Things to Take from This Game
1. Cubs out to an early lead
2. Dempster's wildness catches up to him
The worrisome details, below...
|SP||Ryan Dempster||SP||Derek Lowe|
|17-6, 2.96, 187 K,76 BB, 206.2 IP||(2008)
||14-11, 3.24, 147 K, 45 BB, 211 IP|
|(Playoffs)||5-4, 3.34, 43 K, 23 BB, 67.1 IP|
|LF||Alfonso Soirano||SS||#Rafael Furcal|
|RF||*Kosuke Fukudome||C||Russell Martin|
|1B||Derrek Lee||LF||Manny Ramirez|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||RF||*Andre Ethier|
|C||Geovany Soto||1B||*James Loney|
|CF||*Jim Edmonds||CF||Matt Kemp|
|2B||Mark DeRosa||2B||*Blake DeWitt|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||C||Casey Blake|
|P||Ryan Dempster||P||Derek Lowe|
The calender page flips to October and the Cubs are in the unfamiliar position of being the favorites. Well maybe not the favorites to win it all, I think that honor belongs to the Angels or Red Sox, but certainly the team to beat in the National League. TBS will wax poetic about curses and goats and I'll set the over/under line on a Bartman clip at top of the third. And I'll roll my eyes with each and every mention.
But here we are, on the cusp of the playoffs with a Cubs team that is as good as many of us have ever seen; on the heels of a season that exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. Is this the team to break the drought? I don't know, but I sure do believe it is.
As for today's game...
Here is this year's Ex-Cub Factor update:
Philadelphia Phillies: 3 -- Scott Eyre, Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs
Milwaukee Brewers: 1 -- Jason Kendall
Chicago Cubs: None
Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 -- Nomar Garciaparra, Greg Maddux, Juan Pierre
Chicago White Sox: None
Tampa Bay Rays: 1 -- Cliff Floyd
Boston Red Sox: None
Los Angeles Angels Etc.: 2 -- Gary Matthews Jr., Justin Speier
When no clear answer presents itself, go with the most obvious..
Cubs over Dodgers in 4
Phils over Brewers in 3
Angels over Red Sox in 5
Rays over White Sox in 5
Cubs over Phils in 6
Angels over Rays in 7
Cubs over Angels in 5
Let's finish the preview and see what the Cubs pitching can do against the Dodgers bats.
Dodgers Offense vs. Cubs Pitching and Defense
Dodgers Hitting: .264/.333/.399 .732 OPS(11th in OPS), 126 SB's at a 75% success rate (3rd and 5th respectively)
Cubs Pitching: .242/.316/.395 .711 OPS, 3.87 ERA (1st in BA, 3rd in ERA, , 2nd in the rest,)
Dodgers Hitting vs. Right Handers: .260/.326/.390 .716 OPS
Dodgers Hitting vs. Leftt Handers: .275/.350/.419 .769 OPS
Cubs Pitching vs. Right Handers: .237/.302/.385 .687 OPS
Cubs Pitching vs. Left Handers: .249/.336/.409 .745 OPS
Dodgers are 53-57 when a right-handed pitchers starts the game, 31-21 when a left-handers starts.
Cubs Defense: .706 DER (1st in NL), .832 RZR (6th in the NL)