Ryan Dempster (0-0, 1.50) gets the start after throwing a gem in his first start of the year, striking out nine Braves and walking one in six innings of work.
Unfortunately, as we’ve already seen one too many times this year, Dempster was denied the win when the bullpen suffered a collapse.
This will be the third time in the last six years the Cubs have faced the Brewers in the home opener, with Milwaukee holding a 2-0 advantage.
In 2008, you might remember, Kosuke Fukudome introduced himself to the Wrigley faithful with a game-tying three-run long ball in the 9th inning against then-Brewers closer Eric Gagne.
Kerry Wood then gave up a run in the 10th to quiet the crowd and lose the game.
At least the Cubs have tightened up their bullpen since then…Oh, wait.
Let’s hope the Wrigley Field renovations are looking sharper than the relief effort so far.
Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs
Monday, April 12: Dempster, Ryan (0-0, 1.50) vs. Davis, Doug (0-0, 9.00)
Wednesday, April 14: Wells, Randy (1-0, 0.00) vs. Bush, Dave (0-0, 4.76)
Thursday, April 15: Zambrano, Carlos (1-1, 11.88) vs. Gallardo, Yovani (0-2, 6.75)
On the mound: The Cubs have the right guy going in the home opener. Dempster is 11-3 with a 2.69 ERA against the Brewers in his career, easily his best mark against any opponent with more than five starts.
Randy Wells should have the upper hand Wednesday, as Dave Bush holds a 2-8 record against the Cubs.
Carlos Zambrano and Yovani Gallardo promises to be a pitcher’s duel on Thursday. Big Z followed up a forgetful opening day with a seven inning, nine strikeout effort against the Reds over the weekend. That’s more like it.
At the plate: It would foolish to single out one Cubs hitter after a collectively woeful display at Atlanta and Cincinnati.
Through six games, the Cubs are the owners an NL-worst .197 batting average. Now it’s only six games, but a veteran-laden team like the Cubs shouldn’t be sniffing the bottom of the barrel.
Tyler Colvin likely won’t start today against lefty Doug Davis, but I would like to see the young man get two starts on Wednesday and Thursday. Throw him in the mix and see what the kid can do.
Series prediction: Cubs, 2-1
The Cubs' offense comes to life early in Game 1 and Game 2, and the North Siders take the first two without much of a fight from the Brewers. On Thursday, Zambrano is somewhere between his first two starts of the year, and the bullpen coughs up another late lead.
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