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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Dodgers, Monday 5/26, 1:20 CT

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Los Angeles Dodgers
@ Chicago Cubs

Monday, May 26, 2008, 1:20 PM CDT
Wrigley Field

Chad Billingsley vs Ryan Dempster

Partly cloudy with a 50-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Near 80.

Complete Coverage >


Take a deep breath, please.

It's a new day and a new week and the beginning of a homestand, and remember, the Cubs are 19-8 at home. Things will be just fine.

  • Only 11 games are scheduled today; 8 teams have the day off, as if it's just another Monday. I just don't understand this. Baseball ought to be played on national holidays like this.
  • If you're a Geovany Soto or Carlos Marmol fan -- and who among us isn't? -- Barry Rozner says give thanks for Oneri Fleita, because Fleita is responsible for scouting and drafting both of those guys, and also for getting Marmol converted from catching to pitching.
  • Phil Rogers wrote something good today. No, really: that article asks whether replay would have helped on the call of Luis Rivas' first "homer" yesterday. He writes:

    Center fielder Reed Johnson might have had the best look at the play.

    "It looked like the ball hit the top of the wall, bounced straight up and came down on the field," Johnson said. "I think the umpire told Lou that a fan hit the ball."

    Johnson saw what we all saw at home. This is why replay would be helpful.
  • Kerry Wood's staying at closer. For now, anyway.
  • It's bright and sunny this morning in Chicago, after some overnight storms (the same ones that blasted through Iowa and Minnesota last night with tornadoes), but rain may return this afternoon:
    Memorial Day: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. West southwest wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Let's hope it holds off long enough to get the game in.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
R. Dempster
Cubs
vs. Chad Billingsley
C. Billingsley
Dodgers
5-2 W-L 4-5
2.70 ERA 3.76
53 SO 60
26 BB 29
4 HR 2
vs. LA -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Ryan Dempster 5-2 10 10 0 0 0 0 63.1 41 26 19 4 26 53 2.70 1.06


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Chad Billingsley 4-5 11 9 0 0 0 0 52.2 45 24 22 2 29 60 3.76 1.41

Chad Billingsley is the guy I had hoped Jim Hendry would hold out for when he sent Greg Maddux to LA in 2006. Yeah, I know, that's a pipedream. Still. This year Billingsley has been good but not great; today marks his first career start against the Cubs. He threw four scoreless innings in relief vs. the Cubs in that goofy series last May in LA, just before the Cubs' turnaround, when they twice blew 8th-inning leads. Nuff said about that, I think. Jim Edmonds probably gets the CF start today, but what's the point? He's 0-for-6 (2 walks) lifetime vs. Billingsley.

Ryan Dempster hasn't started against LA since his previous incarnation as a starter in 2003, when he was with the Reds. However, he did give up that devastating three-run HR to Andre Ethier last September 6 at Wrigley Field, his last blown save. No one else currently on the Dodgers' active roster hits him particularly well (Juan Pierre is 3-for-6 and backup catcher Gary Bennett is 3-for-5, but Bennett is hitting a robust .190 this year).

Today's game is on broadcast outlets in both markets -- what a quaint notion. KCAL, WGN and the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Today's overflow comment thread will post at 2:45 pm CT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.