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Chicago White Sox
@ Chicago Cubs

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009, 1:20 PM CDT
Wrigley Field

John Danks vs Ryan Dempster

Partly cloudy,rain. Game time temperature around 75.

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Chicago White Sox @ Chicago Cubs

06/17/09 1:20 PM CDT

Chicago White Sox Chicago Cubs
Scott Podsednik - LF Alfonso Soriano - LF
Alexei Ramirez - SS Ryan Theriot - SS
Jermaine Dye - RF Milton Bradley - RF
Paul Konerko - 1B Derrek Lee - 1B
A.J. Pierzynski - C Geovany Soto - C
Brian Anderson - CF Reed Johnson - CF
Chris Getz - 2B Mike Fontenot - 3B
Gordon Beckham - 3B Aaron Miles - 2B
John Danks - P Ryan Dempster - P

Quick Dempster Report:

One of my very first BUOs was on Dempster, so check that out. At the time, I'd gone through Kalk's database far less, so let me correct a fairly useful rundown a bit:

  • His fastball is probably just shy of average. The movement is meh and the velocity is average.
  • I neglected to mention his change splitter, which is definitely above average to go along with the above average slider.
  • As a result, he actually K's lefties more than righties, as he's got three pitches and two good strikeout pitches. But he's also prone to walks, as he'd rather give up the free pass than put his fastball in a compromising position.
  • So he's got fairly neutral splits outside of the walk issues. Eyeballing his fangraphs, I'd say he's probably a 4.00-4.25 true talent FIP. Taking pitches and getting into what's been a bad Cubs bullpen thus far is going to be key without Thome.
  • For both Dempster and the bullpen, the fulcrum is the base on balls. Dempster has been very good this past year and a half because the walk issues that haunted him his whole career are finally under control. On the other hand, the Cubs bullpen has done everything right...except walk by far the most per nine in the major leagues. Stuff isn't the problem here. If the Sox are not going to be a savvy opponent, they'll have their asses handed to them.
  • Then again, this lineup is almost totally devoid of lefty pop. Why would Dempster skirt the strikezone against Pods and Getz? And it's not like AJ is going to get all 22 walks in one game.
  • Thome's absence is obviously going to be a significant blow for every game played in an NL park, but take some comfort that he often struggles against good breaking balls. I suggest that you mentally write in an 0-4 with 3 K's and pretend he's batting ninth.
  • Dempster versus RHB in '08: .213/.293/.304