Game Sixty-Five: Cubs (25-39) vs. Brewers (38-28)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (5-5, 5.96/1.47) vs. Randy Wolf (4-4, 3.49/1.27)
Mike Quade and the fifth place Chicago Cubs open a seven-game homestand tonight with the first of four against the first place Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are one of the hottest teams in baseball and are coming off a three-game sweep of the Cardinals at Miller Park. For as good as Milwaukee as been this year, they are just 13-19 on the road compared to 25-9 at home. The Brewers are 25-9 since May 6.
While the Brewers are clicking on all cylinders right now, the Cubs are not. Q’s squad is 5-14 since May 21 and just 12-19 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are just two games ahead of the Astros for last place in the division … and one game ahead in the win column for the worst record in baseball..
The Cubs are expected to activate Jeff Baker from the 15-day DL today and option D.J. LeMahieu to Triple-A Iowa. As for Reed Johnson, his return will be delayed a couple of days. Johnson was hit in the helmet by a pitch during Saturday’s rehab game with the I-Cubs. Johnson received stitches and spent the night in a local hospital. The Cubs will re-evaluate Johnson today and the Cubs are hoping he will be back early this week.
Kerry Wood is expected to be placed on the 15-day DL prior to tonight’s game. Wood has been dealing with a blister on his right index finger for about a month.
Alfonso Soriano is expected to be activated from the DL Wednesday. Soriano was 0-for-3 in his first game with the Iowa Cubs on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs difficult stretch of 38 games in 38 days does not let up during this homestand. The Cubs face the Brewers and Yankees over the next seven days before opening a three-game series on the South Side next Monday.
Q’s offense will not catch a break either during the four-game series against the Brewers. After Ryan Dempster, Quade will send Randy Wells, Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza to the hill and the Brewers will counter with Randy Wolf, Yovani Gallardo, Chris Narveson and Zack Greinke.
Tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster … The Cubs resident comedian is coming off an excellent start against the Reds in a game it appeared he was going to be scratched from just before Bronson Arroyo threw his first pitch. Ryan Dempster’s right hip stiffened up on him and he could not push off. Ryan Dempster labored through the first inning then settled in and allowed one run on three hits in six innings of work. Dempster walked only one batter and struck out eight … and in the process he beat the Reds at Great American for the first time.
Dempster has been inconsistent this season and has struggled with his command. Dempster must start throwing more quality strikes early and go deeper into games. The Cubs number one pitcher has not completed eight innings in any of his starts this season, plus he’s not completed seven innings in his last three … Dempster has completed seven innings of work only four times in 14 starts.
Dempster is 1-1 in his last two starts with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP … at Wrigley this season, 3-3 in seven starts with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
Ryan Dempster is 15-3 in 44 career games, 22 starts, versus the Brewers with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Dempster missed the Brewers in Milwaukee back in April and was a perfect 4-0 in five starts against the Brew Crew last season with a 2.23 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Brewers Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Ryan Braun – 7-for-38 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Craig Counsell – 7-for-28 with a double, a home run and 5 walks
- Prince Fielder – 9-for-36 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 walks
- Carlos Gomez – 2-for-5
- Corey Hart – 5-for-33 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
- Mark Kotsay – 3-for-10 with a home run and 2 walks
- Jonathan Lucroy – 1-for-5
- Casey McGehee – 6-for-20 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
- Nyjer Morgan – 0-for-9 with 2 walks
- Rickie Weeks – 9-for-31 with a double and 6 walks
- Randy Wolf – 5-for-13
Randy Wolf has been very good for the Brewers this season. Wolf is coming off a solid start against the Mets (one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts). Despite receiving two no decisions, Wolf has allowed five earned runs on nine hits in his last two starts (ten strikeouts, four walks in 11 2/3) with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
The Cubs beat Randy Wolf back on April 8 at Miller Park. Q’s offense scored six runs, two earned, on nine hits with a walk in six innings. Wolf struck out five and both Geovany Soto and Jeff Baker hit their first homer of the year.
Randy Wolf has had a lot of success against the Cubs over the years, despite the career record. Wolf is just 5-10 in 20 starts versus the Cubs franchise with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Wolf is 3-4 in nine career starts at Wrigley with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Wolf has thrown two complete game shutouts in his nine starts at Wrigley.
Cubs Career Numbers against Randy Wolf
- Jeff Baker – 7-for-16 with a double and a home run
- Starlin Castro – 2-for-9
- Tyler Colvin – 0-for-4
- Ryan Dempster – 1-for-9
- Blake DeWitt – 0-for-6
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4 with 2 walks
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-9
- Carlos Pena – 0-for-6
- Aramis Ramirez – 5-for-27 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Geovany Soto – 7-for-22 with a double, 3 home runs and a walk
- Carlos Zambrano – 4-for-8 with a double
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