Game Eighty-Seven: Cubs (34-52) vs. Diamondbacks (42-44)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (4-3, 1.99/1.01) vs. Joe Saunders (4-5, 3.44/1.38)
Weather permitting … Dale Sveum’s team has won 10 of 14 and will go for their second straight victory over Arizona in what could be Ryan Dempster’s final start as a Cub at Wrigley Field.
Upwards of ten teams are expected to be on hand to watch Ryan Dempster’s start this afternoon. If all goes well today, Dempster could be traded before the end of the homestand. Dempster is in the middle of his best stretch in a Cubs’ uniform … Dempster has not allowed a run in his last 27 innings.
Joe Saunders was scheduled to pitch the opener against the Cubs on June 22. Saunders could not get loose in the pen prior to the game and was placed on the DL the following day with a strained left shoulder. Saunders is scheduled to make his first start since June 16.
Look for Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson in the starting nine with the southpaw on the hill.
This afternoon all starts with Ryan Dempster … Ryan Dempster picked up where he left off in his last outing against the Mets. After not allowing any runs in three starts (22 innings) before landing on the DL for more than three weeks, Dempster tossed five innings of shutout ball in New York. Dempster has not allowed an earned run in his last 27 innings … the last runs off Dempster came on May 30 (a Carlos Quentin two-run homer).
Dempster is 1-2 in six starts at Wrigley this season with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Ryan Dempster missed the series in Arizona and has not fared too well against the D-Backs in his career. Dempster owns a 2-8 record in 19 games, 15 starts, with a 6.72 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.
Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Henry Blanco – 0-for-6
- Willie Bloomquist – 2-for-4
- Geoff Blum – 15-for-51 with a double and five walks
- Stephen Drew – 5-for-9 with a double and a home run
- Mark Grace – 2-for-12 with four walks
- Aaron Hill – one walk
- Miguel Montero – 3-for-9 with a walk
- Lyle Overbay – 2-for-7 with two double and six walks
- Gerardo Parra – 5-for-8 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Roberts – one walk
- Justin Upton – 2-for-15 with a walk
- Chris Young – 6-for-16 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and a walk
Joe Saunders was scheduled to start the opener of the three-game series against the Cubs on June 22. Saunders could not get loose in the pen and was not able to go. Kirk Gibson used Josh Collmenter and his pen to beat the Cubs. Saunders has been on the shelf with a strained left shoulder since and will make his first start since June 16 this afternoon.
Saunders was 1-2 in his three starts prior to landing on the disabled list with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.
The veteran lefty has been a lot better on the road (1-1 in six starts with a 1.82 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP) than at home (3-4 in seven starts with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP).
Joe Saunders is 0-2 in two career starts against the Cubs with a 7.27 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP … both starts were at Wrigley Field.
Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Saunders
- Jeff Baker – 3-for-6 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-4 with a walk
- David DeJesus – 4-for-22
- Reed Johnson – 4-for-17 with three doubles and a triple
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-4 with a home run and a walk
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and two walks
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2
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