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Clever Headline Goes Here: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, Wednesday 4/29, 2:40 CT

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Intersting stat note: Alfonso Soriano has seven homers in April. That's one short of the club record for the month (set by Sammy Sosa in 2000), with two games to go.

Bad news from that same link:

Sidelined since Friday because of a calf strain, third baseman Aramis Ramirez showed little improvement again Tuesday and could be facing the disabled list by the end of the week.

"He ran but couldn't accelerate at all," manager Lou Piniella said. "The plan is we're going to wait until Thursday and have him run again in Chicago, and if it's not any better then, we're going to have to weigh all our options. ... We don't have any infielders."

A-Ram is the Cubs' best all-around hitter and they miss his defense at 3B. If he has to be DL'd, they are going to have to go outside the organization, I think, to find someone to fill in -- having Mike Fontenot at 3B and Aaron Miles at 2B is not really something you'd want to do for any length of time. If only Jake Fox could play third base. But he can't. It's a real shame that Corey Koskie couldn't come back; he'd have been a perfect backup if healthy. So would have Mike Lamb, had he not just signed with the Mets.

Good news: Derrek Lee is expected back in the lineup this afternoon.

Go figure: Chad Gaudin, in his first start for the Padres, threw five scoreless innings. In Coors Field.

The roof at Chase Field was open for the two night games, but I'm guessing it will be closed this afternoon, as temperatures push past 90 and many D'backs pitchers prefer it closed; the ball doesn't seem to carry as well there with the roof closed.

In addition to making up a caption for the attached photo of Lou and Kosuke, perhaps you can come up with a clever headline for this game preview post. Sometimes the headlines write themselves; sometimes they come easily. Today, neither happened.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Brandon Backe
Doug Davis
Diamondbacks
1-0 W-L 1-3
4.88 ERA 3.67
21 SO 20
11 BB 7
3 HR 5
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ryan Dempster 1-0 4 4 0 0 0 0 24.0 23 13 13 3 11 21 4.88 1.42


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Doug Davis 1-3 4 4 0 0 0 0 27.0 28 11 11 5 7 20 3.67 1.30

Doug Davis has handled the Cubs much better than most teams -- 7-6 lifetime with a 3.52 ERA, compared to his sub-.500, 4.22 career ERA. He keeps them off balance with junk. None of the current Cubs really hits him well -- Ryan Theriot is about the best at 4-for-9. Like a lot of Arizona's starters, they haven't hit during his starts, which is a big reason he's 1-3; the D'backs have scored a total of six runs in his four starts. So I wanted to mention Davis' major league debut on August 9, 1999 for the Rangers, in which he came in in relief with a manageable 6-3 deficit and by the time he was removed, he had given up 11 hits, 3 homers and 10 earned runs. May he have such a day today.

As I wrote last time he started, Ryan Dempster has got to stop walking so many hitters. Last year his success was, in part, due to the fact that he kept his walks down. He did a bit better in his last start, walking only one in six innings. Dempster is 1-4, 5.73 lifetime vs. the Diamondbacks, but most of that comes from several bad starts he made long before he was a Cub. Among current D'backs, only Felipe Lopez (4-for-23) has more than 6 career AB vs. Ryan, who threw six innings of three-hit, seven-K ball vs. Arizona in his only start against them in 2008 on May 10; the Cubs won, but Dempster got a no-decision that day.

Today's game is a cable extravaganza on CSN Chicago and FSN Arizona. For more see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Discuss amongst yourselves.