Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 05/30/12

Game Fifty: Cubs (17-32) vs. Padres (17-34)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (0-3, 2.14/1.06) vs. Anthony Bass (2-5, 3.55/1.23)

Dale Sveum’s team has a shot of doing something they have not done all season today … win a game for the third day in a row. After outhitting the Padres on Monday and out playing San Diego on Tuesday, the Cubs have put themselves in line to complete their first sweep of the season. But in order to accomplish the feat, the offense will have to support Ryan Dempster.

Steve Clevenger is expected to back in the starting lineup this afternoon, which should help the offense. Dale Sveum said Tuesday that Clevenger will handle the bulk of the catching duties until Geovany Soto returns. Sveum indicated he would ease Clevenger back in the lineup at first until they feel he is ready to play on daily basis.

Welington Castillo is at least 10 days away from beginning a rehab stint with the Iowa Cubs. There were reports Tuesday night that indicated Castillo could end up being sent to Iowa when he is ready to play every day. One report mentioned that Koyie Hill would likely stay with the team until Geovany Soto comes back. Hill would serve as Clevenger’s backup until Soto is ready to go.

Dale Sveum also said Tuesday that Casey Coleman is in the mix to close out games as well. Sveum is planning on playing matchups and using a closer by committee for now. Shawn Camp and James Russell will also be used in the closer’s role, but not Carlos Marmol. Sveum wants to see Marmol throw his fastball for strikes on a consistent basis before making a decision on how he will be used.

Today it all begins with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off another excellent start … and another loss. Dempster bounced back from his poor outings against the Cardinals (four runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings) and the White Sox (four runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings) and allowed just one run on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings to the Pirates … the only mistake Dempster made was bobbling a ball on what should have been an inning ending double play.

Dempster has pitched well enough to win a game multiple times this season but has not posted a victory since August 11. Dempster is winless in his last 17 starts and the Cubs are 3-14 over that span.

Ryan Dempster has been very good at Wrigley this season (0-2 in four starts with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP) and is 0-2 in his last five starts with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

Today will be the 14th time in his career that Ryan Dempster has started a game against the Padres. Dempster is 8-5 in 22 games, 13 starts, with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … the Friars took it to Dempster the only time they faced him a year ago (nine runs on eight hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings).

Again, the key to Dempster’s success is maintaining a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Padres Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Yonder Alonso – 6-for-9
  • John Baker – 1-for-4
  • Everth Cabrera – 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk
  • Chris Denorfia – 6-for-10 with a double
  • Chase Headley – 1-for-10 with three walks
  • Nick Hundley – 2-for-9 with two home runs
  • Cameron Maybin – 2-for-6 with a double and a walk
  • Andy Parrino – 1-for-3
  • Carlos Quentin – 5-for-12 with a double
  • Will Venable – 2-for-6 with a home run and a walk

Anthony Bass has been very inconsistent over the first two months of the season. Bass has the stuff to hold teams like the Nationals to one run on five hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings then can struggle against teams like the Mets. The Metropolitans smacked Bass around in his last outing to the tune of six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings (three walks and four strikeouts).

The Cubs must be patient against the Padres’ talented right-hander this afternoon. If they are too aggressive, they will lose the game.

Anthony Bass has struggled outside of his home park. In four starts, Bass is 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. After a posting a 1-3 record in six games, four starts, in April with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP, Bass is 1-2 in his last five outings with a 4.65 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.

Today will be Anthony Bass’ second career start against the Cubs. In his only game against the Cubs last September 27 at PETCO Park, Bass allowed one run on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Today will be his first game at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Career Numbers against Anthony Bass

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 0-for-2
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Ian Stewart – 0-for-1

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon