Game One Hundred Eighteen: Cubs (49-68) vs. Cardinals (65-50)
Game Time – 1:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Ryan Dempster (10-8, 3.66/1.32) vs. Kyle Lohse (1-4, 5.89/1.71)
Can the Chicago Cubs win back-to-back games? The last time Lou’s crew won on consecutive days was July 23 and July 24 against the Cardinals. The last time the Cubs posted a win in back-to-back games on the road was more than a month ago … July 5 – July 7 in Arizona.
The Cubs complete the seven-game road trip this afternoon (2-4). After dropping three of four to the Giants by a total of three runs, winning a series in St. Louis would be a good way to start the week … especially for a team that is 3-14 in their last 17 games.
Kyle Lohse was the Cubs’ 29th round pick in the 1996 draft. The Cubs sent Lohse, along with Jay Ryan, to Twins on May 21, 1999 for Rick Aguilera and Scott Downs.
A scoring change was made last Wednesday that took two earned runs away from Ryan Dempster. The official scorer changed Buster Posey’s hit in the seventh from a two-run double to an error on Tyler Colvin. Dempster went from allowing four runs, three earned, to four runs, one earned, on eight hits. The defense really let him down and cost him at least an inning of work.
The Cubs were slated to face Jamie Garcia this afternoon but the Cardinals will activate Kyle Lohse from the 60-day DL and push Garcia back a day. Tony LaRussa will also be back in the dugout this afternoon after managing his team from behind the glass the past two days.
Before Saturday, the Cubs had only won twice in more than two weeks (16 games) … both games were started by Ryan Dempster.
It all starts with Ryan Dempster … The Cubs number one pitcher has won his last two starts and is coming off a very good outing against the Giants.
A scoring change took two earned runs off Ryan Dempster’s stats for the season but it wasn’t Dempster’s line that was impressive in his last start, it was his ability to throw strikes. Dempster entered his last start with a string of questionable outings. The results were fine but Dempster had walked at least three batters in five straight outings … a total of 19 in 28 2/3 innings.
The Cubs season has become about preparing for the future as well as winning as many games as possible down the stretch. Ryan Dempster figures to be the Cubs’ top pitcher in the rotation for the immediate future and it’s his job to lead by example. Dempster is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 0.71 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
Dempster is 5-4 in 12 road starts this season with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP … and this afternoon will be his third start of the year against the Redbirds. Dempster is 0-1 in the first two with a 5.93 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Matt Holliday – 6-for-15
- Jon Jay – 1-for-6 with a triple
- Kyle Lohse – 0-for-4
- Felipe Lopez – 5-for-32 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
- Mark McGwire – 3-for-9 with 2 home runs and 5 walks
- Aaron Miles – 2-for-10 with a walk
- Yadier Molina – 7-for-27 with a double and 4 walks
- Albert Pujols – 14-for-45 with 2 doubles, 5 home runs and 9 walks
- Colby Rasmus – 1-for-7 with a double
- Brendan Ryan – 4-for-12 with a home run and a walk
- Skip Schumaker – 16-for-37 with 3 doubles and a walk
- Randy Winn – 2-for-22 with 3 walks
The Cardinals announced on Friday that they would activate Kyle Lohse from the DL this afternoon to make his first start since May 22. The Redbirds pushed Jamie Garcia back to give him a little rest and will use Lohse in his place.
Kyle Lohse has been on the 60-day DL since May 23 with a right forearm strain … and if the Cubs want to win the series, they must make him work.
Lohse lost his last start back on May 22. The Angels knocked him around to the tune of six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. This afternoon will be just his tenth start of the season.
Kyle Lohse is 1-3 in nine career starts against the Cubs with a 5.59 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Kyle Lohse
- Jeff Baker – 1-for-5
- Ryan Dempster – 1-for-4
- Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2
- Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-12 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 7-for-18 with 3 doubles and a walk
- Xavier Nady – 4-for-15 with a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 7-for-13 with 3 doubles and a home run
- Alfonso Soriano – 15-for-39 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …