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The Interleague Finale: Cubs vs. White Sox, Thursday 9/3, 1:20 CT

The Cubs have played interleague games in September before -- there was a Cubs/Twins series at Wrigley in September 1997 -- but the meeting with the team from the South Side in September is a Chicago first.

These two teams have played each other nearly to a draw in the 13 seasons of interleague contests. In the 71 games played to date, the White Sox have won 36, the Cubs 35, and the White Sox have scored 350 runs to the Cubs' 341. Thus a win today is not only important for the Cubs' playoff hopes, but to even up the all-time series between the two clubs (and to have a split at three games each for 2009). If the Cubs could win by nine runs to even up the run total that'd be great, but I'll settle for a one-run victory.

Notes: the Cubs bullpen, so mediocre most of the year, has now thrown 20 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. A lot of that is thanks to John Grabow, who hasn't allowed a run since he put on blue pinstripes. And remember when I wrote about the new Rawlings S100 helmet a couple of weeks ago and asked what the big deal was? The big deal, apparently, is that they're much larger than existing helmets, as modeled by Ryan Dempster last Saturday and the Mets' David Wright on Tuesday in Colorado. Wright's concussion was one of the reasons these helmets will be mandatory in the minor leagues next year, but for now their primary function appears to be providing fodder for jokes. Funny jokes, admittedly, but if they help save players from injury, I think they're a good idea.

Site note: today's recap will be delayed. I am leaving right after the game to head east on the next road trip, driving to New York and Pittsburgh. I'll try to find a wifi place on the road sometime in the early evening to post a recap, and any BCB'ers in NYC or Pittsburgh who'd like to meet up at the games, please email me using the link on the left sidebar.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
vs. Carlos Torres
Carlos Torres
White Sox
8-7 W-L 0-0
4.15 ERA 6.75
129 SO 8
56 BB 9
18 HR 2
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs

2009 - Ryan Dempster 8-7 24 24 0 0 0 0 149.2 149 79 69 18 56 129 4.15 1.37

2009 - Carlos Torres 0-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 9.1 9 7 7 2 9 8 6.75 1.93

Carlos Torres is no kid prospect -- he'll be 27 next month. He's had decent numbers in the minor leagues, particularly this year, but his two major league starts were just decent and pretty bad. He walks a lot of hitters, so patience would be useful. This is, obviously, his first career appearance vs. the Cubs.

Because of the rainout back in June, Ryan Dempster gets the odd distinction of being able to start three games against an interleague opponent in one year -- he started one of the games in each of the two series in June, throwing six decent innings in a 4-1 Cubs loss on June 17 at Wrigley and getting launched pretty badly ten days later at the Cell. He's gotten lit up before by Jermaine Dye (.417/.500/.583 in 12 AB) and A.J. Pierzynski (.400/.471/.600 in 15 AB).

Len & Bob will be on WGN today. Those other guys are doing the game via CSN Chicago. For other games today see the Mediacenter. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.