Game Eighty: Cubs (34-45) vs. Reds (45-35)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (6-6, 3.58/1.17) vs. Bronson Arroyo (7-4, 4.49/1.29)
The Chicago Cubs are not hitting, not scoring runs and come into play today at their lowest point during Lou Piniella’s tenure. The Cubs are 11 games under .500 for the first time under Lou … the last time the Cubs were 11 games below the mediocre mark was in 2006 when Dusty Baker led the Cubs.
Lou’s lineup tinkering should continue this afternoon. One of Bronson Arroyo weaknesses is inability to get left-handed batters out. But the Cubs have struggled against Arroyo during his time in Cincinnati and unless the offense is able to flip a switch, it will be another frustrating afternoon for the Cubs’ offense.
The Cubs are 2-5 versus the first place Reds this season.
In other news … Bruce Levine reported Thursday that Chad Tracy cleared waivers and opted for his release instead of reporting to Triple-A Iowa.
Today it all begins with Ryan Dempster … and just having fun at the old ballpark. Ryan Dempster is coming off his first career win on the South Side … and is 3-1 in his last five starts (3.24 ERA and a 1.35 WHP). Dempster held the Sox to three runs on nine hits in seven innings of work. Dempster struggled with his command and threw from behind in the count most of the game, but was good enough to pick up the win.
The longball has really hurt Ryan Dempster this season … and cost him a win the last time he faced the Reds. Dempster has served up 15 homers this season …12 since May 9 in Cincinnati.
Dempster must keep the ball in the park this afternoon in order for the Cubs to have a chance to post a win. With the way the Cubs are not hitting the ball, the pitching staff has been asked to be almost perfect … and any deficit of more than a single run feels like ten right now.
The Cubs’ number one right-hander is 3-3 in seven starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP (49 homers, 18 walks and five homers in 50 1/3 innings).
Dempster will face his former team for the second time this season. Joey Votto beat Dempster in Cincinnati on May 9 and the two teams have gone in opposite directions since.
This afternoon will be Dempster’s 13th career start versus the Reds … 5-5 in 36 games, 12 starts, with five saves, a 4.29 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.
Reds Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Jay Bruce – 1-for-6 with a double and 2 walks
- Orlando Cabrera – 14-for-38 with 4 doubles and a walk
- Miguel Cairo – 1-for-8
- Jonny Gomes – 1-for-3 with a double
- Ramon Hernandez – 6-for-9 with a double and a home run
- Corky Miller – 1-for-1 with a home run
- Laynce Nix – 0-for-3
- Brandon Phillips – 2-for-18 with 2 walks
- Scott Rolen – 6-for-31 with 2 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
- Drew Stubbs – 0-for-3
- Joey Votto – 3-for-13 with 2 home runs and a walk
Bronson Arroyo has owned the Cubs during his time in the Queen City. From groundball out after groundball out to his two-run homer day against Glendon Rusch, Arroyo has enjoyed beating up on Chicago.
Arroyo has not faced the Cubs since 2008 and he beat a very good Cubs’ team three times that season … 3-0 in three starts with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
Arroyo is 7-6 in 19 career games, 17 starts, against the Cubs with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Arroyo is coming off a loss to the Indians. He gave up four runs on six hits in five innings with two walks and three strikeouts. The five-inning start was his shortest since April 23 against the Padres (Arroyo tossed 4 1/3 innings in a rain-shortened outing versus the Cardinals on May 31). The 33-year old right-hander is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Look for Lou to load his lineup with as many lefties as possible today (.311 versus left-handed hitters, .185 against righties).
Cubs Career Numbers against Bronson Arroyo
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
- Marlon Byrd – 3-for-8 with a double and a home run
- Mike Fontenot – 3-for-6 with a double and a home run
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-12
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-3 with a double and a walk
- Derrek Lee – 8-for-32 with a double, 2 home runs and 6 walks
- Xavier Nady – 6-for-21 with a double and a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-36 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-7 with 2 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 7-for-27 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …