Game Twenty: Cubs (9-10) vs. Dodgers (11-10)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (1-2, 6.84/1.52) vs. Ted Lilly (1-2, 4.09/1.32)
Updated 9:12am CDT – Jeff Stevens Optioned to Triple-A Iowa – Justin Berg Recalled from Triple-A Iowa
How will Q’s squad respond to Friday’s loss to the Dodgers? The Cubs enter play this afternoon a game under .500 after dropping their last two games. The Cubs are one of two teams in the majors (New York Yankees) this season that has not won, or lost, more than two games in a row. In order to keep that streak intact, the Cubs will have to beat an old teammate, Ted Lilly.
‘The Bulldog‘ re-signed with the Dodgers in the off-season for three years and $33 million after being dealt to Los Angeles at the trade deadline. Lilly enjoyed his time with the Dodgers and wanted to remain with the team that originally drafted him. Lilly will make his first career start, and appearance, against the Cubs this afternoon.
With Lilly on the hill, look for Jeff Baker at first base and Starlin Castro back in the leadoff spot.
The Cubs could make a roster move before today’s game. With Jeff Stevens unavailable for the next two to three days and possibly another ‘Bullpen Day‘ on the horizon (the Cubs are still undecided on how they will handle Tuesday’s start), the Cubs could make a change in the pen according to a report from Bruce Levine.
Today it all starts with Ryan Dempster … Ryan Dempster is coming off a horrible outing and he admitted as much after his five-inning performance at Coors Field. Dempster had a chance against a rookie, making his first appearance at the big league level, to send his team home with a successful road trip. To the Cubs credit they battled back and took the lead before Dempster gave it up again and departed after five more disappointing innings.
With all of the uncertainty in the rotation the Cubs need for Ryan Dempster to step up and pitch his team to a victory this afternoon.
Ryan Dempster has struggled at Wrigley since last August. He is 0-2 this season with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP after a questionable at best home record last season (5-7 in 16 starts with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP). The last time the Cubs’ Opening Day starter won a game in front of the home crowd was August 4, 2010 (15-3 over the Brewers). Dempster has managed only two wins at Wrigley since the break last year … with the Cubs being 3-7 in his last 10 starts at the Friendly Confines.
Today will be the 13th start of Dempster’s career against the Dodgers. Dempster is 7-3 in 22 games, 12 starts, with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. One of Dempster’s best starts a year ago came against the Dodgers … eight innings of shutout ball, just three hits allowed with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Casey Blake – 1-for-6
- Jamey Carroll – 0-for-3
- Andre Ethier – 7-for-17 with 4 doubles and a home run
- Tony Gwynn, Jr. – 1-for-5 with a double
- Matt Kemp – 2-for-13 with a double and a walk
- James Loney – 1-for-10
- Aaron Miles – 2-for-12 with a walk
- Marcus Thames – 0-for-1
- Juan Uribe – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run
Ted Lilly is coming off his first win of the year, a seven-inning shutout performance against the Atlanta Braves. Lilly surrendered just four hits, walked a pair and struck out six … by far his best start of the season.
Prior to his last outing, Lilly had struggled and did not complete five innings in his first two starts of the year. Lilly has been very good since the trade last July that sent Lilly back to the team that selected him in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft.
The Cubs know how to beat Theodore, whether they can or not, that is the question.
Cubs Career Numbers against Ted Lilly
- Jeff Baker – 3-for-6 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Marlon Byrd – 5-for-11 with a double
- Blake DeWitt – 0-for-3
- Reed Johnson – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Carlos Pena – 1-for-5 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-10 with a double, a triple and 5 walks
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