Game Sixty-One: Cubs (38-22) vs. Dodgers (28-31)
Game Time – 9:10pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Ryan Dempster (7-2, 2.75/1.12) vs. Chad Billingsley (4-6, 3.29/1.32)
The Cubs will look to get back in the win column tonight in the first of four against Joe Torre and the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The first game of the series features a rematch of the game on Memorial Day at Wrigley. Ryan Dempster will look for his first road win of the season and first career victory at Dodger Stadium while Chad Billingsley will try to continue his scoreless innings streak on the mound. The last runs Billingsley allowed was off the bat of Derrek Lee in a 3-1 loss to the Cubs on May 26th.
The Dodgers are struggling right now, offensively. Joe Torre’s pitching staff remains the strength of the team. The Cubs will likely miss Rafael Furcal this weekend, as the Dodgers have not set a timetable for his return. The Cubs took three from the Dodgers last week and they will look to repay the favor starting tonight, on Takashi Saito bobblehead night. Reportedly Lou Piniella will allow his starters to go deeper in their outings beginning tonight. The Cubs were limiting pitch counts the last time through the rotation in order to keep them fresh throughout the season.
Ryan Dempster beat the Rockies his last time out on Saturday but he was not as sharp as in previous starts. Dempster struggled with his command and lasted only 5 innings, his second shortest start of the year. Dempster gave up 3 runs on 3 hits (2 home runs) with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts in 5 innings. The Cubs former closer beat the Dodgers, and Chad Billingsley, on Memorial Day in one of his better outings of the year. Dempster pitched in and out of trouble on that Monday afternoon but limited the Dodgers to just 1 run on 7 hits in 7 innings.
Lou Piniella needs another solid start from Dempster tonight and other than his win-loss record, Dempster has pitched better on the road than at Wrigley. Dempster is 0-2 in 4 starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP while holding opponents to a .161 batting average.
Dempster is 4-3 in 8 career starts, 18 games, with 6 saves, a 2.85 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. At Dodger Stadium, 0-1 in 7 games, 1 start, with 5 saves, a 2.08 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
- Blake DeWitt – 0-for-3
- Andre Ethier – 4-for-8 with a double and a home run
- Matt Kemp – 1-for-2 with a double
- Jeff Kent – 8-for-30
- James Loney – 1-for-2
- Russell Martin – 2-for-6
- Juan Pierre – 5-for-9 with a double
Chad Billingsley has pitched better than his 4-6 record indicates. The only runs he has allowed in his last 3 starts came off the bat of Derrek Lee in the 1st inning of the game on May 26th. Billingsley received a no decision after Jonathan Broxton gave up the lead in his last start against the Mets….he threw 7 innings of shutout ball and allowed only 4 hits.
Billingsley is 2-3 in 5 starts, 6 games, at Dodger Stadium with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.
The Cubs managed only 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings against Billingsley with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts.
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-4
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-8
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-4 with a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-4
- Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-5
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….