … his second road win of the year.

Ryan Dempster is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … 2-4 in 12 road starts with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s second start of the year against the Padres. Back on May 14 at Wrigley, Dempster and the Cubs beat the Friars 11-3 … Dempster allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings with two walks and five strikeouts.

Ryan Dempster is 7-3 in 10 career starts, 19 games, with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Tonight will be Ryan Dempster’s first career start at PETCO. In four career games at the spacious park, no record with a save (2.70 ERA and a 0.90 WHP … one run on three hits in 3 1/3 innings).

  • Henry Blanco – 0-for-6
  • David Eckstein – 5-for-18
  • Adrian Gonzalez – 1-for-8 with a home run
  • Tony Gwynn, Jr. – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Chase Headley – 0-for-3
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff – 1-for-4
  • Luis Rodriguez – 1-for-1 with a home run

Cesar Carrillo will make his second career big league start tonight. The Chicago native was the Padres’ 20th best prospect according to Baseball America before the season began. The Padres selected him in the first round of the 2005 draft (18th overall pick).

Carrillo had a very successful college career in Miami but a bad elbow and Tommy John Surgery has slowed his professional career. Before his surgery in 2007, Carrillo’s fastball was in the 90-94 range, topping out at 96 with natural sink. His velocity has improved and before the season he was in the upper 80s and lower 90s.

Last season Carrillo was 3-5 in High-A last season with a 5.97 ERA as he recovered from TJ Surgery. Before his call-up to the big leagues, Carrillo was 8-6 in 23 combined starts between Double-A and Triple-A with a 4.47 ERA … at Triple-A Portland, 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA in three starts.

Carrillo struggles with his command (42 walks to 71 strikeouts) and gives up a ton of hits (138 in 137 minor league innings). The Cubs must make him work early on and not go to the plate swinging.

In his first career start in the Majors, Carrillo allowed eight runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings to the Brewers with two walks and a strikeout. Three of the four hits were home runs by Prince Fielder, Mike Rivera and Ryan Braun.

Tonight will be Cesar Carrillo’s first career start and appearance against the Cubs … in his second big league game.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball…

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth