Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 09/16/10

Game One Hundred Forty-Seven: Cubs (65-81) vs. Marlins (73-72)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Sun Life Stadium, Miami

Ryan Dempster (13-10, 3.62/1.30) vs. Alex Sanabia (4-2, 3.95/1.32)

The Chicago National League Ball Club has shown improvement during their nine-game road trip. With three remaining before Monday’s off day, the Cubs last of the season, Q’s crew is 5-1 so far … and the Cubs are 14-7 under Mike Quade. While the offense has been hot and cold, the pitching staff has been lights out.

The Cubs open a three-game series in one of their houses of horrors tonight. The Cubs have struggled for years in the football stadium and will have to make at least one more trip to the awful park before the Marlins’ new home opens in 2012.

The Cubs will not face Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco during the series. Both pitchers have been shutdown for the season … but the Cubs will have to deal with rookie slugger Mike Stanton and several excellent young arms. Plus, they will face former teammate, Chad Tracy. Tracy signed with the Marlins after spending time in the Yankees organization following his release from the Cubs.

The Cubs lost two of three to the Fish back in May at Wrigley … and there have been plenty of changes with the Marlins since.

Dave Otto will join Pat Hughes in the radio booth for the series. Ron Santo flew back to Chicago during Wednesday’s game in St. Louis and will be back for the opener of the final homestand of the season on Tuesday night.

Tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster

After two horrible starts against the Pirates and Mets, Ryan Dempster shut down the Brewers in his last outing. Dempster was back to his early August form and pitched seven innings of shut out ball. Dempster gave up just three hits, walked two and struck out eight.

Dempster found a rhythm after a shaky start and threw strikes. The key for Dempster is to always maintain a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio … and he did against the Brewers.

Ryan Dempster is 8-4 in 15 games outside of Wrigley this season with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … slightly better numbers for Dempster on the road than at home (5-6 in 15 starts with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP).

Dempster missed the Fish during the three-game series at Wrigley in May. He is 2-1 in 13 career games, three starts, against one of his former teams with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. At Sun Life Stadium, 22-13 in 64 games, 58 starts, with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Marlins Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Emilo Bonifacio – 0-for-6 with a walk
  • Wes Helms – 5-for-10 with a double
  • Hanley Ramirez – 2-for-8 with a double and 2 walks
  • Chad Tracy – 5-for-8 with 2 doubles and a home run
  • Dan Uggla – 0-for-7 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look at Alex Sanabia tonight. The 22-year old right-hander is another in a long line of excellent pitchers developed by the Marlins organization. Sanabia is coming off a five-game suspension and an impressive win against the Nationals. Sanabia was suspended for his involvement in the benches clearing brawl with Nyjer Morgan and the Nationals on September 1.

Alex Sanabia has been very, very good in his first Major League action.

Tonight will be Sanabia’s tenth career start in the majors … and just his 13th game.

Sanabia is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP … dating back to August 1, 3-1 in five starts with a 3.45 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne