Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Phillies – 07/20/11

Game Ninety-Nine: Cubs (39-59) vs. Phillies (60-36)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (7-6, 4.68/1.37) vs. Vance Worley (5-1, 2.15/1.25)

Can the Chicago Cubs win their first series since the end of June and in the process keep from falling to a season-worst 21 games under .500?

Following Tuesday night’s loss, Mike Quade indicated that they were trying to stay away from Carlos Marmol and the plan was to get the final six outs from Matt Garza, Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood. With Marshall throwing 37 pitches in his two innings of work, it is likely that Marshall will not be available today. If the opportunity is there, how will Quade use his pen to get the final three outs? According to the Sun-Times, Carlos Marmol will likely return to his ninth inning role on Friday.

What was figured to be a strength of the team back in April has turned into one of the many questions surrounding the Chicago Cubs. Quade’s bullpen has blown 15 saves in 36 chances this season.

This afternoon is the final game of the year against the Phillies. The Cubs have already dropped four of six to Philly but a victory today would give them a shot at a winning homestand (2-4 with four remaining).

Today it all begins with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Dempster tossed eight innings of shutout ball, allowed just four hits and struck out nine. The key to Dempster’s success was no walks. Dempster found an early rhythm and worked fast. Last Friday was the second time in three starts Dempster pitched eight innings of shutout ball.

While a pitcher’s record is irrelevant, the team’s record in those games is not. The Cubs are 8-2 in Dempster’s last ten outings.

Dempster did not face the Phillies back in June and is 5-4 in 23 career games, 16 starts, with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

Phillies Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Ben Francisco – 0-for-3
  • Ryan Howard – 4-for-12 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Raul Ibanez – 2-for-10
  • Jimmy Rollins – 10-for-40 with 2 doubles, a home run and 7 walks
  • Carlos Ruiz – 1-for-6 with a walk
  • Brian Schneider – 2-for-12 with a double and 2 walks
  • Chase Utley – 7-for-11 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
  • Shane Victorino – 4-for-15 with a double

The Cubs will get their first look at Vance Worley this afternoon. Worley has taken over in the Phillies rotation for the injured Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton. Worley was the third round pick of the Phillies back in 2008.

Baseball America ranked Worley the 11th best prospect in the Phillies system prior to the season. Worley throws a high 80s to low 90s fastball but he can get it up to 94. Worley’s slider was described as average and most think his curveball is his best breaking pitch. Worley’s jerky delivery helps with deceiving the hitters.

Worley is coming off a solid 5 1/3 inning outing against the Mets. New York managed just one run on four hits with four walks. Worley struck out four. The 23-year old right hander struggles with his command and the Cubs must be patient this afternoon … a trait they have not displayed many times this season.

This afternoon will be Worley’s first career start and appearance against the Chicago Cubs.
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 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, 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

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney