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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Rays, Tuesday 6/17, 6:10 CT

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Chicago Cubs
@ Tampa Bay Rays

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008, 6:10 PM CDT
Tropicana Field

Ryan Dempster vs Scott Kazmir

Complete Coverage >


Back to business! Notes:

Something called AccuScore analyzes the Cubs' next few weeks without Alfonso Soriano.

Yosh Kawano, longtime clubhouse manager, donated his trademark fishing hat to the Hall of Fame in ceremonies yesterday before the rainout.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
R. Dempster
Cubs
vs. Scott Kazmir
S.
Kazmir

Rays
8-2 W-L 6-2
2.81 ERA 1.74
75 SO 54
35 BB 16
8 HR 2
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Ryan Dempster 8-2 14 14 1 0 0 0 89.2 60 35 28 8 35 75 2.81 1.06


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Scott Kazmir 6-2 8 8 0 0 0 0 51.2 34 11 10 2 16 54 1.74 .97

Ryan Dempster has been really, really good this year. He has never faced the Rays; the current Ray who has the most AB against Dempster is his former teammate, Cliff Floyd (0-for-4).

Similarly, Scott Kazmir has never faced the Cubs. He's faced a handful of them in their AL days; Reed Johnson is 8-for-31 vs. Kazmir with two doubles, a triple and a HR -- but also 10 strikeouts.

These are not your father's (Devil) Rays, to quote the old Oldsmobile ad. They're far past the "are they for real?" stage. This team is for real and cannot be taken lightly. Five years ago when the then Devil Rays came to Wrigley Field, with Lou Piniella their manager, they were a last-place team, 13 games under .500, and the Cubs took two of three. The Rays are, I believe, a legitimate contender in the AL East and the Cubs will have to play the way they did in Toronto -- maybe a bit better -- to do the same in 2008.

If they do so, this will be a very, very successful road trip.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago, and broadcast TV in Tampa (WXPX), and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Today's overflow comment threads will post at 7:15 pm and 8:15 pm CT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.