Dempster to Start Cubs Home Opener @ Wrigley Field Today

Posted on 12 April 2010 by Lou

Ryan Dempster takes the hill for his 1st ever home opening start at Wrigley Field for the Cubs.  He will square off against Doug Davis of the Milwaukee Brewers.  Dempster took a tough no decision on Wednesday against the Braves in Atlanta, tossing 6 innings of 1-run ball.  He gave up just 3 total hits and 2 walks, while striking out 9 against an explosive Braves lineup that erupted for 8 runs against Carlos Zambrano in the 1st 2 innings of the season opener just 2 days earlier.  Although the Cubs led 2-1 into the 8th inning, John Grabow served up Chipper Jones’ 2-run home run to give the Braves the win.  But Dempster has put that behind him — “I’m excited.  Any game at Wrigley Field is a lot of fun.  The first home opener will be special for me.  I’m excited and ready to go and just treat it like any other start… They [the Brewers] have a good team.  They always have a good team.  I’ve faced them so many times.  They know what I throw, they know what I hit.  It’s just a matter of going out there and executing pitches.”

Let’s hope that Dempster is on his A game.  The Cubs offense has been just downright brutal through the 1st week of the season.  After scoring 5 runs in the season opening loss to the Braves, the Cubs have combined for just 13 total runs in the next 5 games – that’s less than 3 runs per game.  That is unacceptable from the highest team salary in the National League and it better turn around soon before Manager Lou Pinella lets loose.

One positive – the Cubs have played well at Wrigley Field under Pinella and home field advantage goes a long way in a tough, gritty National League Central Division where every game counts.  The Cubs were 12 games over .500 at Wrigley Field in 2009 and they have won 145 games over the last 3 seasons at the Friendly Confines under Pinella – good for a .599 winning percentage.  Let’s hope that trend continues in 2010 for the Cubs – they’re going to need it…

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