The Chicago Cubs close their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. Ryan Dempster will make his fifth start, and can only hope for the same performance as his last three outings. The right-hander has pitched six innings in each of his last three starts and given up four earned runs total. That should be good enough to win ballgames.
The two teams have split the first two games of this series.
Cubs manager Dusty Baker had to use all but LaTroy Hawkins in Tuesday's 11-9 loss to the Reds. It was a tough day for the bullpen, which gave up five runs.
"Almost everybody I brought in was to get somebody else out of trouble," Baker said. "Again, they got the all-important two-out RBI hit, which is eluding us. We get a hit and that game is tied. Our guys are playing, they're playing hard. We just have to keep playing hard and we'll win a lot of games."
Wednesday will be a busy day for Nomar Garciaparra, who will have minor surgery in Philadelphia. There is no timetable for his return, although Garciaparra predicted he'll be back this season. The doctor performing the operation, Dr. William Meyers, was a Boston Red Sox team physician and has worked with members of the U.S. soccer team.
Also on Wednesday, Joe Borowski is scheduled to throw a simulated game. It's quite an accomplishment for the pitcher, injured March 21. He suffered a non-displaced fracture in his right wrist and wasn't expected to pick up a ball until May 1.Pitching matchup
CIN: RHP Aaron Harang
1-1, 3.70 ERA in 2005
1-0, 4.50 ERA in 2004 vs. CHC CHC: RHP Ryan Dempster
1-3, 4.57 ERA in 2005
0-0, 0.00 ERA in 2004 vs. CIN Player to watch
First baseman Derrek Lee has a nine-game hitting streak, and is 17-for-35 in that stretch. Lee also has 21 RBIs in the month, and is tied for second with Sammy Sosa (21 RBIs in 2000 and 2001) on the team's all-time list. Billy Williams is the team leader, driving in 25 runs in April 1970. Quotable
"We're going to win and it'll be in various ways that haven't been done before. Here, we just want to win ballgames. It's not about getting the credit. It could be any one of us." -- Cubs pitcher Mike Remlinger, on who will be the closer now that Chad Fox is out, possibly for the rest of the season On the Internet
Official game notes On television
CHC: WGN TV
CIN: WLW 700 AM
CHC: WGN 720 AM
Lee is 3-for-8 against Harang, while Corey Patterson is 1-for-10 with a double, Neifi Perez is 2-for-5 and Aramis Ramirez 2-for-7. ... Dempster has to watch out for Rich Aurilia, who is 6-for-15 against him, and Sean Casey, who is 6-for-14. Jason LaRue is 3-for-6, Adam Dunn 1-for-1, and Ken Griffey Jr. 3-for-10. ... Left-hander Will Ohman was called up Tuesday to take Fox's place on the roster. He made his debut in the eighth and struck out Ken Griffey Jr. ... Fox underwent an MRI on his right elbow on Tuesday and the team had yet to reveal the exact injury. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list. ... The Cubs now have four left-handers in the pen. They also had four lefties last year with Glendon Rusch, Remlinger, Jimmy Anderson and Kent Mercker. ... Ronny Cedeno picked up his first Major League hit and RBI with a run-scoring single in the ninth.
Friday: at Astros, 7:05 p.m. CT
Saturday: at Astros, 6:05 p.m. CT
Sunday: at Astros, 1:05 p.m. CT
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.