After getting shut down by a winless pitcher, the New York Yankees will try to regroup against one they haven’t seen in nearly 10 years.
New York (39-29) came to Chicago after a week in which it had baseball’s most prolific offense. The Yankees scored 51 runs while batting .336 with 13 HRs and a .570 slugging percentage in a 6-1 stretch at home.
The opener of this series told a different story, as New York managed four singles and a double Friday in a 3-1 loss. Doug Davis(notes) won for the first time in seven starts for the Cubs by allowing one run in 7 1-3 innings.
“It was pretty amazing,” Rodriguez said. “It’s definitely a great stadium, great atmosphere, great crowd and it was a perfect day, for the Cubs.”
Dempster (5-5, 5.48 ERA) is next in line for Chicago (29-40), and he’s 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA in his last four home starts. He won the first three before not getting a decision despite seven scoreless innings Monday in a 1-0 win over Milwaukee.
The Yankees haven’t faced Dempster since July 14, 2001, when he pitched for Florida. The right-hander went 0-2 with a 6.88 ERA in three starts against them from 1998-2001.
The New York hitter with the most experience against Dempster is part-time outfielder Andruw Jones(notes), who is 13 for 40 (.325). Catcher Russell Martin(notes), who has started the last two games, is 4 for 15 in their matchups.
This will be the first time Dempster has started opposite A.J. Burnett(notes) (6-5, 4.09), his teammate with the Marlins from 1999-2002. Burnett is 3-0 with a 4.21 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.
Burnett went 0-2 with a 16.71 ERA in two interleague road starts last season. He’s also lost his last two outings overall but was effective Monday, yielding one run over 7 2-3 innings of a 1-0 loss to Cleveland.
The Yankees hope to provide Burnett with more support than what they gave Freddy Garcia(notes) on Friday. Curtis Granderson(notes) went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts after going 13 for 29 with three homers, nine RBIs and 11 runs over his previous seven games.
“Didn’t really get too many balls hit hard,” Granderson said.
Starlin Castro(notes) doubled twice and scored two runs while Aramis Ramirez(notes) had two RBI singles for the Cubs, who won for the fourth time in five games in front of a season-high 42,219 for the Bronx Bombers’ first trip to Wrigley in eight years.
“The biggest crowd of the year, but the best crowd,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “These two cities are so well represented. It was better than the Boston series for me. I know I’m home and all the rest of it, but the electricity was something special.”
A win Saturday would give the Cubs three straight victories for the first time all season.