Game Forty-One: Cubs (17-23) vs. Marlins (24-16)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Sun Life Stadium, Miami
Ryan Dempster (2-4, 6.71/1.53) vs. Ricky Nolasco (3-0, 3.02/1.08)
It is a new day and a new city, so how will the Cubs respond after two embarrassing performances in Cincinnati? The Cubs have gone from just pressing at the plate, especially with runners in scoring position, to struggling with every aspect of the game. The Cubs have lost three in a row and just need to put a win on the board tonight.
The Cubs have had problems over the years in Miami but swept the Fish last year in their home park and finished the season taking four of six from the Marlins. Florida is a much- improved team this season and the next two days will be a big challenge for Q’s squad.
The Cubs caught a break Sunday when the rainout allowed them to dodge Tim Lincecum in the finale with the Giants. The weather and rainouts have had a huge impact on the 2011 baseball season so far and the Cubs got the short-end of the stick after rain in New York washed out Tuesday’s game between the Mets and the Marlins.
The Cubs will face Ricky Nolasco tonight with Chris Volstad getting pushed to Thursday’s final against Casey Coleman.
Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster … but it would be nice for the veterans in the outfield to start driving in runs. Ryan Dempster is coming off a solid start against the Giants and picked up his first win at Wrigley since August of 2010. Dempster came within one of tying his career high in strikeouts, 11, and he walked only one batter. Dempster departed in the sixth with a 3-2 lead before the Cubs blew the game wide open.
After a horrendous start to the season, Dempster is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. The Cubs will need more of the good Dempster tonight.
Dempster is 3-1 in 14 career games, four starts, against one of his former teams with a 1.59 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Dempster won his only start versus the Fish last season with seven innings of shutout ball. The Marlins managed only four hits and three walks while Dempster struck out five.
Marlins Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster
- Chris Coghlan – 2-for-3 with a double
- Omar Infante – 2-for-5 with a double and a home run
- Logan Morrison – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
- Ricky Nolasco – 0-for-2
- Hanley Ramirez – 2-for-8 with a double
- Gaby Sanchez – 0-for-3
- Mike Stanton – 0-for-1
The Cubs former farmhand loves beating the organization that selected him in the fourth round of the 2001 draft. Ricky Nolasco was part of the deal that brought Juan Pierre to the North Side in the winter of 2005 … and every time he faces the Cubs, Nolasco enjoys showing Jim Hendry he made a mistake.
Nolasco has been very good this season and is one of the many reasons the Marlins are right behind the Phillies in the east. Nolasco has had one “bad” start this season in which he allowed five earned runs. Nolasco has held the opponent to two runs or less in five of his other seven starts … and in the other two, just three earned runs. The Cubs offense figures to have a very difficult time scoring runs tonight.
Nolasco is 1-0 in his last three starts with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.
Tonight will be Nolasco’s fifth career start against the Cubs … 3-1 in the first four, five career appearances, with a 2.48 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Ricky Nolasco
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
- Marlon Byrd – 0-for-3
- Starlin Castro – 2-for-3
- Ryan Dempster – 0-for-2
- Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-6
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-3
- Carlos Pena – 2-for-3 with 2 home runs and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-6 with a home run and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-16 with 2 home runs
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