Game One Hundred Three: Cubs (46-56) vs. Rockies (52-50)
Game Time – 8:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Coors Field, Denver
Ryan Dempster (8-7, 3.71/1.28) vs. Jeff Francis (3-3, 4.56/1.33)
Updated – 5:44pm CDT – Carlos Zambrano Reinstated from restricted list – Bobby Howry granted Unconditional Release
Lou’s crew returns to the field tonight after spending Thursday making their way to Denver.
Carlos Zambrano is expected to be activated before game time. Zambrano has completed his anger management classes and could see his first action since June 25 at the Cell. Zambrano will join the Cubs’ pen and Brian Schlitter is expected to return to Iowa to make room on the active roster.
The Cubs won both games against the Rockies in mid-May at Wrigley … and will miss both Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez this weekend.
The Rockies have not played to expectations this season. And as the non-waiver trade deadline nears, the Rockies could be buyers as easy as sellers. The Rockies are rumored to have interest in acquiring Ryan Theriot. Will Jim Hendry make a deal with Colorado that includes Theriot before 3:00pm CDT on Saturday?
Tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster … After reaching his goal of 200 innings last year, Ryan Dempster has already thrown 140 2/3 this season … and is starting to show signs of fatigue. Dempster pitched 206 2/3 innings in his return to the rotation two seasons ago. Dempster figures to top that mark in 2010.
Dempster has struggled with his command in his last three outings. He has walked 10 over 18 2/3 innings with only 14 strikeouts. The Cubs need a long outing from Dempster tonight in order to start the series on a positive note.
July has been a rough month for Dempster. He is 2-1 (five starts) with a 4.20 ERA and an incredibly high 1.67 WHIP (17 walks and 33 hits allowed in 30 innings).
Tonight will be Dempster’s first start of the year against the Rockies … he is 5-3 in 16 career games, nine starts, with a 6.46 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. At Coors Field, 1-2 in eight games, four starts, with an 11.37 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP.
Rockies Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Clint Barmes – 1-for-2 with a home run
- Carlos Gonzalez – 1-for-3
- Brad Hawpe – 2-for-4
- Todd Helton – 9-for-21 with a double, 3 home runs and 5 walks
- Chris Iannetta – 0-for-5
- Melvin Mora – 1-for-5 with a walk
- Miguel Olivo – 0-for-3
- Seth Smith – 1-for-6
- Ryan Spilborghs – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Ian Stewart – 0-for-6
- Troy Tulowitzki – 0-for-4
After beginning the year on the DL, Jeff Francis has had mixed results this season. Francis, once considered the Rockies’ number one pitcher, is 1-0 in his last four starts with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.
The 29-year old southpaw is coming off a no decision to the Phillies in which he allowed two runs on six hits in five innings. Francis walked only one and struck out six … in his last two outings (12 innings), Francis has struck out 13 and walked only one.
Jeff Francis has not beaten the Cubs in five starts and has struggled in the process … 0-0 with an 8.77 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP.
The last time Francis faced the Cubs was back on May 29, 2008 … Lou’s crew managed three runs on six hits in five innings. The Cubs lost 8-4, a day before one of the most memorable comebacks in Cubs history.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jeff Francis
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
- Mike Fontenot – 3-for-3 with a double
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-1 with a double and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-4
- Derrek Lee – 7-for-9 with a home run and 3 walks
- Xavier Nady – 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-14 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-12
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-6
- Ryan Theriot – 2-for-4 with 2 walks
Ryan Theriot and Randy Wells are hosting a benefit for the Children’s Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, August 4 at Joe’s Bar. The CCO was asked to pass along the info on the event. For those interested, click on this link to Ticketmaster.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …