Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 07/09/11

Game Ninety-One: Cubs (36-54) vs. Pirates (46-42)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Ryan Dempster (5-6, 4.99/1.41) vs. Kevin Correia (11-6, 3.74/1.23)

How will the Cubs respond to Friday night’s loss? The Cubs have two games left before the break and will not post a three-game winning streak in their first 92 games of the season. Unless something changes, and they can figure out how to beat the Pirates, Q’s squad will spend the break 20 games under .500.

The Cubs need a long outing from Ryan Dempster tonight. The pen is spent due to all of the short starts since the teams last day off on June 23. The Cubs are almost finished with the massive stretch of 38 games in 38 days and at least for a couple of days, the daily drama that surrounds this team will be put on hold.

Tonight is a rematch of Opening Day starters. Kevin Correia beat Ryan Dempster over three months ago and the Pirates have won five of the first seven games against the Cubs this season.

In other newsCarlos Zambrano had a successful rehab start with the Peoria Chiefs on Friday night. Z allowed one unearned run on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings. Z threw 63 pitches, 38 for strikes, and after his outing he tweeted that he would return to the Cubs rotation on July 17.

Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster was scheduled to start the opener in Washington last Monday but was scratched after spending Saturday night in the hospital. Dempster said he was dehydrated with pain in his back and ribs. Mike Quade said Dempster was having trouble with his core. The Cubs nearly put Dempster on the DL after Marcos Mateo went down with what has been diagnosed as a right forearm strain.

Ryan Dempster’s last start (June 29 against the Giants) was his best of the season. Dempster took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning but Tony Campana misplayed a Pat Burrell single into a double and Mike Quade wasted no time replacing Dempster with Carlos Marmol … despite a very low pitch count. Bill Hall ran for Burrell and ended up scoring the tying run and Dempster received a no decision. Dempster’s final line: one run on three hits in eight-plus innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Dempster will face a much better offense today and must improve on his road numbers (2-2 in eight games with a 6.86 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP).

Dempster posted a 1-2 record in six June starts with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Ryan Dempster has struggled throughout his career against the Pittsburgh Pirates (7-11 in 47 games, 22 starts with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP) and is 1-1 in two starts versus the Bucs this season with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Kevin Correia – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Matt Diaz – 0-for-1
  • Garrett Jones – 2-for-18 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Andrew McCutchen – 6-for-18 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
  • Lyle Overbay – 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and 6 walks
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-3
  • Neil Walker – 6-for-10 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Brandon Wood – 0-for-2

Kevin Correia is one of the feel-good stories of the baseball season. Correia was the Pirates Opening Day starter and has posted victories in each of his last three games. Correia is coming off a win against the Nationals in which he allowed two runs on six hits in six innings. Correia struck out six and walked three.

Correia has actually struggled at home to the tune of a 2-4 record in eight games, seven starts, with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Teams are hitting more than 100 points better against Correia at PNC (.320) than on the road (.218) and Correia’s WHIP is quite a bit higher (1.09 on the road, 1.45 at home).

The Cubs will get their third shot of the season at Kevin Correia. Correia has owned Q’s squad this season and two of his 11 wins have come at the Cubs expense … 2-0 in two starts with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Kevin Correia

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-6 with a home run
  • Darwin Barney – 3-for-9 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 1-for-13
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-6
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-5
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-8 with a double and 2 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 5-for-19 with a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-5
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 3-for-7 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-14 with 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-12
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-9 with a double and 2 walks

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Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth