Game One Hundred Twenty-Seven: Cubs (64-62) vs. Mets (58-71)
Game Time – 3:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (7-7, 4.07/1.36) vs. Bobby Parnell (3-6, 5.08/1.63)
Can the Chicago Cubs win two games in a row? The last time Lou Piniella’s crew posted back-to-back wins was August 14 and August 15 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Lou Piniella indicated in his post-game press conference Friday that Alfonso Soriano will likely miss today’s game. Look for Jake Fox in left and Kosuke Fukudome back in center against the right-hander Bobby Parnell.
Alfonso Soriano will have an MRI on his left knee on Monday. Soriano indicated on Friday he has been playing with pain and something is not right with his knee. Soriano feels he must get it checked out.
The Cubs are expected to call-up seven to eight players on Tuesday when the rosters expand. Among those thought to be on their way back up to the show … Jeff Samardzija, Justin Berg, Bobby Scales, Micah Hoffpauir, Andres Blanco, David Patton and Esmailin Caridad.
Milton Bradley and day games is the latest from the Cubs’ right fielder in a week full of one story after the other … or should that be one drama after the other?
It all starts with Ryan Dempster, a lot of run support … and after nine innings for Ron Santo to have a smile on his face. Ryan Dempster is coming off his best start of the year. Dempster held the Dodgers to one unearned run on three hits in seven innings with a walk and a strikeout. Dempster stepped up when his team needed to win a game … last Sunday in LaLa Land.
Dempster has been very inconsistent this season, especially at home. After being just about unbeatable last season at Wrigley (14-3 in 20 starts with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP), he has struggled at the Friendly Confines. Dempster is 4-2 in nine starts with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP … compared to a 3-5 record in 14 road starts with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
In his last five starts Dempster has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP … with a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (30 strikeouts and 10 walks in 33 innings), that is the biggest reasons Dempster has been better over the last month.
Today will be Ryan Dempster’s 13th career start against the New York Mets. He is 8-4 with a save in the first twelve (23 total games) with a 5.54 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP.
- Luis Castillo – 1-for-4
- Jeff Francoeur – 3-for-9 with 2 doubles
- Gary Sheffield – 6-for-18 with a double, a triple and 4 walks
- Cory Sullivan – 0-for-2
- Fernando Tatis – 2-for-13 with 2 walks
Bobby Parnell will make his fifth start of the season for the New York Mets after spending a majority of the year in the bullpen (54 games). Parnell is coming off a mediocre start against the Phillies in which he gave up five runs on four hits in five innings. The Braves shelled him the start before. Parnell made is just three innings after giving up nine runs on nine hits.
The Cubs’ offense must be patient with him today. He showed how good he can be against the Giants on August 14 (six innings of shutout ball with three hits, no walks and seven strikeouts) but since he has walked five with only four strikeouts in two starts (eight total innings).
Parnell has faced the Cubs twice, both times in relief. The Cubs have managed only one run in three total innings with a walk and two strikeouts.
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1
- Derrek Lee – 0-for-2
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-1
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….