Game Seventy-Five: Cubs (32-42) vs. White Sox (39-34)
Game Time – 1:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 179
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (5-6, 3.56/1.16) vs. John Danks (7-5, 3.23/1.17)
It has been an ugly weekend for the Chicago Cubs … and it could get worse. Not only have the Cubs lost the first two on the South Side and face the possibility of being swept for the second time this season (Pittsburgh, May 4-6), they enter play today 10 games under .500 for the first time in the Lou Piniella Era … then there’s the Carlos Zambrano situation.
The Cubs announced Saturday that when/if Zambrano returns he will pitch out of the bullpen. Zambrano’s days as a starter for the Cubs this season appear to be over. Tom Gorzelanny will take his place in the rotation. Many feel Zambrano will be out at least 10 days.
Would a sweep at the hands of the White Sox force the front office or better yet, the Ricketts family to make changes?
To say this organization is a mess would be an understatement.
The Cubs loss on Saturday meant the Sox won the season series (4-1) and will be awarded the first BP Crosstown Cup … the Cubs are 7-10 in Interleague play with one remaining against the Junior Circuit.
Weather permitting … It figures to be another long afternoon for the Cubs’ offense. John Danks has owned the Cubs in the past and facing the Northsiders always brings out the “best” in the southpaw.
Today it all begins with Ryan Dempster … Ryan Dempster is coming off a complete game loss, the Cubs first complete game of the season. Dempster made just one mistake in his eight innings … he served up a two-run homer to Franklin Gutierrez. Dempster walked only two and struck out eight but he fell behind in counts early in the game, which led to the Gutierrez dinger.
Dempster must throw strikes and keep his walks down this afternoon. But most importantly keep the ball in the yard. Dempster has served up nine homers in seven of his last ten starts.
The Cubs’ number one right-handed starter is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … and is 2-3 in eight road starts this season with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Ryan Dempster has not fared well against the White Sox, especially the last two seasons. Dempster is 1-4 in five career starts, 12 games, with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. Last year he was 0-2 in three starts (Dempster pitched the makeup game in September) with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP … and in 2008, 1-1 in two outings with a 7.84 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP.
Dempster did not face the Sox in the series on the North Side two weeks ago.
White Sox Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Gordon Beckham – 2-for-8 with a walk
- Ramon Castro – 0-for-2
- Andruw Jones – 13-for-40 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 5 walks
- Paul Konerko – 1-for-9 with a walk
- Mark Kotsay – 2-for-7 with a home run and 2 walks
- Juan Pierre – 6-for-16 with a double and a walk
- A.J. Pierzynski – 7-for-19 with a home run and 2 walks
- Carlos Quentin – 4-for-9 with a double
- Alexei Ramirez – 4-for-11 with a home run
- Omar Vizquel – 4-for-11 with a triple
Many consider John Danks the ace of the White Sox staff … and he has earned the title so far this season. Danks has won his last three starts and is 3-1 in his last four games with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
The 25-year old southpaw loves facing the Cubs … and sticking it to them. Danks is 2-0 in three starts versus the good guys with a miniscule 0.90 and a 0.90 WHIP. The Cubs have managed only two runs against the classy John Danks in 20 innings.
Danks is 4-3 in eight starts at the Cell this season with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against John Danks
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-2
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-12 with a double
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-6
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-7 with a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-7 with a double
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-8
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-9
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …