Game Thirty-Four: Cubs (19-14) vs. Padres (13-21)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (2-2, 4.98/1.38) vs. Chad Gaudin (0-2, 4.08/1.47)
Update 4:31pm C.T. – According to a report from the Sun-Times, Milton Bradley’s suspension was reduced to one game. Bradley will miss Friday’s opener against the Astros.
After a long night that ended with a rain-shortened game, the Cubs will try for a series sweep today behind Ryan Dempster. Randy Wells was penciled in to make the start today but was pushed to Friday’s opener against the Astros.
No word yet on Milton Bradley’s suspension. The decision on his appeal was supposed to be announced on Wednesday.
It will be interesting to see if Lou Piniella gives Geovany Soto the day off following Wednesday night’s game. Soto put together his best offensive game of the year and has shown signs of coming out of his slump in recent days. Remember it was Soto’s walk against Jake Peavy that led to the Cubs’ first run on Tuesday night. While Koyie Hill could use a start, today might be the wrong time to sit Soto.
Chad Gaudin against Ryan Dempster and it is up to the Cubs’ offense to be patient early on as the former Cub tries to prove a point… Ryan Dempster pitched into the seventh inning for his second start in a row against the Brewers last Saturday night…but after laboring through the first six innings, he was out of gas by the seventh and gave up two more runs (back-to-back homers by Craig Counsell and Ryan Braun) before Lou Piniella went to his shaky pen. Dempster has shown signs of coming out of his early season struggles, but has pitched to his 2008 form only once in his first seven starts.
Dempster is dealing with a lot of family issues right now. (Bruce Levine reported last Saturday during his show that Dempster’s new born child has been in intensive care since his wife gave birth and he has been going back and forth between the team and home while helping his wife through this difficult time. The mainstream media has not picked up this story yet.), which would explain his ‘one bad inning‘ every time he takes the mound. Dempster appears to lose focus for a short time (or for an inning) before he is able to get back on track.
In his last six starts:
- April 12 – 4 runs allowed, two in the fifth
- April 18 – 4 runs allowed, three in the fifth
- April 24 – 3 runs allowed, three in the fifth
- April 29 – 5 runs allowed, three in the first
- May 4 – 2 runs allowed, two in the sixth
- May 9 – 5 runs allowed, 4 earned, two in the first
Dempster has allowed a total of 24 earned runs in 43 1/3 innings this season, 15 of those have come in six innings. Remove his ‘bad inning‘ per start and his first seven starts look a lot better than they actually do.
Almost a year ago to the day, Ryan Dempster put together one of his best starts of 2008 against the Padres (May 15). He beat Greg Maddux and the Padres 4-0. Dempster set a career-high with 12 strikeouts and did not allow a run in 8 1/3 innings of work…his only start of the year against San Diego.
Today will be Dempster’s tenth career start against the Padres. He is 6-3 in 18 games, 9 starts, with two saves…a 3.82 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
- Henry Blanco – 0-for-3
- David Eckstein – 5-for-15
- Jody Gerut – 2-for-6 with a double
- Brian Giles – 16-for-36 with 4 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs and 6 walks
- Adrian Gonzalez – 0-for-7
- Scott Hairston – 0-for-2
- Kevin Kouzmanoff – 1-for-4
The Cubs will undoubtedly face a fired up Chad Gaudin today. Gaudin did not pitch well enough in Spring Training to keep his job with the Cubs and was released at the deadline for teams to turn in their Opening Day roster. Gaudin signed a minor league deal with the Padres and today will be his third start of the season.
Chad Gaudin can be very good at times and at others he will struggle with throwing strikes. Gaudin was 4-2 in 24 games with the Cubs after coming over in the Rich Harden deal and hopefully his old teammates paid attention while he was on the mound.
Jason Marquis took it to his old team, maybe the Cubs will be able to take it to one of their old teammates this afternoon.
Today will be Chad Gaudin’s first career start and appearance against the team that is still paying a majority of his 2009 salary.
- Milton Bradley – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-7
- Aaron Miles – 3-for-5
- Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….