After being swept by one of the worst teams in the Central Division, the Chicago Cubs will leave Wrigley Field to take on the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. The Cubs enter the series having lost several pieces of their lineup in the last few days, including Alfonso Soriano. Now, after losing six of their last eight, the Cubs hope Ryan Dempster can get them back on track with a win on Friday.
Dempster, who had a rough beginning to the 2011 season, has been steadily improving. He's currently 4-4 with a 6.00 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. He's coming off of a start against Pittsburgh where he pitched six innings and gave up only two runs on four hits, while striking out five. In his career against St. Louis, Dempster is 7-7 with a 4.43 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. Albert Pujols holds a .319 average against Dempster with six home runs and two doubles.
Pitching for the Cardinals will be Jaime Garcia. Garcia has generally been solid on the year, at 5-1 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, however, he is coming off of a terrible start at Colorado. In that start he pitched just 3.1 innings while giving up 12 runs (11 earned). In his first start against the Cubs this season, he threw 7.0 innings, giving up just one run on nine hits. In that game, Jeff Baker was 3-for-3 against Garcia.
The weather in St. Louis is forecast to be sunny and hot, with a game time temperature in the low-90s. First pitch is at 7:15 P.M., CDT, and the game will be televised on WGN, MLBN, and FS-M.