Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 07/31/11

Game One Hundred Eight: Cubs (42-65) vs. Cardinals (57-50)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 89, 186, 183
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Ryan Dempster (7-8, 4.98/1.42) vs. Jake Westbrook (9-4, 4.86/1.50)

How will the Cubs respond to another embarrassing loss? Will the Cubs win a game in St. Louis for the first time this season? Can the Cubs win a game on this road trip? So many questions … and not many answers.

The Cubs have played really bad ball on their current 10-game road trip and the 0-5 record is all the proof needed. The Cubs have been outscored over the last five games 31-18 and will turn to their Opening Day starter to stop the losing.

Ryan Dempster has been extremely inconsistent this season and will try to keep the Cubs from dropping to 24 games below .500 … the last time a Cubs team was 24 games under .500 was September 1, 2006.

Q’s squad has just eight wins this month and with one left to play July will clearly be the team’s worst month of the season (April: 12-14; May: 11-16; June: 11-18).

The Cubs are 3-13 on Sundays this season … and tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster.

After not losing a game in four starts (Dempster 2-0, Cubs 4-0), Ryan Dempster has dropped his last two outings. Dempster was horrible against the Phillies and picked up where he left off against the Brewers. The Cubs’ offense gave Dempster a lead but he surrendered three runs in the first before settling down … the Cubs lost the game 3-2. Dempster ended up allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.

Ryan Dempster has struggled mightily on the road this season (3-3 in 10 starts with a 6.45 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP) and is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

The Cardinals beat Dempster badly back on June 3 (six runs on eight hits with two home runs, three walks and five strikeouts in five innings) and Dempster is 7-8 in 45 career games, 19 starts, against the Redbirds with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Lance Berkman – 16-for-58 with a double, 5 home runs and 14 walks
  • David Freese – 1-for-3
  • Matt Holliday – 6-for-18
  • Jon Jay – 2-for-10 with a triple and a walk
  • Yadier Molina – 10-for-31 with 2 doubles and 5 walks
  • Corey Patterson – 5-for-17 with 2 doubles
  • Albert Pujols – 16-for-49 with 2 doubles, 7 home runs and 11 walks
  • Skip Schumaker – 18-for-43 with 3 doubles and a walk
  • Ryan Theriot – 1-for-3 with a double

Jake Westbrook is one of the reasons the Cardinals traded for Edwin Jackson. Westbrook has been inconsistent at best this season but has won his last two starts. After beating the Mets in New York and allowing just two runs on four hits in eight innings, the Astros managed only one run on seven hits in six innings. Westbrook is 3-0 in his last five starts with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Westbrook has struggled at home this season to the tune of a 3-2 record in 10 starts with a 6.33 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP.

Tonight will be Westbrook’s second start of the season against the Cubs. Q’s offense knocked Westbrook out of the game in the third inning back on May 11 in Chicago. Westbrook allowed five runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2 1/3 innings.

Westbrook is 2-1 in three career starts against the Cubs with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Westbrook

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-7
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-7
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-7
  • Carlos Pena – 11-for-33 with 6 doubles, 4 home runs and 4 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-22 with a walk

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Quote of the Day

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