The Cubs dropped to their low point of the season, nine games under .500, with Friday's loss. This is really too bad, because some halfway-decent bullpen work could have them much closer to first place in what is turning out to be a mediocre NL Central.
Perhaps help is on the way. With the retirement of Kerry Wood, the Cubs will need to add a reliever to the bullpen. As of the time I'm writing this, no official roster move has been announced, though there was this tweet from Carrie Muskat early Saturday afternoon:
Reports out of Iowa that Randy Wells expected to join #Cubs Saturday— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 19, 2012
That was confirmed by this Gordon Wittenmyer tweet. Wells will go to the bullpen, since it appears Travis Wood will be recalled to replace Chris Volstad in the rotation (Wood is already listed as the probable Tuesday starter here).
Also, Geovany Soto has yet to hit the DL; the team could bring up another reliever to replace him for a couple of days until they recall Wood. With the MLB debut of Blake Lalli on Friday, the Cubs have already used 35 different players this year, 18 of them pitchers. That's a lot, given that we are not quite to the one-quarter mark of the season. Koyie Hill, just reacquired from the Reds, will become the 36th tonight, and start at catcher. (Anyone having déjà vu?)
Johnson CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Baker RF, Mather 3B, Hill C, Dempster P
White Sox lineup:
DeAza cf, Beckham 2b, Dunn 1b, Viciedo lf, Pierzynski c, Rios rf, Ramirez ss, Escobar 3b, Danks p
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Ryan Dempster||0-1||6||6||0||0||0||0||41.1||29||10||8||1||11||41||1.74||.97|
|2012 - John Danks||2-4||8||8||0||0||0||0||47.1||54||35||34||7||22||26||6.46||1.61|
Ryan Dempster had his "worst" start of 2012 in his last outing, but still threw six credible innings and the Cubs won, although Dempster did not get a personal "win" out of it. The last time he faced the White Sox was June 27, 2010, when he threw seven good innings in a Cubs victory. Current White Sox are hitting .300 (24-for-80) against him with five home runs, two of them by Adam Dunn.
John Danks has not faced the Cubs since that June 27, 2010 matchup with Dempster, when a very different lineup than today's hit him pretty hard. The current Cub with the most career at-bats vs. Danks is David DeJesus, who is 10-for-23 against him. Naturally, DeJesus isn't playing.
Today's game is on Fox. Announcers are Thom Brennaman and Eric Karros. Here's the coverage map and here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:15 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:15, 8:15 and 9 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.