Game Forty-Two: Cubs (19-22) vs. Phillies (24-15)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.49/1.09) vs. Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.49/1.27)
Can the Chicago Cubs win five games in a row? The Cubs have put together three solid games in a row. Is today the day Lou Piniella’s crew reverts back to their early season form? Or will the Cubs continue to play good ball and build on their four-game winning streak?
Piniella’s lineup could be interesting as well. With a very early start, Koyie Hill should be behind the plate. Will Aramis Ramirez get a day off? How about Derrek Lee? Will Tyler Colvin get his third start of the week?
Today it all starts with Ryan Dempster … and just winning a ballgame. Ryan Dempster is coming off his fourth straight loss, a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Pirates. Dempster allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings with a season-high five walks. He tied a season-high with nine strikeouts and did not allow a home run. But Paul Maholm held the Cubs offense in check for the second time this season.
Ryan Dempster has not posted a win since April 23 in Milwaukee.
Dempster is 1-2 in four road starts this season with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Today will be Ryan Dempster’s 15th career start against the Phillies. He is 4-4 with two saves in 21 career games, 14 starts, with a 4.99 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. Dempster lost his only start against the Phillies last season … and was rocked. Philadelphia scored six runs on eight hits in seven innings. Dempster walked two and struck out eight on August 13 at Wrigley. The Cubs lost the game 6-1.
Phillies’ Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Ryan Howard – 2-for-7 with a double, a home run and 3 walks
- Raul Ibanez – 0-for-4
- Placido Polanco – 7-for-17 with 3 doubles, a triple and 2 walks
- Jimmy Rollins – 9-for-34 with 2 doubles and 6 walks
- Carlos Ruiz – 1-for-3 with a walk
- Brian Schneider – 2-for-12 with a double and 2 walks
- Chase Utley – 6-for-9 with a double and 2 walks
- Shane Victorino – 3-for-8 with a double
- Jayson Werth – 2-for-7 with 2 doubles and a walk
Joe Blanton will make just his fourth start of the season this afternoon. Blanton began the season on the DL and returned on May 3 against the Cardinals. Blanton lost his first two games but picked up his first win in his last start. Blanton gave up five runs on six hits to the Brewers in seven innings. Blanton struck out five and walked one.
The Cubs have had zero success in two games against Joe Blanton. While Blanton not recorded a decision in two career starts versus the Cubs, he has allowed only three runs on seven hits in 12 2/3 innings with five walks and nine strikeouts (2.13 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP).
Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Blanton
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-3
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-5 with a double
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 1-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-6
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-14 with a double, a triple and a walk
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-5 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …