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News » Cubs-Brewers Preview 2009-05-09


Cubs-Brewers Preview 2009-05-09


Cubs-Brewers Preview 2009-05-09
The Chicago Cubs managed to stay relatively healthy last season en route to winning their second straight NL Central title. They're already having to deal with a slew of injuries in 2009.

The Cubs expect to get Derrek Lee back in their lineup Saturday when they continue their three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, but could be without All-Star third baseman Aramis Ramirez for an extended period after he dislocated his left shoulder in the series opener.

Ramirez hurt himself while diving for a grounder off the bat of Ryan Braun in the third inning of Friday's 3-2 loss to the Brewers (17-13). After fielding the ball, Ramirez immediately clutched his left arm and stayed down for several minutes before leaving.

Ramirez, who came in hitting .369 with four homers and 16 RBIs, said he'll return to Chicago for tests on Saturday and will likely be headed to the disabled list.

"I felt a pop. I've done it before," said Ramirez, who hurt the same shoulder in 2000 in Pittsburgh and missed six weeks. "It's been nine years since I've been playing, it's just one of those things."

The Cubs (16-13), who lost Friday for just the second time in eight games, could fill out an All-Star roster with players who've been out so far this year. Lee (neck spasms), Milton Bradley (groin), Geovany Soto (shoulder) and Carlos Zambrano (hamstring) have all missed time with nagging injuries.

"I've never seen anything quite like this. Every day it seems to be something different," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "It just gets frustrating every time you start putting something together, something different happens."

While the Cubs are trying to overcome their latest setback, the Brewers are quickly putting a disappointing 4-9 start behind them.

Braun hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning Friday to lead Milwaukee to its 13th victory in 17 games.

"That's why you work hard all year is to have an opportunity to be in a situation like that," Braun said. "That's what makes this game fun."

Braun is hitting .424 (25 for 59) with six home runs and 21 RBIs in his last 16 games, but is 2 for 15 with a double and three strikeouts against Saturday's scheduled starter Ryan Dempster (2-1, 4.86 ERA) since the start of last season.

Dempster allowed two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 4-2 win over San Francisco on Monday after giving up 12 runs over 18 innings over his previous three outings.

"I have been a little inconsistent at times," the right-hander said. "It was good to be a little bit more consistent and throw the ball where I wanted to on a regular basis."

Dempster earned his first victory of the season April 12 at Milwaukee, allowing four runs and six hits in six innings of an 8-5 win. Since the start of last season, he is 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts against the Brewers.

Milwaukee counters with Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 3.02), who is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last four starts.

The right-hander allowed three runs and a season-high seven hits in seven innings of a 7-4 win over Pittsburgh on Monday, but did not factor in the decision.

In his last start against the Cubs on May 1, 2008, Gallardo gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings of a 4-3 victory, but did not receive a decision. He injured his right leg in the fifth inning of that game when he landed awkwardly to avoid a collision at first base, but stayed in the game. Two weeks later he had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee and didn't pitch again until Sept. 25.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 9, 2009

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