Game Twenty-Nine: Cubs (12-16) vs. Dodgers (15-15)
Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Ryan Dempster (1-3, 9.58/1.87) vs. Chad Billingsley (2-1, 4.46/1.37)
Ryan Dempster turns 34 today … will he show up to the park tonight and put his horrible start behind him or will it be another ‘Bullpen Day‘ for the Chicago Cubs?
The Cubs have lost six of eight and eight of 11 and in order for Q’s squad to get back to .500 they will need Ryan Dempster to pitch to the back of his baseball card … and that must start tonight. Following his last outing, Dempster said he was glad April was over. The Cubs are 0-for May and they need Dempster to deliver a win tonight.
News and Notes
The Cubs received good news Monday concerning Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner. Both pitchers threw off a mound and Jim Hendry is hopeful both pitchers can return in two to three weeks.
The Cubs announced Monday that Doug Davis will make his first rehab start Thursday for the Daytona Cubs … and Todd Wellemeyer would take the hill for the I-Cubs Thursday. If all goes well for Davis, he will pitch for the I-Cubs then likely make his Cubs’ debut in the Giants series at Wrigley.
Jeff Baker is expected to be out of the lineup again tonight nursing his sore left shoulder. Mike Quade is hoping to have him back Wednesday when the Cubs face Ted Lilly.
Tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster … and celebrating his birthday with a win. Ryan Dempster is coming off the worst start of his big league career … and is stuck in the worst stretch of his career. Dempster lasted just 1/3 of an inning against the D’Backs last Thursday. Dempster could not throw strikes and when he did the ball left the park. Stephen Drew and company scored seven runs on four hits and four walks, plus a hit batter, on just 40 pitches. Dempster was all over the place and looked lost on the mound.
Dempster must give the Cubs innings tonight and keep his team in the game.
Of all the concerning stats that surrounds Dempster’s first six starts, the amount of home runs he’s serving up is the most alarming. In just 31 innings, nine of the 42 hits Dempster has allowed have left the park … and four of those have been hit in his last two innings of work (three by the Dodgers in last 1 2/3 on April 23 and the slam by Stephen Drew).
The Dodgers shelled Dempster during the series at Wrigley. After the Cubs put up a five-spot on Ted Lilly, Dempster starting throwing BP and surrendered seven runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts … and three big home runs, the last three hits Dempster gave up.
Dempster is 7-3 in 23 career games, 13 starts, with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP … at Dodger Stadium 1-1 in nine games, three starts, with a 2.13 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Rod Barajas – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Chad Billingsley – 0-for-4
- Jamey Carroll – 2-for-6
- Andre Ethier – 7-for-19 with 4 doubles, a home run and a walk
- Tony Gwynn, Jr. – 2-for-6 with a double and a triple
- Matt Kemp – 4-for-16 with a double, a home run and a walk
- James Loney – 1-for-13
- Jerry Sands – 0-for-3
- Marcus Thames – 0-for-1
- Juan Uribe – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run
Chad Billingsley will try to complete his two-game sweep of the Cubs tonight. Billingsley has given the Cubs problems since he entered the league and beat the Cubs two outings ago after another impressive outing.
Billingsley is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins in which he allowed four runs on five hits in six innings of work. Billingsley’s problem has always been consistency … and history is repeating itself so far this season.
Tonight will be Billingsley’s eighth career start against the Cubs … 4-3 in nine games, seven starts, with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. The Cubs have not beaten Chad Billingsley since the 2009 season.
Cubs Career Numbers against Chad Billingsley
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a double
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-4
- Marlon Byrd – 4-for-10 with a triple
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-3 with 3 walks
- Ryan Dempster – 2-for-6 with a double
- Blake DeWitt – 1-for-1
- Kosuke Fukudome – 6-for-22 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
- Koyie Hill – 2-for-10 with a home run and 2 walks
- Carlos Pena – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-16 with a double, a triple and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-18 with a walk
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-7 with a walk
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