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Cubs-Mariners Preview

Jun 22, 2010 - 4:10 AM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

Chicago (31-38) at Seattle (28-41), 10:10 p.m. EDT

The Chicago Cubs engaged in a verbal battle with outfielder Milton Bradley after trading him this winter. Neither party has shown much fight this season, however.

The inconsistent Cubs travel to Seattle to open a three-game series against Bradley and the Mariners on Tuesday night as both sides try to get their seasons back on track.

Chicago was in first place in the NL Central in early August, but it stumbled down the stretch and missed the playoffs for the first time in three years.

Bradley faced a lot of criticism for his part in the Cubs' failure to get back to the postseason. He hit .257 and drove in 40 runs in 124 games before the club - frustrated by Bradley's critical comments to a suburban Chicago newspaper about the history of the organization - suspended him for the rest of the season in late September.

The feud didn't stop when the Cubs traded Bradley to the Mariners for Carlos Silva in December. Bradley said in an interview this spring that he never felt comfortable in Chicago, blaming the Cubs organization. Chicago general manager Jim Hendry responded by saying Bradley needed to stop pointing fingers.

Neither party has much to be happy about since Bradley's trade. The Cubs (31-38) have dropped 12 of 19 and are in third place in the division while Bradley, who left the Mariners (28-41) for two weeks to deal with personal and emotional issues, is hitting .215 after 49 games.

Although Bradley went 0 for 11 over the weekend, Seattle swept Cincinnati to push its winning streak to four games. The Mariners have allowed two runs over those four games and concluded their series against the Reds with a 1-0 win Sunday.

"I don't know If I've ever been a part of a pitching staff that pitched as well as they did in three games," manager Don Wakamatsu told the Mariners' official website.

The Cubs, meanwhile, avoided being swept by the Angels with a 12-1 win Sunday - their most lopsided victory this season. The win came after they lost 12-0 the day before.

In the last 19 games, Chicago has scored three or fewer runs 10 times. It will be trying Tuesday to win back-to-back games for only the second time since May 25.

"Everybody's trying," manager Lou Piniella told the Cubs' official website. "I've never complained about lack of effort, not one time in the four years I've been here. But to win, you've got to make plays, you've got to hit with men in scoring position. Those are the things you need to do, period."

The Cubs will face Jason Vargas (5-2 2.88 ERA), who continues to pitch well for the Mariners. He gave up one run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday.

Vargas has not allowed more than three earned runs in a game since April 9.

The left-hander is 1-0 with a 4.74 ERA in three starts against the Cubs, but hasn't faced them since 2007.

The Cubs will hand the ball to Ryan Dempster (5-5, 3.67), who gave up two runs and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-2 win over the Athletics on Wednesday. It was the fifth time in Dempster's 14 starts that the Cubs have recorded a win.

The right-hander has made two scoreless one-inning relief appearances against the Mariners.

The Cubs won two of three against the Mariners at home in 2007, but they haven't played in Seattle since 2002, Piniella's last season as the Mariners' manager.

  • Mariners 2, Cubs 0 - FINAL
    CHICAGO CUBS ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    M Byrd cf 4 0 2 0 0 1 1 .323
    J Baker 3b 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 .250
    va-C Tracy ph-3b 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .244
    D Lee 1b 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .230
    X Nady dh 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .262
    G Soto c 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 .268
    A Soriano

    Jun 23 12:24 AM
  • 18
    RUWTbot Added 13 roots

    Cubs 0, Mariners 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 22 11:13 PM

  • ML
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: M CARP (.154, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cubs 0, Mariners 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 22 10:35 PM
  • 5
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. MarinersJun 22 9:31 AM