Still Time To Turn This Season Around: Cubs vs. Reds Preview, Sunday 5/9, 12:10 CT

Take a look at the National League standings as of this morning.

Eliminate the records of the three division leaders (Phillies, Cardinals, Padres) and the Astros, bringing up the rear at 9-21.

The other twelve teams are all within four games of each other (17-13, Mets, to 13-17, Braves and Dodgers). Teams look great one day, then awful the next -- we've seen enough of that, thankyouverymuch.

Every one of those twelve teams is flawed. In fact, so are the division leaders -- the Cardinals got shut out by the Pirates last night, so maybe the Pirates aren't as bad as we thought. The Phillies' rotation after Roy Halladay is suspect (you really think Jamie Moyer is going to pitch like that all year?). And the Padres... well, they have talent, but I can't see them at the top of that division all year, can you?

There's no way you can tell me, on May 9, that the Cubs couldn't come out of that pack and at least contend for the wild card, if not the NL Central title. But they had better start doing it rightfreakingnow.

Today's lineup via tweet from Carrie. Castro moved up to 7th:

#Cubs lineup 2b riot, rf fuke, 1b lee, cf byrd, 3b ramy, lf colvin, ss castro, c hill, p demp

Happy Mother's Day to everyone celebrating this day with their mom, and also to the many BCB'ers who are moms themselves.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Mike Leake
Mike Leake
Reds
2-2 W-L 2-0
2.95 ERA 2.94
39 SO 22
11 BB 16
5 HR 2
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Ryan Dempster 2-2 7 6 0 0 0 0 42.2 33 14 14 5 11 39 2.95 1.03


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Mike Leake 2-0 5 5 0 0 0 0 33.2 28 12 11 2 16 22 2.94 1.31

Mike Leake made his major league debut against the Cubs on April 11; he limited them to one run in 6.2 innings despite issuing seven walks. That was the beginning of the Cubs' failure to get runners in this year -- they left 12 on base. Since then, in four starts Leake has walked only nine hitters total.

Since Ryan Dempster returned to the rotation in 2008, he has made four starts against the Reds, going 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA. Current Reds are hitting .261 (29-for-111) against him; the Red he has faced the most has also hit him best -- Orlando Cabrera (13-for-34, .382, four doubles, eight RBI).

Today's game is on WGN and FSN Ohio. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter.

Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at noon CDT, and the overflows will post at 1, 2 and 2:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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