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Diamondbacks-Cubs Preview

Oct 3, 2009 - 9:57 PM By MATT BECKER STATS Senior Writer

Arizona (69-91) at Chicago (82-77), 2:20 p.m. EDT

Before this season started, the Chicago Cubs felt like they had a good chance to end years of frustration and win an elusive World Series title.

Instead, this season's ending like the previous 100.

The Cubs wrap up one of their more disappointing seasons Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field.

While Chicago (83-77) has endured its share of discouraging seasons, 2009 will rank as one of the most demoralizing because of the lofty expectations.

After back-to-back NL Central titles, many believed this could be the year the Cubs would contend for the World Series. But injuries to sluggers Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano and underachieving play from free-agent signings Milton Bradley and Kevin Gregg has kept the club without a championship since 1908.

First baseman Derrek Lee has done his best to carry the team with a career-high 111 RBIs, but the rest of the lineup has been unable to keep pace. The offense was expected to be a strength, but it has plated 705 runs - 150 fewer than 2008, when it finished second in the majors.

The Cubs, who beat the Diamondbacks 5-0 on Saturday, have received solid pitching, ranking near the top of the majors with a 3.83 ERA, but veterans Ryan Dempster (11-8, 3.51 ERA) and Carlos Zambrano didn't measure up to their normal standards for much of the year.

Dempster, slated to take the ball in the finale, was 5-5 with a 4.09 ERA at the All-Star break, but he has managed to get on track over the last six weeks. He's 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA in his last eight starts and 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA over his last four.

The right-hander was at his best in Tuesday's 6-0 win over Pittsburgh, throwing a five-hitter for his first shutout since July 3, 2001, when he played for Florida.

"It's unfortunate the season is coming to an end because I feel stronger than I did earlier in the year," Dempster said.

One of Dempster's subpar starts earlier this season came at Arizona on April 29, when he allowed five runs and six hits in six innings to suffer a 10-0 loss.

While the Diamondbacks (69-92) didn't have the same postseason aspirations as the Cubs, they're also wrapping up a disappointing season. Arizona will finish last in the NL West with its most losses since a franchise-worst 111 in 2004.

The Diamondbacks' problems began on opening day, when 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb experienced shoulder pain that eventually shelved him for the rest of the season. Bob Melvin was fired as manager in early May and the team hasn't fared any better under A.J. Hinch.

In the season finale, Hinch gives the ball to Doug Davis (8-14, 4.19), who has allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts after yielding three runs or fewer in eight of his previous nine.

Davis gave up four runs and seven hits while walking five in four innings to lose 8-4 at San Francisco on Tuesday. He has issued a major league-high 101 walks on the year.

The left-hander opposed Dempster back in April and held the Cubs to two hits while striking out seven and walking three in seven innings to get the win. Davis is 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA in five career starts at Wrigley, but he hasn't pitched there since 2006, when he was with Milwaukee.








  • Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 5 - FINAL
    ARIZONA ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    S Drew ss 5 1 1 1 0 2 2 .261
    G Parra lf 4 0 2 1 1 1 0 .290
    J Upton rf 4 0 0 0 0 4 3 .300
    M Montero c 3 1 1 0 1 0 1 .294
    M Reynolds 3b 4 1 1 0 0 3 3 .260
    C Young cf 4 1 1 3 0 2 0 .212
    C Tra

    Oct 4 4:47 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY SAM FULD SCORED REED JOHNSON
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 5
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 BOTTOM,7TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: J BERG (-, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsOct 4 4:14 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SAM FULD (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF DOUG DAVIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 5, CHICAGO CUBS 1
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R DEMPSTER (.125, 0-FOR-0, SAC)

    Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 4 3:42 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 43 roots

    Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 4 3:37 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY CHRIS YOUNG (15) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF RYAN DEMPSTER SCORED MARK REYNOLDS AND
    MIGUEL MONTERO.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 5, CHICAGO CUBS 0
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C TRACY (.239, 1-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 0  Top 4, 0 OutsOct 4 3:13 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GERARDO PARRA SCORED STEPHEN DREW
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G PARRA ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 TOP,3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: J UPTON (.302, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 2, Cubs 0  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 4 2:55 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY STEPHEN DREW SCORED CHAD TRACY
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S DREW ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 TOP,3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: G PARRA (.288, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 1, Cubs 0  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 4 2:53 PM