Game Thirty-Seven: Cubs (15-21) vs. Pirates (15-20)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Ryan Dempster (2-3, 3.44/1.07) vs. Paul Maholm (2-3, 4.61/1.56)
The Chicago Cubs have lost eight of ten and are threatening to fall into the cellar in the Central Division. Can Ryan Dempster right the ship? The Cubs are just 2-5 with Dempster on the mound.
Today is a rematch of the game on May 4 … the opener in Pittsburgh that begin the tailspin the Cubs are currently stuck in. The Cubs must figure out a way to keep the high-flying Bucs of the board. The Pirates have won six in a row against the Cubs … but the most concerning stat is Piniella’s pitching staff has allowed 21 runs in the last 18 innings of ball against the Pirates.
Piniella said Friday Ryan Theriot will continue to leadoff against southpaws and Kosuke Fukudome will hit in the top spot against right-handed starters. As Tyler Colvin rots on the bench, expect Lou Piniella to run out the same starting lineup as Friday today against the southpaw Paul Maholm. Colvin has started one game since April 30. Granted Colvin has not hit lefties but what the Cubs have done through 36 games hasn’t led to that many wins.
The Cubs enter play today 15-21, the same mark they had after 36 games in 2006 … the last time the Cubs had a manager on the last year of his contract.
Today it all starts with Ryan Dempster … Ryan Dempster stayed in last Sunday’s game one pitch too long. Subtract the pitch he threw to Joey Votto and Dempster had a good start … too bad the game is not played that way.
Dempster has not posted a win since April 23. Granted some of it over his last three starts has been out of his control. But the bottom line is Dempster has served up five home runs in his last three outings. He has to keep the ball in the park today … as well as Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones off the bases.
All in all Dempster has thrown the ball well this season. But today his teammates need the Ryan Dempster that held the Brewers to one run back on April 23.
The Cubs number one righty starter is 0-2 in his last two starts with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
Pirates’ Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Ronny Cedeno – 3-for-5
- Ryan Church – 2-for-6 with a home run
- Jeff Clement – 0-for-3
- Ryan Doumit – 2-for-15 with a walk
- Aki Iwamura – 0-for-6 with a walk
- Jason Jaramillo – 3-for-6 with a double
- Garrett Jones – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
- Andy LaRoche – 5-for-13 with 2 doubles and a home run
- Paul Maholm – 0-for-2
- Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-8
- Lastings Milledge – 2-for-14 with a walk
- Steve Pearce – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Delwyn Young – 3-for-4
After Paul Maholm beat the Cubs for the fifth time in 10 career starts on May 4, he couldn’t even make it through fourth innings against the Cardinals. The Redbirds scored six runs, four earned, on six hits in 3 1/3 innings against Maholm.
Maholm held the Cubs to two runs on eight hits when he faced them on May 4. They had Maholm on the ropes but could not deliver the knock out punch … sound familiar?
Today will be Maholm’s seventh career start at Wrigley. He is 3-1 with a 8.13 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Jeff Baker – 3-for-7 with 2 doubles
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-2 with a walk
- Ryan Dempster – 2-for-3
- Mike Fontenot – 1-for-4
- Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4
- Derrek Lee – 8-for-24 with 3 doubles and 2 walks
- Xavier Nady – 1-for-7 with 2 walks
- Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-23 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-21 with a double, 4 home runs and 3 walks
- Geovany Soto – 4-for-9 with a home run and 2 walks
- Ryan Theriot – 8-for-22 with 5 doubles and 4 walks
- Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …