Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Preview, Sunday 7/15, 1:20 CT

Tasos Katopodis - Getty Images

The Cubs are trying to do something today that they haven't done since 2009 -- win their sixth consecutive home game (actually, they've already accomplished the longest home winning streak since then, since between 2009 and Saturday they hadn't even won five straight home games since that six-game streak from June 18-July 3, 2009).

Also, here's a clarification of the Ryan Dempster 33-consecutive-inning scoreless streak "record" (reported yesterday as having tied a team record set by Ken Holtzman), courtesy of baseball historian Ed Hartig:

Holtzman's mark is the most recent with 33 consecutive scoreless innings specifically as a starter prior to Dempster -- it purposely excludes relief appearances.

Since 1918, the longest such streak for a Cub starter is 37 innings: Bill Lee from the first inning on 9/5/1938 (game 1 of a doubleheader) through the first inning of 9/26/1938.

As for the club record for scoreless innings - starter and/or reliever -- that belongs to Ed Reulbach with 44 scoreless innings from 9/17/1908 (second inning) through 10/3/1908 (fifth inning). Reulbach was removed from the game on 10/3 with his streak intact in what was his last start for the year. Reulbach's streak included a double-shutout against the Brooklyn Dodgers on 9/26 -- the only pitcher in MLB history to toss two shutouts on the same day.

Lee also had one relief appearance in that four-straight-shutout string (plus one inning of a fifth game), so his overall consecutive-scoreless-inning streak was 38⅓ innings. Will Dempster still be a Cub for another start or two and have a shot at those marks? Stay tuned. Here's what Bruce Levine says:

With a little more than two weeks until baseball's trade deadline, 10 teams have shown legitimate interest in acquiring Dempster's services for the remainder of the season, according to industry sources. Those clubs include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves.

The Cubs have started, in earnest, to look at minor league players at the lower levels of almost every farm system. The organization is looking for young pitching in return for its veteran players, but according to a baseball source who has inquired about trading with the Cubs, a well regarded third-base prospect is also very high on their wish list.

To me, that sounds like the Cubs are still in the research phase of making a deal, and want to make sure they get the best possible return. So, with 16 days remaining till the non-waiver deadline, it still could be a little while before Dempster is an ex-Cub.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, LaHair RF, Clevenger C, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Garza P

Diamondbacks lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for the D'backs lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Matt Garza
Matt Garza
Cubs
vs. Trevor Cahill
Trevor Cahill
Diamondbacks
4-7 W-L 7-7
4.32 ERA 3.64
86 SO 79
29 BB 42
15 HR 10
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Matt Garza 4-7 16 16 0 0 0 0 93.2 83 48 45 15 29 86 4.32 1.20


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Trevor Cahill 7-7 17 17 1 1 0 0 108.2 97 51 44 10 42 79 3.64 1.28

Matt Garza needs to start pitching better if he is either going to a) be traded or b) get a contract extension from the Cubs. He was hit pretty hard in his last start (in Atlanta July 5) and has a 5.08 ERA over his last five starts. Actually, the best of those was probably the one against the D'backs, June 24 in Phoenix, although the Cubs lost that game. Overall, current D'backs are hitting .272 (34-for-125) against Garza with two HR (Jason Kubel, John McDonald).

Trevor Cahill has made one career start against the Cubs, while he was a member of the Athletics' rotation, June 15, 2010 at Wrigley Field. Go look at that boxscore. There are exactly three Cubs who played in that game (Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, Jeff Baker) who are still on the team. Cahill came to Arizona in an offseason deal and has been pretty consistent for them. We'll see if that continues today.

Today's game is on WGN.

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 Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 2:20, 3:20 and 4:05 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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