Spring Training Game Thirty-Two: Cubs (17-11-3) vs. Diamondbacks (14-16-2)
Game Time – 8:40pm CDT
Coverage – TV: MLB.com (D’Backs Feed) – Radio: MLB.com (D’Backs Feed), XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix
Ryan Dempster (2-0, 1.69/0.89) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 2.35/1.11)
Only two practice games left before a day off on Sunday … Opening Day is just around the corner.
Lou Piniella’s crew plays the first of two tonight at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs have always struggled at the D’Backs home park but hopefully the Cubs can leave Arizona on a positive note.
Ryan Dempster was dominant in his last start against the Mariners … and was clearly in mid-season form. Dempster should go at least four innings tonight in his final tune-up of the exhibition season. The next time Dempster takes the ball will be against Jair Jurrjens on Wednesday night in Atlanta.
Xavier Nady is expected to make the start in right field tonight … and Piniella should have a majority of his regulars in the starting lineup. Ryan Dempster has quietly gone about his business this spring. No predictions … just results. Dempster has allowed just five runs, four earned, on 13 hits with six walks and 20 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings (five starts). The more than 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio is the key to Dempster’s success. When Dempster stays around that ratio (3:1), his career numbers prove he can win ballgames.
Rodrigo Lopez made the Cubs look very bad last season. Lopez held the Cubs to one run on five hits in six innings when he faced them as a member of the Phillies starting rotation. Lopez will begin the year as the fourth starter in the D’Backs rotation.
Lopez has pitched extremely well this spring … just six runs, four earned, on 14 hits with three walks and 12 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. Tonight will be Lopez’s fifth start and sixth appearance of the spring.
Predicting the Cubs in Twenty-Ten
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …