Game Ninety-Seven: Cubs (40-56) vs. Pirates (54-42)
Game Time – 11:35am CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Ryan Dempster (5-4, 2.11/1.05) vs. Kevin Correia (7-6, 4.31/1.29)
After just a miserable weekend in St. Louis, the Cubs have put together two solid wins over the Pirates behind excellent performances by Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm. Dale Sveum’s staff has held the high-flying Pirates offense to just two runs in the first two games. The Cubs have a chance to complete the sweep behind Ryan Dempster this afternoon.
Two days ago it appeared Ryan Dempster would be making his scheduled start for the Braves in Miami. But Dempster has not waived his 10-5 rights and according to reports would rather be traded to the Dodgers than Atlanta. Dempster addressed the media Tuesday and said his focus was today’s start against the Pirates. The challenge for Dempster today is putting the week behind him enough to put his current team in position to win the game.
Even with the bad weekend against the Cardinals, the Cubs are 16-8 in their last 24 games and with a win today would finish the six-game trip with a 3-3 record. The Cubs have already won the series (6-1-1 in last eight series) but sweeping a contender in their home park is always fun.
The Daily Dempster … Ryan Dempster apparently wants to pitch for Don Mattingly and he holds the hammer on where he finishes the season, if Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer decide to move him. According to reports Tuesday night, the Cubs and Dodgers continued their discussions on what it would take from their weak system to acquire Dempster. Reports suggested that a deal was being built around the Dodgers’ number two prospect, RHP Allen Webster, due to the Dodgers unwillingness to include Zach Lee in any deal.
In other news … Matt Garza will not face the Cardinals this weekend at Wrigley. Garza left the team Tuesday to be with his pregnant wife in Chicago. Garza has been pushed to Monday’s opener against the Pirates, at the earliest. With the trade deadline looming, if Garza does not start Monday then he would likely not be moved. After Tuesday’s game, Keith Moreland mentioned the Cubs could use Justin Germano for Monday’s start if Garza is unable to go.
The Cubs announced Tuesday that Travis Wood would pitch Friday’s opener against St. Louis with Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm starting Saturday and Sunday. All three pitchers would be starting on regular rest with Thursday’s off day.
This afternoon all starts with Ryan Dempster … Ryan Dempster’s scoreless innings streak ended with a thud last Friday in St. Louis. Many thought Dempster would be dealt before he threw a pitch but he was not and the Cardinals put the game away rather quickly. Dempster threw strikes, but was up in the zone and the Redbirds scored three runs in the first and never looked back.
Dempster lost his first game since May 25 against the Pirates after allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings … that included a mammoth shot off the bat of Matt Holliday that still has not landed.
Even with his bad outing in St. Louis, Dempster is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
A.J. Burnett outpitched Dempster back on May 25. Dempster allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings with a walk and six strikeouts … but the Cubs could not push across a run in 5 1/3 innings and Dempster ended up on the losing end of a 1-0 loss.
Ryan Dempster is 8-13 in 50 career appearances, 25 games, with a 5.39 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP … at PNC Park, 3-6 in 22 games, nine starts, with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Pedro Alvarez – 2-for-9 with a double
- Rod Barajas – 4-for-9 with a home run
- Clint Barmes – 4-for-12 with a home run and a walk
- Kevin Correia – 0-for-4 with a walk
- Josh Harrison – 3-for-9 with a double
- Garrett Jones – 3-for-23 with a double, a home run and four walks
- Andrew McCutchen – 6-for-23 with a double, a home run and five walks
- Casey McGehee – 10-for-28 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and three walks
- Michael McKenry – 2-for-5 with a double
- Alex Presley – 5-for-7 with a double and three triples
- Neil Walker – 8-for-19 with three doubles, a home run and two walks
Kevin Correia has been very consistent for Clint Hurdle this season. Correia has won his last four starts and the Pirates are 8-2 in the last 10 games Correia has started. Correia beat the Fish his last time out (three runs on eight hits without a walk and five strikeouts in five innings). Correia 3-0 in his last three starts with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Kevin Correia faced the Cubs back on May 26. Correia received a no decision in a game he outpitches Paul Maholm. Correia allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. For his career, Correia is 3-4 in 13 games, nine starts, against the Cubs with a 5.84 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.
Kevin Correia has been very good at home this season … 3-2 in eight starts with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Kevin Correia
- Jeff Baker – 2-for-6 with a home run
- Darwin Barney – 6-for-16 with a double
- Tony Campana – 0-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 7-for-14 with a double and a triple
- David DeJesus – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Ryan Dempster – 0-for-5
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
- Bryan LaHair – 1-for-3
- Joe Mather – 0-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-19 with two home runs
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and two walks
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