Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 08/16/11

Game One Hundred Twenty-Three: Cubs (54-68) vs. Astros (38-84)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston

Ryan Dempster (10-8, 4.79/1.39) vs. Brett Myers (3-12, 4.71/1.38)

Q’s Cubs will go for their fourth win in a row tonight and if they can solve the riddle that is Brett Myers, the Cubs would post their fifth straight series win for the first time since 2008.

Mike Quade is looking for a long outing from Ryan Dempster tonight. The Cubs pen is spent and with the unknown that is Casey Coleman set to start the finale on Wednesday afternoon, Dempster needs give his team a long, quality start. Quade has an extra arm in the pen for now in Scott Maine but he is likely headed back to Triple-A to make room for Coleman to be activated Wednesday.

Koyie Hill has served as Dempster’s catcher in his last three starts. Dempster has posted three straight victories with Hill behind the dish and neither one of the Cubs’ catchers have hit Myers in their career. With the early game on getaway day, Hill will likely get the start tonight.

Somehow the Cubs have posted back-to-back wins with some very sloppy play … both at the plate and in the field. The Cubs have committed six errors and struck out 28 times over the last 18 innings.

Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster

After posting losses in two straight decisions, Ryan Dempster is coming off his third straight victory … and his longest outing in nearly a month. Dempster held the Nationals to one run on three hits (a solo shot by Ryan Zimmerman in the first) in seven innings. Dempster issued just two walks and struck out six … and maintained the all-important 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Ryan Dempster has struggled for the most part on the road this season. In 11 starts, Dempster is 4-3 with a 6.24 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

Dempster is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP … and owns a 4-2 record in six starts since the break with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s second start of the year against the Astros. Dempster beat the ‘Stros in Houston back on April 11 (four runs on six hits with three walks and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings). Dempster is 6-11 in 49 career games, 23 starts, against the Astros with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP … at Minute Maid, 4-7 in 24 games, 13 starts, with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Clint Barmes – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-3
  • Matt Downs – 1-for-1
  • Carlos Lee – 14-for-39 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Jason Michaels – 0-for-1
  • Humberto Quintero – 3-for-16 with a home run and a walk
  • Angel Sanchez – 2-for-7 with a double and a home run

Brett Myers is having a bad season against every team but the Chicago Cubs. Two of Myers’ three wins have come against Q’s squad and he’s made them look pathetic in the process. Myers has dominated the Cubs to the tune of a 2-0 record in two starts this season with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Myers is coming off a solid start against the D’Backs (three runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings) but received a no decision. Myers has not posted a win since July 20 (against the Nationals in Houston).

Since the break, Myers is 0-3 in six starts with a 4.20 ERA and is 0-1 in his last two outings with a 5.27 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

The Cubs have never been able to figure out Brett Myers. He is 12-3 in 19 career games, 15 starts, with a 2.12 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Brett Myers

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-4
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-9
  • Marlon Byrd – 9-for-23 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-19 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 5-for-18 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-5
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-10 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-10 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-43 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-33 with 3 home runs and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 3-for-13 with a walk

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax