Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 07/26/11

Game One Hundred Three: Cubs (42-60) vs. Brewers (54-49)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Ryan Dempster (7-7, 5.00/1.42) vs. Chris Narveson (6-6, 4.45/1.40)

The Cubs return to the field tonight and begin a 10-game, three-city trip with the first of three against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs play a majority of their final 60 games outside of Wrigley Field (35 of 60) … Q’s squad is 17-29 on the road this season.

Now that the pesky three-game win-streak is out of the way, could the Cubs actually win four in a row? The Cubs will have their hands full with a very good Brewers offense and a pitcher they’ve had little to no success against in Chris Narveson (5-0 in career, 2-0 this season against the Cubs)

Mike Quade announced his rotation for the series on Sunday afternoon … as well as the first two games against the Cardinals. After Ryan Dempster tonight, Carlos Zambrano will face Zack Greinke on Wednesday and Randy Wells gets to match up against the Brewers most consistent pitcher this season, Shaun Marcum, on Thursday. Matt Garza is penciled in for the opener in St. Louis with Rodrigo Lopez making the start on Saturday afternoon.

After spending their last day off until August 11, tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off a horrible outing in which he threw 86 pitches to the Phillies in just three innings. According to Mike Quade, Starlin Castro and the missed pop up on the second batter of the game set the tone for the Cubs 9-1 drubbing at the hands of Philly. Dempster struggled with his command in the heat and could not find a rhythm. Dempster allowed six runs, all earned, on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Dempster has struggled mightily on the road this season (3-2 in nine starts with a 6.70 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP). If the Cubs are going to have a successful road trip, Ryan Dempster will have to step up his game a notch or two.

Dempster was on a roll before his last start and had posted back-to-back victories while his team had won his the last four games he started. After a very good June (1-2 in six starts with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP), Dempster is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s second start of the season against the Brewers. Dempster received a no decision back on June 13 in a Cubs 1-0 victory over Milwaukee. Dempster tossed seven innings of shutout ball and the Brewers managed just four hits and a walk … Dempster struck out seven. Dempster has had success against Milwaukee throughout his career and is 15-3 in 45 games, 23 starts, with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP … at Miller Park, 6-2 in 23 games, 11 starts, with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Ryan Braun – 8-for-41 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-38 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 8 walks
  • Corey Hart – 5-for-36 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Mark Kotsay – 3-for-13 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 1-for-5
  • Casey McGehee – 7-for-23 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
  • Nyjer Morgan – 0-for-9 with 2 walks
  • Rickie Weeks – 9-for-34 with a double and 6 walks

Chris Narveson has been extremely inconsistent this season but more than a serviceable fifth starter for Ron Roenicke. Narveson is coming off an excellent seven-inning outing against Arizona in which he held a very good D’Backs offense scoreless and allowed only four hits with no walks (four strikeouts). Narveson has excelled at Miller Park this year (5-2 in nine starts with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP) and is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

Narveson has already faced the Cubs twice this season and beat them both times (2-0 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHP). In 12 1/3 innings against the Cubs overly aggressive offense, Narveson has walked only four while striking out 14.

The Cubs have never handed Chris Narveson a loss and the veteran southpaw is 5-0 in 11 career games, four starts, with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Narveson

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-10 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-1
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-9 with 4 doubles
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-8 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-7 with a double
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-11 with a double and a home run
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-14 with a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-9 with a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 4-for-13 with a double and 3 walks

Boys of Spring – The Movie
Friend of the CCO, Tim Sheridan, is putting the finishing touches on a Cubs documentary about his time with the Chicago Cubs. Tim is the long-time P.A. announcer at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and the film is full of behind the scenes, never-before-see footage shot by Tim as he worked next to Cubs legends like Harry Caray and Ron Santo.

From the official press release: To be a part of Boys of Spring – The Movie, fans can donate as little as $10 using an Amazon.com account. As a thank you, fans will receive a copy of the Boys of Spring documentary before its official release next spring. There are a range of donation levels and rewards available on Kickstarter.com, including Cubs memorabilia and your name in the movie’s credits.

Boys of Spring isn’t about a team winning or losing. It’s about something deeper. An examination of life on its winding path and how, in spite of perceived failures, there is happiness and success. Cub fans will find joy this season and for years to come with the Boys of Spring film by donating and claiming their place in Cubs history. An epic World Series drought can’t stop the faithful Cubs followers, who know better than anyone – “There’s always next spring!”

The CCO will be running reminders during game previews for the next few weeks and I encourage the Faithful to check out ‘Boys of Spring – The Movie

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon