Game One Hundred Fifty-Seven: Cubs (71-85) vs. Padres (87-69)
Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
Coverage – WGN TV/MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego
Ryan Dempster (14-11, 3.87/1.32) vs. Mat Latos (14-8, 2.91/1.06)
Can the Cubs continue to make it hard on the Padres? Q’s crew showed up to the park Monday night and did just enough to drop San Diego a half game behind the Braves for the Wild Card … and a full game behind the Giants in the West. The Cubs’ pitching continued to be the difference as the “veteran lineup” continues to generate more runners left on base than actual runs.
Look for more of the same tonight with Mat Latos on the hill as Quade has promised to start his vets over the rookies … and as one of the young Cubs said, that gives Quade a very good bench late in the game.
In other news … It is looking more and more like Casey Coleman will get the start over Jeff Samardzija in the opener Friday night in Houston. The Cubs also announced if Carlos Silva pitches again this season, it would be out of the bullpen.
The Cubs are 20-11 under Mike Quade and tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster … After putting together back-to-back scoreless outings (no runs on seven hits in 14 innings), Ryan Dempster could not make it out of the second inning against the Giants. Dempster’s shortest start of the year, and in more than seven seasons, came to an abrupt end after allowing nine runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings. Dempster hit a couple of batters and walked two before departing with the bases loaded. Thomas Diamond served up the slam to Juan Uribe that closed the book on Dempster.
Dempster figures to start the season finale Sunday in Houston and it would be good to see him finish the season strong. He has already topped his high in innings pitched since returning to the rotation in 2008 (206 2/3 in 2008, 200 in 2009 and 202 1/3 in 2010) and the Cubs need to make sure his outings are positive ones … and not necessarily long ones.
Due to his last start Dempster is just 2-2 in his last four games with a 5.31 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP … by far his worst stretch of the season. The Cubs righty is 9-4 in 16 starts outside of Wrigley this season with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Dempster missed the series against the Padres at Wrigley back in August and is 7-4 in 20 career games, 11 starts, versus the Friars with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP … at PETCO, 0-1 in five games, one start, with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Padres Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Chris Denorfia – 4-for-4 with a double
- David Eckstein – 6-for-22
- Adrian Gonzalez – 2-for-11 with 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Scott Hairston – 1-for-5
- Chase Headley – 0-for-6
- Nick Hundley – 0-for-3
- Ryan Ludwick – 12-for-27 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Matt Stairs – 4-for-7 with 3 home runs and 3 walks
- Miguel Tejada – 7-for-20 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Yorvit Torrealba – 0-for-1
- Will Venable – 1-for-3
Mat Latos has predictably struggled of late after a dominating for the most part this season. Latos has lost his last three starts and has not pitched past the fifth inning since a win against the Dodgers on September 7.
Latos has already tripled his innings pitched from last season and appears to be limping toward the finish line. The 22-year old right-hander is 1-3 in his last five starts with a 6.94 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Latos is not missing many bats in his last 23 1/3 innings, teams are hitting a robust .309 against him … more than 100 points than they did in August (.181).
Latos beat the Cubs back on August 19, 5-3, and surrendered only two runs on five hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts in seven innings … he is 1-1 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 5.91 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mat Latos
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-2 with a double
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-3 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-3
- Blake DeWitt – 1-for-5
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-4
- Sam Fuld – 0-for-1
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-5
- Xavier Nady – 0-for-3
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-5 with 2 doubles
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-5
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …