The Cubs were looking at having one of the worst months in their history until the managerial change was made. I'm not necessarily suggesting that there's a cause-and-effect here -- although often even bad teams have a "bounce" after a new manager is put in place during a season -- but the Cubs were 5-16 in August when Mike Quade took over. A win tonight would make them 11-18 this month, still bad, but not historically so.
Ryan Dempster is going for his 100th career victory tonight. It would also be win #50 as a Cub and would give him 41 victories since he returned to the starting rotation in 2008. I know that individual starting pitcher wins don't mean what they used to, but Dempster has been a solid member of the rotation for three seasons. This year, only one part of his game hasn't been great -- he's given up 22 home runs already, equal to his total from all of last year.
A victory tonight would move the Cubs to 6-2 under Quade and end a nice month for Dempster. More on Dempster's August after the jump.
Cubs lineup via tweet from Carrie:
#Cubs lineup for Tue vs #Pirates: 2B DeWitt, SS Castro, CF Byrd, 3B Ramy, 1B Nady, LF Soriano, RF Colvin, C Hill, P Dempster
Pirates lineup via tweet from BucsInsider:
Lineup - McCutchen 8 Tabata 7 Walker 4 Jones 3 Alvarez 5 Doumit 9 Cedeno 6 Snyder 2 Karstens 1
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Ryan Dempster||12-8||28||27||1||0||0||0||179.0||155||81||68||22||69||168||3.42||1.25|
|2010 - Jeff Karstens||2-10||24||18||0||0||0||0||115.2||140||69||64||20||27||65||4.98||1.44|
Jeff Karstens has pitched twice against the Cubs this year; in 12 innings he's posted a 3.00 ERA and has a loss and a no-decision. That's about as well as he's thrown all year; in August he's 0-4 with a 7.65 ERA and he gave up 11 hits in 3.1 innings in his last outing vs. the Mets. Current Cubs are hitting .409 against Karstens (27-for-66) with seven doubles, a triple and four HR, including two from Alfonso Soriano. This looks like a good hitting night for the Cubs.
Ryan Dempster has two starts vs. the Pirates this year; he's given up three runs in seven innings in each of them and struck out 16 in the 14 innings -- but lost both games because the Cubs couldn't score. Presuming they can hit like they did last night, or even close, Dempster, who is 4-0 in August with a 1.31 ERA, should reach his milestone.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check local listings; it's CLTV in Chicago and channel 285 on Comcast in Chicago for HD) and FSN Pittsburgh. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.