Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/13/11

Game One Hundred Forty-Eight: Cubs (65-82) vs. Reds (71-76)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Ryan Dempster (10-11, 4.74/1.42) vs. Mike Leake (11-9, 4.00/1.18)

The Cubs will shoot for their fourth straight win tonight behind Ryan Dempster. Q’s squad is 3-1 on the current seven-game road trip … and has won three of four against the Reds over the last week.

After scoring 18 times on Monday (six in New York after the calendar flipped to Monday in the Eastern time zone and 12 in game one against the Reds), runs figure to be at a premium tonight with Mike Leake on the mound. Leake has had the Cubs number and is coming off both a dominating and disappointing performance at Wrigley. Leake was in total control until two outs in the ninth last Tuesday … Starlin Castro reached on an infield single then Bryan LaHair stunned Leake with a game-tying two-run bomb that left the park.

Bryan LaHair and Tyler Colvin are expected to be in the starting lineup tonight. If Quade does start both ‘The Rabbit‘ and Colvin, which outfielder will get the night off? Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd’s numbers are very similar against Leake … and neither one are very good.

Alfonso Soriano notched three more RBI last night. Soriano has 78 RBI this season and is one short of his highest RBI total in a Cubs’ uniform. Soriano drove in 79 runs in 147 games last season.

In other newsStarlin Castro is the first Cub since Mark Grace in 1992 to have four separate hitting streaks of at least 10 games. Castro has hit in 13 straight and has reached base in his last 25 games.

Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off a no decision against the Reds in a game in which Mike Quade left him in too long again. Dempster held the Reds to one run over the first six innings but struggled in the seventh and could not record an out. James Russell allowed two inherited runners to score and if not for a good throw by Reed Johnson (and a call that went the Cubs way), the ending could have been different. Carlos Pena hit a three-run bomb off Bill Bray and the Cubs walked away with a win.

Dempster has not posted a win since August 11. He has kept his team in games but has not been sharp in any of those five starts. Since his last victory, Dempster has completed only seven innings once … and that was in his very next start. Dempster is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP … 17 hits and three walks in 12 1/3 innings.

Ryan Dempster has struggled mightily on the road this season to the tune of a 4-4 record in 13 starts with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s fifth start of the season against the Reds. Dempster is 2-1 in the first four with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Yonder Alonso – 4-for-6
  • Jay Bruce – 5-for-17 with a double and 6 walks
  • Miguel Cairo – 1-for-14
  • Juan Francisco – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Todd Frazier – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-6
  • Ramon Hernandez – 7-for-21 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Paul Janish – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Mike Leake – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 6-for-33 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Edgar Renteria – 10-for-30 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Drew Stubbs – 4-for-18 with a double and a home run
  • Joey Votto – 6-for-26 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and 3 walks

How will Mike Leake respond tonight in his first start since Bryan LaHair’s two-run homer last Tuesday? Leake was visibly shaken after LaHair’s bomb tied the game at two in the ninth. Leake had dominated the Cubs for eight-plus innings before a dribbler off the bat of Starlin Castro and LaHair’s blast. Leake pitched to the conditions at Wrigley and did a good job of making the Cubs’ veteran lineup look foolish at the plate.

Leake has been solid this season (3-5 in 10 starts since the break with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP) and will look to bounce back tonight against a Cubs’ team he’s owned during his two seasons in the league (3-1 in six starts with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP).

Mike Leake is 8-5 in 15 games, 14 starts, at Great American Ball Park this year with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-12 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 6-for-16 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 4-for-14 with 4 home runs and a walk
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 5-for-12 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • D.J. LeMahieu – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-7 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-17 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-11
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-9 with 3 walks

Cubs Photography
The CCO recently received an email from FishEyeVertigo.com about passing on info about some pretty cool Chicago photographs … created in a unique way.

For more info, including how the final photographs are assembled, please visit FishEyeVertigo.com

Stadium Journey – Wrigley Field
StadiumJourney.com publishes reviews of pro and college stadiums and recently posted their review of Wrigley Field. Paul Swaney emailed the CCO and thought our readers would be interested in reading their review of the Friendly Confines.

Take a minute and read Stadium Journey’s review of ‘Wonderful Wrigley Field

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