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Dempster Looks To Start Second Half On Good Note

The first game of the second half of the Cubs 2011 season didn't go exactly as planned. Matt Garza threw a great game, but the bullpen, specifically Carlos Marmol, coughed it up late and the Cubs found themselves 0-1 after the All Star break. Now Ryan Dempster will start for the team and try to even their record for the second half against the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Dempster, 6-6 with a 5.01 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, has been improving throughout the year. He's coming off of a start against Pittsburgh where he threw five solid innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and earning the win. In his last start against Florida, he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three. Hanley Ramirez was 2-for-3 against Dempster in that game with a home run.

Pitching for the Marlins will be Ricky Nolasco, 6-5 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Nolasco's last start was a complete game affair against Houston, in which he gave up just one run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out eight. In his last start against the Cubs, Nolasco threw six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks while striking out five.

The weather in Chicago is forecast to be partly cloudy and warm, with a game time temperature in the low 80's. First pitch is at 1:20 P.M., CDT, and the game will be televised on WGN and FS-F HD.