Game Seventy: Cubs (29-40) vs. Yankees (39-29)
Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (5-5, 5.48/1.41) vs. A.J. Burnett (6-5, 4.00/1.22)
Can the Cubs finally get the three-game winning streak monkey off their back? The Cubs are the only team in baseball that has not posted a three-game winning streak this season. With the improved play on the current homestand, the Cubs had a shot at three in a row last Wednesday against the Brewers but Carlos Zambrano could not get the job done.
In order for the Cubs to beat the Yankees for the second day in a row, they will need a big outing from Ryan Dempster this afternoon. Dempster was very good against the Reds and Brewers. Can Dempster complete the hat trick of shutting down three of the best offenses in all of baseball?
Ryan Dempster will face a former teammate in A.J. Burnett, a pitcher the Cubs have not beaten in four attempts.
Geovany Soto should be back in Mike Quade’s lineup this afternoon and Reed Johnson is expected to start the final two games of the series.
In other news … It appeared Tyler Colvin had hit for the cycle Friday night in Albuquerque. Colvin was 4-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBI when the game ended after nine inning but a scorers change after the game took away Colvin’s ninth inning single … and cycle. In the same game, Welington Castillo extended his hitting streak to 14-games with a pair of home runs. Castillo was 2-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI.
Momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher … and today it all begins with Ryan Dempster. Ryan Dempster is coming off his best outing of the season, seven innings of shutout ball against the Brewers, and has allowed one earned run in his last two starts (13 innings). Dempster received a no decision against the Brewers after allowing just four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Dempster kept Milwaukee off balance but ran up his pitch count and was not around when Darwin Barney slid in with the game’s only run in the eighth inning.
Dempster is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 0.69 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP … seven hits and two walks in 13 innings with 15 strikeouts. Dating back to his rough start against the Cardinals, Dempster is 1-1 in his last three games with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
Ryan Dempster has not posted a win in three career starts against the Yankees. Dempster is 0-2 with a 6.88 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP. The last time Dempster faced the Bronx Bombers was July 14, 2001 as a member of the Marlins rotation. Dempster received a no decision in a 5-4 loss to New York.
Yankees Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Chris Dickerson – 1-for-3 with a double
- Joe Girardi – 1-for-11 with a walk
- Andruw Jones – 13-for-40 with 2 doubles, 2 home run and 5 walks
- Russell Martin – 4-for-15 with a double and 3 walks
- Jorge Posada – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Nick Swisher – 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 walks
- Mark Teixeira – 0-for-4
Reportedly one of the reasons the Yankees wanted Larry Rothschild to leave Chicago for New York was the season A.J. Burnett put up a year ago. Burnett has a ton of talent but only in certain years is he able to put it together. Burnett has shown improvement this season under Rothschild’s tutelage.
A.J. Burnett is coming off back-to-back losses with extremely mixed results. The Red Sox abused Burnett back on June 8. Adrian Gonzalez and company scored eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, Burnett walked four and struck out three. Burnett rebounded nicely in his last outing and was a hard-luck loser to the Indians. Burnett allowed one run (the only run of the game) on five hits in 7 2/3 innings. Burnett struck out eight and issued just one free pass. The Yankees lost the game 1-0.
Burnett is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP … on the road this season, 1-2 in five starts with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
A.J. Burnett has not lost to the Cubs in four career starts. Burnett is 3-0 with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. The last time he faced the Cubs was back in 2008 in Toronto. Burnett held Lou’s crew to two runs on four hits in five innings. Burnett walked four and struck out seven.
Cubs Career Numbers against A.J. Burnett
- Blake DeWitt – Two walks in two career plate appearances
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-2 with a walk
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
- Carlos Pena – 5-for-35 with a double, a home run and 6 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-13
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-10
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-2 with a walk
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