Rich Harden's day/night splits this year are well known, but just so you don't have to look them up again:
Day games: nine starts, 1-5, 7.38, 11 HR in 42.2 innings
Night games: seven starts, 5-1, 2.23, 6 HR in 44.1 innings
So what the Cubs should do is: turn the lights on today, even though it's supposed to be sunny most of the afternoon, give Harden sunglasses so it looks darker, wear the blue alternate jerseys (the Cubs' record while Harden pitches and the team wears pinstripes is 1-3; it's 7-5 with the alt jerseys), and reset all the clocks in the clubhouse so that it will seem to Harden as if the starting time is 7:05.
Yes, I know. It shouldn't make any difference, but for some reason, this year it does. And for his career, Harden's day/night splits aren't nearly as extreme (career day-game ERA: 3.83; career night-game ERA: 3.13). Still, splits that extreme over the course of 16 starts have to mean something.
The Tribune's real estate section today tells us that Ryan Dempster is becoming a North Side real estate mogul:
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, who currently is on the disabled list, has paid $480,000 to buy a two-bedroom condominium on the North Side, giving him a third piece of residential real estate on the Cubs' side of town.
Dempster's newly-built unit has Brazilian cherry hardwood floors throughout, recessed lighting, high ceilings, crown moldings, walk-in closets in both bedrooms, and a kitchen with an island, granite counters and stainless steel appliances, according to listing information. Other features include a large private deck and a master bath with a Jacuzzi, a double vanity and a steam shower with jets. The unit had been listed for $499,900.
Dempster is scheduled to be activated from the DL and start Tuesday night vs. the Astros. Hope he's used that Jacuzzi to help heal that broken toe.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Rich Harden||6-6||17||16||0||0||0||0||87.0||85||51||46||17||38||96||4.76||1.41|
|2009 - Micah Owings||6-10||32||17||0||0||0||0||99.2||111||63||59||16||50||59||5.33||1.62|
The last time the Cubs saw Micah Owings in Chicago, he was facing Rich Harden on April 21, one of Harden's better outings at home this year. That game resulted in the first-ever homer by a Micah (Hoffpauir) off a Micah (Owings). Owings pitched a little better against the Cubs in Cincinnati on June 5, but the Cubs won that game anyway. Owings has allowed 16 HR this year, but Hoffpauir is the only player on the active Cubs roster who has homered off him... time to change that today. It may be more important to watch out for Owings' bat: he is a .294 lifetime hitter and has hit three homers this year. (His games played total above, 32, includes 14 pinch-hitting appearances, in which he's gone 3-for-14 with two doubles and a HR.)
As noted above, the April 21 game -- a night game -- was one of Harden's few good outings at Wrigley Field this season. He is 3-0, 2.95 lifetime vs. the Reds and even the dreaded Joey Votto, who is becoming a Cub-killer (10 of his 42 career HR have been against the Cubs), is 0-for-5 vs. Harden.
The Cubs are on WGN today, also on FSN Ohio for those of you who have EI. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.