In the last calendar year, there have been five no-hitters pitched in the major leagues (yes, it should be six), going back to Mark Buehrle's perfect game against the Rays last July 23.
The Cubs have faced two of those pitchers already this season. How did they do against them?
Buehrle threw 6.2 shutout innings at Wrigley Field on June 12, a game the Cubs wound up losing 2-1. They did get eight hits off Buehrle, all singles.
Five days after that at Wrigley, the Cubs faced perfect-game pitcher Dallas Braden. They got five hits and one run off Braden but won the game 3-2. Braden, in fact, hasn't won since his perfect game and is now on the DL. And Armando Galarraga, who should have thrown a perfect game last month, was sent to Triple-A by the Tigers yesterday.
So how will the Cubs do against Edwin Jackson? The answer is... who knows? Incidentally, it's likely the Cubs will face both of the other no-hit pitchers from the last year (Ubaldo Jimenez and Roy Halladay) in upcoming series vs. the Rockies and Phillies. The only other team to play all five of the teams who had pitchers throw no-nos in the last year (White Sox, Athletics, Rockies, Phillies, Diamondbacks) is the Pirates -- but the Pirates did not face Dallas Braden in their series vs. the A's. So if the Cubs do face Jimenez and Halladay, that would be a unique five-spot.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Ryan Dempster||6-7||18||17||1||0||0||0||117.0||95||50||46||16||42||114||3.54||1.17|
|2010 - Edwin Jackson||6-6||18||17||1||1||0||0||112.0||110||60||59||10||48||89||4.74||1.41|
Edwin Jackson has had a very strange season. He threw one of the wackiest no-hitters in history against the Rays on June 25, walking eight. He's had two other starts in which he's gone at least eight innings and given up no runs. He's had another start in which he gave up ten earned runs, and on May 2 at Wrigley Field, he gave the Cubs eight runs, including homers by Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano. That's the Jackson we hope we see tonight. Incidentally, Jackson also leads the NL in wild pitches (12).
Ryan Dempster was the only Cub starter who did not face Arizona in the four-game series at Wrigley at the end of April/beginning of May. The D'backs beat him twice last year, including this nasty game on April 29, 2009. But that was a day game with the roof open; the park plays differently at night with the roof closed. And the D'back who had the biggest day off Demp in that game was... Chad Tracy, who singled, doubled and homered. Don't have to worry about that tonight. Current D'backs are hitting .239 (17-for-71) against Dempster.
Today's game is on WGN and FSN Arizona. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 8:30 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 9:45, 10:45 and 11:30 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.