Game Thirty-Two: Cubs (14-17) vs. Reds (15-15)
Game Time – 12:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati
Ryan Dempster (2-2, 2.95/1.03) vs. Mike Leake (2-0, 2.94/1.31)
Happy Mother’s Day from everyone at the CCO!
The Cubs turn to Ryan Dempster to try and end a bad week on a positive note. Dempster lost the first game of the trip in Pittsburgh but a win today in the rubber game against the Reds would give the Cubs a series win. On the flip side, another loss and a 1-5 trip should bring more changes to Lou Piniella’s underachieving crew.
The Great American Ball Park has been a house of horrors of sorts for Ryan Dempster. He has not posted a win at the Reds’ new park and is 0-6 in 11 starts, 24 games with a 6.03 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP.
Tyler Colvin is expected to be in the starting lineup this afternoon. But who will sit? Colvin should start in place of Alfonso Soriano with Marlon Byrd and Kosuke Fukudome in center and right. Koyie Hill will likely be behind the plate as well.
While Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez try to remember what it feels like to get multiple hits in the same game, today it all starts with Ryan Dempster … All clichés aside, Ryan Dempster has pitched good enough this season to be undefeated … with a 6-0 record. For multiple reasons the Cubs number one right-handed starter is 2-2 after six starts and is coming off back-to-back 3-2 losses. In fact both of Dempster’s no decisions and both losses this season have been by the same final score of 3-2.
What has been hurting Dempster in his last two starts has been the longball. After allowing one home run in his first four starts (27 2/3 innings) he has served up four dingers in his last two outings (15 innings).
One of the big keys to Dempster’s success, especially pitching deep into games, has been the number of walks he has issued this season. In 42 2/3 innings, Dempster has walked only 11 with 39 strikeouts (3:1 strikeout to walk ratio) and in his last two games (15 innings) just two free passes with 13 strikeouts.
This afternoon will be Ryan Dempster’s first start of the year against his former team. Dempster is 5-4 in 35 career games, 11 starts, against the Reds with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP (five saves, one blown). At Great American, Dempster is 0-6 in 24 career games, 11 starts, with a 6.03 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP.
Ryan Dempster received a no decision in his only start against the Reds last season. Dempster allowed three unearned runs, struck out seven and walked two in six innings.
Reds’ Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Jay Bruce – 0-for-4 with a walk
- Orlando Cabrera – 13-for-34 with 4 doubles and a walk
- Miguel Cairo – 1-for-8
- Chris Dickerson – 1-for-3 with a double
- Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-4
- Ramon Hernandez – 4-for-7 with a home run and a walk
- Laynce Nix – 0-for-3
- Brandon Phillips – 2-for-15 with a walk
- Scott Rolen – 6-for-27 with 2 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
- Joey Votto – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
Mike Leake has been one of the good stories this season. The rookie that did not throw a single pitch in the minor leagues has been very impressive. The Reds are 4-1 in his five starts.
Leake made his impressive big league debut against the Cubs on April 11. He allowed one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Leake walked seven and struck out five.
Today will be the first time Leake has faced a team for the second time. What adjustments will Leake make and how will the Cubs approach Leake the second time around?
After picking up his first big league victory on April 22 (Dodgers), Leake has allowed two earned runs (one in each start) in his last two outings (13 innings) on nine hits. Leake has found the strike zone and has walked only three batters over that span (nine strikeouts).
Mike Leake is throwing right around 100 pitches per start (106, 99, 93, 105, 100) and patience will pay dividends for the Cubs.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-3
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-3 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-2 with 2 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-3 with a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-3
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-2 with 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …