Let's Try This Again, With Sunshine: Cubs vs. White Sox Preview, Wednesday 6/17, 1:20 CT

There's one scenario that wasn't discussed involving making up last night's rainout. Twice, Mets/Yankees games were rained out and they played split doubleheaders, one at each ballpark in New York. Since the Cubs can't play home night games on Friday or Saturday, the only way this could be done this year in Chicago would be to ask the White Sox to move their Friday, June 26 or Saturday, June 27 game at the Cell to a 7:05 start and play at Wrigley that day at noon.

That'd be fun, but I doubt the Sox would agree to do that. So the most likely makeup date is Thursday, September 3 -- the Cubs are finishing a homestand the day before with a day game vs. Houston before leaving for New York, and the White Sox play a day game at Minnesota on September 2, then return for a home game on Friday. I suspect this is what will happen, and the Cubs will lose another home night game date (one was lost already when the night game on April 19 was rained out and rescheduled for a day game on July 12).

Speaking of rainouts, the Cubs have four of them already -- none of which have been made up yet (the first will be Monday at Atlanta). That's more postponements, in less than half a season, than the last three years combined. They have played 60 games -- no other team has fewer than 62, nine teams have played 65 and the Indians lead the majors with 67 games played through yesterday. This could be a real advantage to the Cubs as they get players healthy, and presumably, playing up to career norms.

The rotation has been adjusted -- Ryan Dempster, who was to start tomorrow on an extra day's rest, will go today instead on his normal four days' rest, and Carlos Zambrano throws tomorrow. Randy Wells' turn is being skipped, which means he'll likely be available in relief today and tomorrow. Of course, Lou won't use him, or at least won't use him properly.

If you can stand some more Sammy Sosa talk, here are some comments from some former teammates. Former Cub and current CSN broadcaster Todd Hollandsworth, I think, sums it up best:

"The thing that's bothered me the most out of this is you hear that it's the superstars," Hollandsworth said. "And my thing is would these guys have been superstars, would these guys have been getting Hall of Fame consideration [without] what they've done? Or did they need them to become those guys?

"Would these guys have been 30-home run guys their whole career and had to play 20 years to get to 500? Or were these guys going to be able to hit 50, 60 in a year and get to 500 faster than anybody?"

The other side of that is: most of the superstars either named or suspected were probably Hall of Famers without a single PED. Barry Bonds certainly would have been; same with A-Rod, and probably Sosa, too. The whole thing is just a shame.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. John Danks
John Danks
White Sox
4-3 W-L 4-5
3.87 ERA 4.81
68 SO 61
29 BB 26
9 HR 10
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ryan Dempster 4-3 13 13 0 0 0 0 81.1 73 39 35 9 29 68 3.87 1.25


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - John Danks 4-5 12 12 0 0 0 0 67.1 69 38 36 10 26 61 4.81 1.41

Since May 1 Ryan Dempster is 3-2, 2.98 in eight starts, with 15 walks and 43 strikeouts in 51.1 innings and 5 HR allowed -- numbers quite comparable to his 2008 season. This time frame roughly corresponds to when his baby daughter was airlifted fron Phoenix to Children's Hospital in Chicago, making it much easier for Ryan to be with her and his wife. That's for anyone who thinks that external factors don't affect a player's performance. He faced the White Sox twice last year, in back-to-back starts on June 22 at Wrigley and June 27 at the Cell. The first was one of his best starts of 2008; the second was probably his worst. Those are his only two career starts vs. the White Sox. The only current White Sox to homer off Dempster is A. J. Pierzynski, who did it on July 1, 2006, when Dempster, then a closer, was within one out of wrapping up a win for the Cubs; A. J.'s three-run shot won the game for the Sox. No repeats today, please.

Just to repeat last night's Danks preview: John Danks' only start vs. the Cubs was last June 20, in which he gave the Cubs only five hits and one run before the Sox bullpen blew it and Aramis Ramirez won it with a walkoff HR. A-Ram's not available, of course, and Danks hasn't been very good this year. The only Cub to get more than one hit off him is Kosuke Fukudome, who was 2-for-3 in that game a year ago.

Today's game is on two Chicago channels. Today, WGN, the national feed has Steve Stone -- but to hear him, you also have to listen to that other guy. Len & Bob have the call on CSN Chicago this afternoon. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Visit our SBN Sox site at South Side Sox for some knowledgeable Sox talk.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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