Game One Hundred Eight: Cubs (63-44) vs. Brewers (60-47)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast Sports Net, ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee
Ryan Dempster (11-4, 2.99/1.17) vs. Manny Parra (9-3, 3.72/1.48)
Before the 4-game series began most of the experts were predicting tonight would be the first game the Cubs had a shot of winning. But after beating the Brewers’ top two pitchers to start the series, it is up to Lou Piniella to make sure his team does not lose focus tonight against one of the best young left-handers in the game.
Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano both set the tone in the first two games and Ryan Dempster must follow their example tonight. The Brewers feed off of momentum and Dempster will need to give his offense time to figure out Manny Parra. The Brewers offense should be looking to not only strike first tonight but put up a lot of runs early to get the home crowd behind them….the one that left in the 8th inning on Tuesday. Ryan Dempster is coming off a no decision against the Marlins but the last time he pitched on the road, he picked up his first victory of the season away from Wrigley. Dempster struggled with his command against the Marlins, walked 6 but gave up just a run on 2 hits. Dempster gutted it out on an afternoon that he did not have his best stuff and left with a 1-run lead. The Cubs could not take advantage of opportunity after opportunity and lost 3-2 on a 9th inning home run by Jeremy Hermida off of Bobby Howry.
Dempster had a tremendous start in Houston on July 20th and salvaged the last game of the series with 8 shutout innings. He allowed 6 hits with a walk and 7 strikeouts and picked up the Cubs’ first win of the second half.
For the year, Dempster is 1-3 in 9 road starts with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
In his career Dempster is 6-2 with 10 saves in 32 games, 10 starts, versus Milwaukee with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. This season, Dempster is 2-0 in 2 starts against the Brewers with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. The Cubs’ former closer beat the Brewers in the third game of the year, 6-3. Dempster allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits in 6 innings with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks….on April 30th, Dempster beat the Brewers 19-5 and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings with 5 walks and a strikeout.
- Russell Branyan – 0-for-3
- Ryan Braun – 2-for-8 with a double
- Mike Cameron – 3-for-10
- Ray Durham – 5-for-8 with 2 doubles
- Prince Fielder – 1-for-9
- Bill Hall – 3-for-15
- J.J. Hardy – 0-for-10
- Corey Hart – 0-for-6
- Jason Kendall – 13-for-29 with 2 doubles and 5 walks
- Rickie Weeks – 2-for-9
Manny Parra is arguably the best young lefty in the National League that many have not heard of. The Brewers very talented southpaw began turning heads in the Brewers’ minor league system in 2006 and after a solid stint in Triple-A a year ago he earned his promotion to the show. Parra started only 2 games for Ned Yost last season and posted a 0-1 record in 9 appearances with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP before his year came to an unexpected end on August 30th.
Parra has been very impressive this season. He is 9-3 in 20 starts, 21 games, with nearly a 2 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. In 113 2/3 innings Parra has struck out 92 batters and walked 54. At Miller Park this year, Parra is 5-1 in 11 starts, 12 games, with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
Tonight will be the second time Parra has faced the Cubs. On August 30th of last year at Wrigley the Cubs scored 3 runs on 3 hits in 3 innings before he departed with an injury and finished the season on the DL. Parra bruised his thumb on a bunt attempt in the 4th inning.
- Mark DeRosa – 1-for-2
- Jim Edmonds – 0-for-1
- Derrek Lee – 0-for-2
- Aramis Ramirez – no official at bat – 2 walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-2
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….