MESA, Ariz.—Ryan Dempster was named the Chicago Cubs opening day starter for the second straight season, with Matt Garza scheduled to pitch the second game against the Washington Nationals.
“Both are throwing the ball really, really well,” manager Dale Sveum said. “I can’t say there’s one reason (for picking one over another). I think it was (being) the incumbent.
“Ryan Dempster had a little hiccup last year but it was basically the first four weeks of the season.”
It will be the fourth opening day start for Dempster, two of them with the Florida Marlins. Last season, Dempster lost to the Pirates in the first game and went on to record a 1-3 record in April with a 9.68 ERA.
Sveum said it’s important that the Cubs start fast.
“Opening day means a lot to everyone, but it does set a tone,” Sveum said. “I think it’s very important to come out and play a really sound game.”
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