Game One Hundred Twenty-Two: Cubs (61-60) vs. Dodgers (74-50)
Game Time – 3:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Ryan Dempster (6-7, 4.28/1.40) vs. Chad Billingsley (12-6, 3.70/1.25)
The Cubs will complete their seven-game trip to the left coast looking to salvage the final game of the year at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs are a horrendous 1-5 in their last six games and enter play this afternoon eight games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central Division. A loss would send the Cubs home with a .500 record on the year.
Lou Piniella must keep Alfonso Soriano on the bench once again. Sam Fuld more than earned another start with his performance on Saturday. Geovany Soto should join Soriano on the bench as well. Soto is 0-for-4 in his career against Chad Billingsley while Koyie Hill has a home run in two trips to the plate against the Dodgers’ right-hander.
Ryan Theriot should be back in the starting lineup after pinch-hitting in the ninth inning on Saturday. Theriot bruised his knee diving for a ball on Friday night and was held out on Saturday. If Theriot cannot go, maybe the Cubs could sign Alan Trammell to a one-day contract and put him at short … anything to keep Aaron Miles off the field.
While it all starts with Ryan Dempster, the Cubs offense must do their job … and just win a ballgame. Ryan Dempster is coming off of back-to-back losses and has not pitched with any consistency this season. Dempster struck out a season-high 10 batters in his last start against the Padres but gave up four runs in eight hits in seven innings of work. Dempster struggled with his command once again and walked three batters.
Dempster is just 2-5 in 13 road starts this season with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. The Cubs need Dempster to end their horrible west coast trip on a positive note … and avoid hitting the .500 mark on the season.
August has been unkind to Ryan Dempster. He is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP … and an unacceptable 1-2 in five second half starts with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Teams are hitting just under .300 against Ryan Dempster (.296) since the break. After a break out year and a big payday, Dempster is pitching the way this season the way most figured he would a year ago.
One of Ryan Dempster’s best starts of the year came against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field on May 30. Dempster tossed seven innings of shutout ball and allowed just three hits in the Cubs 7-0 victory.
- Brad Ausmus – 6-for-26 with 3 doubles and 3 walks
- Chad Billingsley – 0-for-3
- Andre Ethier – 6-for-14 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Rafael Furcal – 6-for-31 with 3 doubles and 7 walks
- Orlando Hudson – 0-for-7 with a walk
- Matt Kemp – 2-for-7 with a double and a walk
- James Loney – 1-for-7
- Mark Loretta – 4-for-17 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
- Russell Martin – 3-for-10 with a double and 2 walks
- Juan Pierre – 5-for-15 with a double and a walk
- Manny Ramirez – 1-for-1 with a double
The Cubs will face one of the best pitchers in the National League this afternoon. For all of the Cubs’ offense problems this season, they have beaten Chad Billingsley this year.
Billingsley missed a couple of starts with a hamstring problem but rebounded from his time off and pitched a very good game against the Cardinals in his last outing. Billingsley beat the Redbirds 7-3; he allowed two runs on three hits in six innings without a walk and just one strikeout.
Chad Billingsley is 8-4 in 13 home starts this season with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … and is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Billingsley’s fourth career start against the Cubs. He is 1-2 in the first three (five games) with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a double
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-3
- Jake Fox – 1-for-1
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-8 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-9 with a home run and 2 walks
- Aaron Miles – 2-for-4 with a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-7
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-12 with a walk
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-4
- Ryan Theriot – 3-for-5 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….