Series notes: Cubs vs. Dodgers

Series notes: Cubs vs. Dodgers
April 18, 2011, 6:59 pm
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Friday, April 22, 2011Posted: 10:00 a.m.
Cubs (9-9) vs. Dodgers (10-10)
Series schedule
Friday: 1:20 p.m. on WGN
Saturday: 12:05 p.m. on CSN
Sunday: 1:20 p.m. on CSN

Starting Pitchers
Friday: Casey Coleman (1-0, 4.22) vs. Chad Billingsley (1-1, 4.91)
Saturday: Ryan Dempster (1-2, 6.84) vs. Ted Lilly (1-2, 4.09)
Sunday: Carlos Zambrano (2-0, 4.21) vs. TBA

Previous games
The Cubs won two of three against the Padres this week, including a doubleheader split on Wednesday. They won the opener, 2-1, on Reed Johnsons walk-off homer in the 11th. They lost the nightcap, 5-4, despite another big game from Johnson (three hits, including an RBI double).

The Dodgers franchise may be in trouble, with MLB recently taking control of the day-to-day operations of the team. But on the field, they took three of four from Atlanta this week, including a walk-off win on Wednesday, when Matt Kemps two-run homer in the 12th sent the Dodgers faithful home happy.
Head-to-head
This is the Cubs first meeting with the Dodgers this season. Last year, the Cubs went 3-4 against the Dodgers, including a 2-1 record at Wrigley Field.

Whos hot?
Kosuke Fukudome has a six-game hitting streak, during which he is 9-for-21 all singles. Darwin Barney went 2-for-5 with an RBI single in Game 2 on Wednesday and now has multi-hit efforts in six of his last 10 games. For Los Angeles, Andre Ethier is riding a 17-game hitting streak to raise his average to .385, while Casey Blake has five hits in the last two games.

StorylinesMarlon Byrd, who is 2-for-24 over his last six games, is expected to return to the lineup Friday night. Chicago, as a team, scored just seven runs in the three-game series with San Diego. Nevertheless, the Cubs entered Thursday with a .277 team average - the second-highest mark in the majors. Still, the Cubs rank just 14th in the majors in runs scored.
Sound off
Given the inconsistencies out of the Cubs' offense this season, how confident are you in the team's offense?