Game Seventeen: Cubs (6-10) vs. Brewers (8-7)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Ryan Dempster (1-0, 3.15/1.10) vs. Jeff Suppan (0-0, 7.20/1.40)
Lou Piniella’s crew is not playing good baseball right now. After losing the series to the Astros last weekend at Wrigley, the offense was horrible in New York and lost three of the four games against the Metropolitans. Other than the nine runs in game three, the Cubs managed three runs in three games.
6-10 on the young season is not where the Cubs wanted to be and they are in need of a series win against the Milwaukee Brewers.
While the Cubs offense will get a little break, at least on paper, over the next three days. The pitching staff will face a red-hot Brewers’ offense. Milwaukee put 20 runs on the board on Thursday in Pittsburgh and outscored the Pirates 36-1 in the three-game series.
Carlos Zambrano will be available out of the Cubs’ pen beginning on Saturday.
The Cubs are 2-1 versus the Brewers this season. The only game Milwaukee won at Wrigley (April 12 – April 15) was the one Jeff Suppan started.
It is highly unlikely but Lou Piniella should start Chad Tracy tonight. Aramis Ramirez needs a full day off and Tracy needs the at bats. Ryan Dempster beat the Brewers 11 days ago, the opener at Wrigley. Dempster was not sharp and gave up five runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings with four walks and five strikeouts. Dempster was given a nice lead early and reportedly pitched to contact.
Dempster should be 3-0 on the season. The bullpen has wasted two excellent outings and lost both of Dempster’s starts by an identical 3-2 score (Braves and Astros).
The Cubs number one right-handed starter has thrown strikes with an aggressive attitude that was missing, for obvious reasons, a year ago.
Dempster is 12-3 in 18 career starts, 40 games, versus Milwaukee with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … for his career at Miller Park, 4-2 in eight starts, 20 games, with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Brewers’ Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Ryan Braun – 6-for-26 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 walks
- Craig Counsell – 6-for-25 with a home run and 5 walks
- Jim Edmonds – 8-for-24 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 6 walks
- Alcides Escobar – 1-for-3
- Prince Fielder – 8-for-26 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
- Jody Gerut – 3-for-11 with a double and a walk
- Carlos Gomez – 1-for-1
- Corey Hart – 3-for-26 with a home run and 3 walks
- Casey McGehee – 4-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Jeff Suppan – 1-for-6
- Rickie Weeks – 6-for-20 with 4 walks
- Gregg Zaun – 0-for-3
Jeff Suppan will make his second start of the season and against the Cubs. Suppan’s only other start this year came on April 15 at Wrigley. Suppan mystified the Cubs’ offense early on before they finally put a few runs on the board against the veteran right-hander.
Suppan was horrible a year ago at Miller Park. He posted a 3-8 record in 15 starts with a 6.39 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP … teams hit a robust .332 against Suppan in his home park.
Tonight will be Suppan’s 25th career start against the Chicago Cubs. He is 6-9 in the first 24 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
The Cubs must make Suppan work tonight.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Jeff Suppan
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Marlon Byrd – 6-for-16 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Tyler Colvin – 2-for-2 with a double
- Ryan Dempster – 1-for-9
- Mike Fontenot – 5-for-13 with a double and a walk
- Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-14 with a double, a triple and 7 walks
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-6 with a double and 2 walks
- Derrek Lee – 23-for-54 with 7 doubles, 6 home runs and 10 walks
- Xavier Nady – 4-for-16 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 11-for-47 with 4 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-46 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-12 with 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 8-for-27 with a double and a walk
- Chad Tracy – 4-for-18 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …