NLDS Game 1 Matchup

After what seems like an eternity since the Cubs clinched the division, Game One of NLDS is finally here. The Cubs will host games 1, 2 and 5 (if necessary) at Wrigley Field, while the series moves West to Chavez Ravine in LA for games 3 & 4.

Game 1 pitchers will be Ryan Dempster (17-6, 2.96) for the Cubs and Derek Lowe (14-11, 3.24) for the Dodgers. Lowe has always pitched well against the Cubs, particularly at Wrigley Field. In combing through the numbers, here are some of the nuggets I found:

Ryan Dempster
-> Has been dominant at Wrigley, going 14-3, 2.86 ERA
-> He is 1-0 in 2 starts, 12.1 innings, 2.92 ERA vs Dodgers in 2008
-> His only post-season appearance 1.0 IP vs Arizona in ’07 NLDS
-> Career 4-3, 3.01 ERA in 9 starts vs Dodgers
-> Jeff Kent is 3 for 6 including a HR vs Dempster in 2008
-> Kent is hitting .289 career vs Cubs with 25 HRs 104 RBI
-> Dodgers are batting .223 as a team in 3 games at Wrigley this year
-> Manny Ramirez has a career .282 average in 39 AB vs Cubs

Derek Lowe
-> 5-6 record in 17 road starts with 4.42 ERA in 2008
-> 1-0 in 2 starts vs Cubs with 1.93 ERA this year
-> Has 18 career postseason starts with a 5-4 record, 3.34 ERA
-> Lifetime vs Cubs: 2-1 with 5 no decisions, 3.25 ERA
-> No Cub has more than 1 hit against Lowe in 2008
-> Cubs team hitting .238 in 7 games vs Dodgers in 2008

To be honest, my memory is the Cubs did better against the Dodgers this year. But the numbers are what they are – even with a few surprises.  I hadn’t realized the postseason experience difference between these two guys.  Guess I didn’t pay as much attention to the American League when Lowe was tearing it up with Boston.  Still, I don’t think of Lowe as a dominant force, but against the Cubs he had a 7-inning, 4-hit, 0-run outing in May this year, and a 1-hit shutout against them in 2005 (I was at that game – ug).

Game one could be a tough one…

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    September 30, 2008   Posted in: game day, observations, players, playoffs, stats

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