Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 04/12/10

Game Seven: Cubs (2-4) vs. Brewers (3-3)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (0-0, 1.50/0.83) vs. Doug Davis (0-0, 9.00/2.25)

It is the Cubs’ home opener, the 95th at Wrigley Field, and before the game all eyes will be focused on the renovations and improvements the Ricketts family has made to Wrigley Field.

The Ricketts family renovated the bathrooms, the concourse and improved the concessions. The Cubs new owners made much needed changes to the cramped, outdated clubhouse. A new lounge and weight room are among the changes made to the team’s clubhouse.

The Ricketts family also renovated the Wrigley Field scoreboard to its original 1937 condition. As Tom Ricketts described it, “one of the iconic features of Wrigley Field, the scoreboard façade has not been restored in more than 70 years.”

The Cubs were 12 games over .500 last season at Wrigley Field, 46-34, and have regained the home field advantage under Lou Piniella at the Friendly Confines.

The Cubs are 77-55-2 in home openers. Game one of Year One at Wrigley Field … It’s a Way of Life!

The first series against the Brewers’ will feature a reunion with Jim Edmonds. The former Cub had as much to do with Lou Piniella’s crew winning the Central Division title in 2008 as any player currently on the Cubs’ roster. On paper, the Cubs will get a break of sorts in the three-game set versus the Brewers. Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf pitched over the weekend against the Cardinals … and the Cubs will face Doug Davis, Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan. Unless the Cubs change their approach at the plate and certain players begin producing, it will be a frustrating start to the home schedule.

The Cubs won the season series against the Brewers in 2009, 10-7.

Ryan Dempster is coming off a tremendous first start … and was in line for the win until the Cubs’ bullpen melted down in the eighth. Dempster allowed one run on three hits in six innings with two walks and nine strikeouts. Dempster hit his spots, mixed his pitches and if not for a defensive mistake would have completed his first outing without allowing a run.

The key for Ryan Dempster is maintaining a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio … and he did in his last start.

The Cubs need Dempster to be a calming force this afternoon … and start the six-game homestand off on a positive note.

Ryan Dempster will make the 18th start of his career against the Milwaukee Brewers. Dempster is 11-3 with 10 saves in 17 starts, 39 games, with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Dempster has pitched extremely well at Wrigley since returning to the rotation (7-4 in 14 starts with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 2009 and 14-3 in 20 starts with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 2008).

Dempster was 3-1 in four starts against the Brewers a year ago with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Brewers’ Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster:

  • Ryan Braun – 5-for-23 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Craig Counsell – 6-for-25 with a home run and 5 walks
  • Doug Davis – 0-for-4
  • Jim Edmonds – 8-for-23 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Prince Fielder – 7-for-24 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 6 walks
  • Jody Gerut – 3-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Carlos Gomez – 1-for-1
  • Corey Hart – 2-for-23 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Casey McGehee – 3-for-7
  • Rickie Weeks – 5-for-16 with 4 walks

The Cubs will face an old nemesis this afternoon in Doug Davis. Davis is the definition of a crafty lefty … despite an average career (90-97 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in 290 career games) he always dominates the Chicago Cubs. Lou Piniella’s offense must not swing at his pitch and make him work. If not, it will be a long, frustrating home opener for the Cubs.

Doug Davis spent 2007-2009 in Arizona after spending three seasons with the Brewers (2004-2006). With Davis and Randy Wolf, the Brewers feel they have enough pitching to beat out the Cardinals for the top spot in the NL Central.

Davis was his typical self, against any other team not the Chicago Cubs, in his first start of the season. The Rockies plated four runs on six hits against Davis in four innings. Davis walked three and struck out four.

This afternoon will be Doug Davis’ 17th career start against the Chicago Cubs. He is 9-6 in the first 16 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP … the Cubs have hit only .223 against him. For Davis, the 1.16 WHIP and .223 batting average against is by far his best marks against any team he has faced a minimum of 10 times … the 3.20 ERA is second best to the San Diego Padres.

At Wrigley Field, Davis has been just short of unbeatable. Despite the 3-2 record in 6 starts, Davis has a career 1.93 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP at the Friendly Confines.

It will be a long afternoon for the Cubs unless they change their approach against Doug Davis.

Cubs Career Numbers against Doug Davis

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-16 with a double and a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 6-for-19 with a double
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-3
  • Mike Fontenot – 0-for-3
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-1 with a double
  • Derrek Lee – 6-for-30 with a double, 3 home runs and 4 walks
  • Xavier Nady – 6-for-19 with a home run and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-25 with a double, 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-21 with a home run and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 0-for-8 with a walk
  • Ryan Theriot – 5-for-16 with a walk
  • Chad Tracy – 1-for-3

WGN Home Opener Videos
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 Improvements at Wrigley

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