Game Fifty-One: Cubs (22-28) vs. Pirates (24-26)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (3-4, 6.29/1.52) vs. Jeff Karstens (3-3, 3.57/1.28)
Updated – 3:03pm CDT – First pitched slated for 3:50pm
Updated – 12:22pm CDT – Sunday’s Game will not start on time – No word on when to expect first pitch.
Updated – 12:22pm CDT – Andrew Cashner transferred from 15-day DL to 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster to add Brad Snyder.
Updated 11:02am CDT – Reed Johnson placed on 15-day DL with back spasms. Brad Snyder added to active roster; corresponding 40-man roster not announced – Geovany Soto activated from 15-day DL. Welington Castillo optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Weather permitting … In order for the Cubs to avoid a sweep at home to the Pirates, they will have to do something they’ve not done all year, win a game on Sunday.
The Chicago Cubs are 0-for-Sunday this season (0-7). The Cubs have lost their last nine Sunday games and are 1-12 on Sunday dating back to August 22, 2010. The only win since Lou Piniella stepped down came in Florida on September 19, 2010.
After a decent road trip and a good beginning to the homestand against the Mets, Q’s squad has put together two duds against the Pirates. Clint Hurdle’s pitching staff has shutout the Cubs in 17 of the 18 innings … with the Cubs only runs coming in the ninth inning Friday on Alfonso Soriano’s two-run homer.
The Pirates have figured out how to beat the Cubs on a regular basis … dating back to September of 2009, Pittsburgh has won 16 of 22 against the Cubs.
Geovany Soto is expected to return to the lineup this afternoon. Soto completed his two games with the Smokies 0-for-7 with a strikeout on Friday night. With Soto back, Welington Castillo will be optioned to Iowa to resume his minor league career. Soto being activated will have a ripple effect on the catchers throughout the organization.
On the Sunday before Memorial Day it all starts with Ryan Dempster … After not posting a win at Wrigley since August of 2010, Ryan Dempster has won back-to-back starts at home (2-3 in six home starts with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP) and is coming off a very good outing against the Mets. Dempster allowed one run on seven hits in seven solid innings. Dempster walked one batter and struck out four. The two biggest reasons for Dempster’s success of late … he’s cut down on the walks (six free passes in 32 innings) and he’s kept the ball in the park (two homers in his last five starts).
Dempster is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
Ryan Dempster’s season began on a negative note against the Pirates. Dempster gave up six runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings with four walks and seven strikeouts on Opening Day. Dempster has struggled against the Pirates, like a majority of his teammates, over the last two seasons.
Dempster is 6-11 in 46 career games, 21 starts, versus the Bucs with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP … last season, 0-3 in three starts with a 6.88 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Ronny Cedeno – 5-for-12 with a double and a walk
- Matt Diaz – 0-for-1
- Ryan Doumit – 4-for-22 with a walk
- Garrett Jones – 2-for-15 with a home run and 3 walks
- Jeff Karstens – 0-for-1
- Andrew McCutchen – 5-for-16 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Lyle Overbay – 1-for-3 with a double and 5 walks
- Xavier Paul – 0-for-3
- Steve Pearce – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Chris Snyder – 4-for-11
- Jose Tabata – 1-for-5 with a triple and 2 walks
- Neil Walker – 5-for-8 with 2 doubles and a home run
Jeff Karstens has 15 wins in 100 big league games and four of those have come at the Cubs expense. Jeff Karstens has put together a solid season for Clint Hurdle serving as the team’s swingman. Karstens is coming off a loss in relief to the Braves (two runs on two hits in two innings of work) but pitched six solid innings against the Tigers in his last start on May 20 (one run on three hits without a walk and four strikeouts in six innings).
The former 19th round pick of the Yankees (2003 draft) is 1-1 in five games, three starts, on the road this season with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Karstens seventh career start versus the Cubs. Karstens is 4-2 in eight games, six starts, with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP … at Wrigley, 4-1 in five games, four starts, with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Karstens first win as a Pirate came at Wrigley Field on August 1, 2008. Karstens threw six innings of shutout ball and allowed only five hits.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jeff Karstens
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Blake DeWitt – 6-for-9 with 2 doubles
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-9 with a triple
- Koyie Hill – 6-for-11 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-2
- Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-11 with a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-14 with 2 home runs
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-5
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