Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (73-68) vs. Brewers (69-73)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (9-8, 4.03/1.38) vs. Jeff Suppan (6-9, 5.05/1.73)
On the one-year anniversary of Carlos Zambrano’s no hitter against the Houston Astros in Milwaukee, the Cubs open up the final home series of the year against the Brewers. The Cubs are 6-4 on the season versus Milwaukee with seven games left to play (four in Wrigley this week, three at Miller Park next week September 21-23). Neither team is where they thought they would be at this point of the season and both NL Central rivals are playing for pride right now.
Alfonso Soriano could have his knee scoped at some point this week. Reports have suggested Soriano could have season-ending surgery on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
Angel Guzman was not available against the Reds and might not be again until the end of the four-game series against the Brewers. Guzman is suffering from a muscle strain under his right arm for the second time this season. The first landed him on the DL …
Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster and not mailing in the remainder of the season … Ryan Dempster is coming off a win against the Pirates, his ninth of the year. The Cubs staked Dempster to a 7-0 lead before he threw his first pitch and Dempster allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. It was not one of Dempster’s better outings of the year, however he threw strikes in the first six innings before running out of gas in the seventh. Dempster has been inconsistent at best this season but has completed at least six innings of work in his last eight outings dating back to August 2.
After a rocky start to the year (5-5 in his first 17 starts with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP), Dempster has been a little better since the break (4-3 in nine starts with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP). The Cubs’ second starter when the season began must limit his walks once again tonight. In his last 52 innings Dempster has walked only 15 batters while striking out 48 … the 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio is where Dempster must be to be successful.
Tonight will be Dempster’s fourth start of the year against the Brewers. He is 2-1 with a 5.21 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. The Brewers have hit five of the nineteen homers allowed by Dempster this year.
- Ryan Braun – 5-for-23 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
- Mike Cameron – 5-for-21 with a home run and 2 walks
- Craig Counsell – 6-for-22 with a home run and 5 walks
- Prince Fielder – 7-for-22 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Jody Gerut – 3-for-7 with a double and a walk
- J.J. Hardy – 2-for-27 with a double and a walk
- Corey Hart – 2-for-23 with a home run and 3 walks
- Jason Kendall – 19-for-46 with 3 doubles and 5 walks
- Felipe Lopez – 4-for-25 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
- Casey McGehee – 2-for-4
- Corey Patterson – 5-for-17 with 2 doubles
- Jeff Suppan – 1-for-4
The Cubs will get their fourth look of the year at Jeff Suppan tonight. Suppan dominated the Cubs the last time he faced them on July 3 (one run on four hits in seven innings with two walks and four strikeouts) but the Cubs won the game 2-1. Suppan is 0-2 in three starts this season versus the Cubs with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
The Cubs must be patient against the veteran junker-baller once again tonight. If they swing at his pitch it is going to be another frustrating game for the Cubs.
Suppan has been inconsistent in the second half. One start he will be great and the next, well … Suppan is 1-3 in his last seven starts with a 6.06 ERA and a 2.07 WHIP but 0-1 in his last two with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP (five walks and three strikeouts).
Jeff Suppan has walked 66 batters in 25 starts (135 1/3 innings) while striking out only 65.
- Andres Blanco – 1-for-3 with a double
- Milton Bradley – 2-for-13
- Ryan Dempster – 1-for-7
- Mike Fontenot – 4-for-11 with a double and a walk
- Jake Fox – 0-for-2
- Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-9 with a double, a triple and 6 walks
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-6 with a double and 2 walks
- Micah Hoffpauir – 2-for-7
- Derrek Lee – 21-for-49 with 7 doubles, 4 home runs and 9 walks
- Aaron Miles – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-42 with 4 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
- Bobby Scales – 2-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-46 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 walks
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-8 with 2 home runs and 2 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 8-for-22 with a double
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….