As the mercury begins to rise in advance of Wednesday afternoon's tilt against the Phillies, the Cubs are hoping that Ryan Dempster can stand the heat and lead the team to a series victory over Philadelphia. The Cubs notched a surprising win in game one of the series behind Rodrigo Lopez, but faltered in game two against Cliff Lee despite holding the lead for almost eight innings.
Dempster, 7-6 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, has been steadily lowering his ERA since his rocky start to the season. His last start, against Florida, was an eight inning gem in which he gave up no runs on just four hits and no walks, while striking out nine. In his career against the Phillies, Dempster is 5-4 with a 4.90 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Ryan Howard holds a career .333 average against Dempster, with two home runs.
Vance Worley, 5-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, will be starting for Philadelphia. Worley has been an invaluable stop-gap in the Phillies' rotation, helping to replace the injured Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton. In his most recent start, Worley got the win after pitching 5.1 innings of one run ball against the Mets. Worley has never pitched against the Cubs.
The weather in Chicago is expected to be sunny and extremely hot, with a game time temperature nearing 100 degrees. Fans are advised to take precautions during the game, and the team will be providing complimentary water at the entrances as well as cooling stations inside the ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 P.M., CDT, and the game will be televised on CSN.