Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 05/08/12

Game Thirty: Cubs (12-17) vs. Braves (18-12)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (0-1, 0.95/0.81) vs. Randall Delgado (2-3, 5.14/1.46)

Can the Cubs make it three in a row tonight behind Ryan Dempster? After the walk-off win in Sunday’s finale against the Dodgers and the victory in game one Monday night, Dale Sveum’s team has a chance to do something they have not done all season … win a game for a third straight day.

The Cubs have played better ball of late and are 3-1 on the homestand. Plus they are hitting the ball out of the park. After managing to hit a Major League low nine homers in April, the Cubs have hit nine longballs in the last seven games.

Alfonso Soriano is expected to be back in the starting lineup after receiving a night off. Could Adrian Cardenas get his first start after making his big league debut Monday night?

As for the backend of the pen, Rafael Dolis will be available tonight but the Cubs’ lone lefty in the pen will likely get the night off. After throwing two innings Sunday, James Russell finished up Monday’s game with a 20-pitch ninth inning.

Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is the best 0-1 pitcher in the big leagues, just further proof that pitcher’s win-loss record is the worst stat to gauge a pitcher’s effectiveness. Dempster returned from the DL in his last start and tossed eight innings of shutout ball on his birthday. Dempster surrendered just three hits, walked one and struck out six and left with a 3-0 lead. Dempster has been good this season but his last outing was arguably his best since the 2008 campaign.

Ryan Dempster has allowed three earned runs in his four starts on 14 hits with nine walks and 29 strikeouts. Dempster has maintained that all-important 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio … which is imperative for him to be successful. Dempster has kept his team in all of his starts but not only is Dempster winless but the Cubs are 0-4 in his starts.

Tonight will be the 19th time in his career that Ryan Dempster has started a game against the Braves. Dempster is 2-12 in 29 games, 18 starts, with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP … last season, 0-1 in one start with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Braves Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Michael Bourn – 10-for-29 with two doubles and five walks
  • Matt Diaz – 1-for-2 with a double
  • Juan Francisco – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Freddie Freeman – 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk
  • Jason Heyward – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Eric Hinske – 0-for-4
  • Chipper Jones – 12-for-46 with three doubles, a home run and seven walks
  • Brian McCann – 0-for-12 with four walks
  • Martin Prado – 2-for-9 with a walk
  • David Ross – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Dan Uggla – 2-for-13 with a home run and a walk
  • Jack Wilson – 8-for-31 with three doubles and a walk

The Cubs will get their first look tonight at the 22-year old right hander Randall Delgado. After making his big league debut last season (1-1 in seven starts with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP), Delgado broke camp with the team and is coming off his best start of the season.

After his shortest start of the year against the Pirates (four runs on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings), Delgado held the Phillies to two runs on six hits without a walk and five strikeouts in eight innings. Delgado took the loss because Joe Blanton pitched a complete game shutout.

No one on the Cubs roster has faced Randall Delgado … and they must make him work early to see what the ‘kid‘ has.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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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