Game Thirty-Seven: Cubs (16-20) vs. Giants (21-16)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (1-4, 7.20/1.58) vs. Madison Bumgarner (0-5, 4.21/1.46)
Weather permitting … the Cubs begin a three-game series against the defending World Champions, the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs won just two of the seven games (2-5) against the Giants a year ago, and mainly because the Cubs offense cannot hit San Fran’s pitching.
After Madison Bumgarner this afternoon, the Cubs will face Ryan Vogelsong in the first Saturday night game at Wrigley since 1998 and Tim Lincecum. Mike Quade will send Doug Davis to the hill Saturday and Carlos Zambrano gets the ball Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs will be without Aramis Ramirez this afternoon. Ramirez was given permission to fly back to the Dominican to handle family business. Ramirez is expected back in the line up Saturday night
The Cubs have three games remaining on the current ten-day, nine-game homestand. After winning just one of three against both the Reds and Cardinals (2-4), the Cubs would have to sweep the Giants in order to post a winning stretch at home.
This afternoon it all begins with Ryan Dempster … Following a horrible start to the season (1-3 in six starts in April with a 9.58 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP), Ryan Dempster has put together two very good starts with only a loss to show for his effort (0-1 in two starts with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP). Dempster is coming off a hard luck loss to the Reds. Dempster gave up just two runs (one on a solo homer by Drew Stubbs) and did not walk a batter in seven strong innings. Dempster surrendered only five hits to a very good offense.
The Cubs need more of the same from Dempster this afternoon … and for him to post his first home win since last August.
Ryan Dempster is 4-8 in 23 career games, 13 starts, versus the Giants with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP … last season, 1-1 in two starts with a 10.80 ERA and a 2.28 WHIP. Juan Uribe and the Giants chased Dempster in just 1 2/3 innings last September 23 at Wrigley.
Giants Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
Madison Bumgarner – 1-for-1
Pat Burrell – 8-for-29 with 5 doubles and 8 walks
Mark DeRosa – 0-for-3
Mike Fontenot – 2-for-2 with a double
Aubrey Huff – 3-for-20 with a double and 2 walks
Buster Posey – 2-for-5
Cody Ross – 2-for-9 with a double, a triple and a walk
Aaron Rowand – 1-for-13
Freddy Sanchez – 8-for-19 with a double, a home run and a walk
Miguel Tejada – 8-for-23 with a double, a home run and a walk
Andres Torres – 0-for-7
For the second time this week the Cubs will face a very good pitcher that has yet to post a win this season. Chris Carpenter took care of business Tuesday. Unless the Cubs start hitting with runners on base, Madison Bumgarner will post his first victory of the year this afternoon.
Bumgarner has pitched better than his record and line. Bumgarner is coming off a solid start against the Rockies (two runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings) and has allowed only two earned runs in his last three starts.
The 21-year old southpaw is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 0.69 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP … 12 strikeouts and three walks in his last 12 innings.
Bumgarner is 0-2 in three starts outside of San Francisco with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Bumgarner’s third career start against the Cubs … 1-0 in two starts with a 2.13 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP, 1-0 at Wrigley with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP, seven innings of shutout ball.
Cubs Career Numbers against Madison Bumgarner
Darwin Barney – 1-for-3 with a walk
Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6
Starlin Castro – 3-for-6 with a double
Tyler Colvin – 1-for-4
Blake DeWitt – 1-for-4
Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-2
Koyie Hill – 2-for-6
Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-5 with 3 doubles and a walk
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