Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. A’s – 03/17/11

Spring Training Game Twenty-Two: Cubs (9-12) vs. A’s (7-12-2)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Webcast
Location – Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix

Ryan Dempster (1-0, 1.50/0.75) vs. Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.96/0.75)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of the Irishmen at the CCO

After a much-needed day off, Q’s crew gets back to work this afternoon. The Cubs full squad makes the short drive to Phoenix to face the A’s for the second time this week … a split squad of the Cubs roster pounded an A’s split squad Tuesday 8-1.

Ryan Dempster will make his fourth start this afternoon. Dempster has thrown the ball extremely well in Arizona. Ryan Dempster and company open two weeks from tomorrow at Wrigley Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

John Grabow is expected to make an appearance this afternoon. Grabow has not thrown in a game since the Cactus League opener back on February 27. Grabow has been dealing with a sore left shoulder and the Cubs have been cautious with him. Grabow needs a good outing, if he makes it into the game. The A’s torched Grabow in the opener … two runs on three hits in an inning of work.

Ryan Dempster came into camp prepared and he’s proved as much with his performance on the field. Dempster’s command has been very good, plus he’s thrown strikes and stayed ahead of a majority of the hitters he faced.

Dempster has walked only two batters in 12 innings (three starts) while striking out 12. Dempster must maintain a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio in order to be successful during the season. Today will be Dempster’s fourth start of the spring, his spring line: two runs on seven hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.

The A’s extremely talented southpaw has been very good so far this spring. Gio Gonzalez has allowed one run (a solo homer) in 9 1/3 spring innings. Gonzalez has surrendered only four hits in three starts while striking out 13 and issuing just three free passes.

The Cubs spring offense has been inconsistent at best … and they figure to have more fun this afternoon against Gio Gonzalez and the A’s staff.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Baker – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Byrd – CF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Soto – C
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Fukudome – RF
    Dempster – P

    • Neil

      A preview of the Opening Day lineup?

      • John_CC

        Do you think so Neil, or are you just asking? I certainly hope not. I haven’t been paying as much attention this spring simply because this team is so uninspiring. But do you really think they will bat the 10M$ lefty power threat Pena in the 6 hole? Ugh.

        • Neil

          John, if the lefty Paul Maholm is on the mound Opening Day, I would not be surprised if this is the lineup.

      • GaryLeeT

        Let’s hope it’s not a preview of opening day results.

    • cubtex

      I really hope something is done with this lineup before the season starts. I am not a fan of Baker or Fukodome hitting leadoff! If the roster is set…I would prefer to bat Byrd leadoff and move ARAM to the 3 spot.

  • Neil

    Kerry Wood, Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall are also on today’s pitching schedule

    • paulcatanese

      So what Dempster,Wood and Marshall do not give up to the A’s,Grabow and the Shark will.

  • paulcatanese

    So the Cubs have been cautious with Grabow. That will develop into a long term deal. As long as Grabow is determined to pitch with a brace it will affect his motion and he will continously have shoulder problems,a no win situaton.

  • ripken boy

    Lets hope Barney gets a shot as the everyday 2nd baseman.

  • Neil

    Suzuki just hit 2-run homer off Dempster … 2-0 Oakland in 2nd. First homer allowed by Dempster this spring

  • Ripsnorter1

    We need to see a deal for Silva and Samardzija very soon. Grabow will be DL’d right out of ST. Boy, has his contract been a real bargain. $7.5 million for two years on the DL, and when he wasn’t on the DL, you wished he was.

    Samardzija: he’ll get lit up today, to further prove he ought to be a starter in the Cubs’ rotation. LOL

    • cubs1967

      if Grabow was a horse; he’ be shot.
      if Shark was a horse, he’d be put out for steed.
      if Silva was a horse; he’d be on my grill tonite.

      • Ripsnorter1


        Silva, a hog, but not really a horse in my mind . . . .

  • Neil

    Cubs have one hit after 3 1/2 innings

  • GaryLeeT

    I would have been a lot more excited about the Cubs’ starting staff, if Hendry could have landed someone with the potential of a Gio Gonzalez, over a Matt Garza. Although, maybe I shouldn’t judge Gonzalez by his performance against the Cubs.

    • cubtex

      Gary, Think of all those pitchers that Kenny Williams traded away and what he got in return! So many on here bash Hendry but somehow Kenny Williams gets a free pass for everything he does.

      Gio Gonzales- Former Sox 1st round pick traded.

      Daniel Hudson- Traded to Ariz and only went 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA

      Clayton Richard- Traded to SD where he went 14-9 with a 3.75 ERA

      Those are 3 good arms who I am sure the White Sox would still like to have!

      • Ripsnorter1

        I agree, Tex, except to remind you that this is the Chicago Cubs Online forum. Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeennny is still a better GM than Jim Clueless. The proof lies in the fact that the White Sox went and won a World Series, and this year have the potential to go yet again. And he did it on a smaller payroll.

        Having said that, I’ll say it to his face: Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeenny does not do well judging pitching talent. He has a good eye for offensive players, but there is a lack in his eye for pitching talent. And don’t forget to mention that Keeeeeeeeeeeeenny traded Richard to SD for Jake Peavy, widely considered a great pitcher. In a similar trade, the Cubs dealt Dontrelle Willis to the FL Marlins for Matt Clement, and Dontrell won more games his first year than Clement.

      • Aaron

        hmmmmmmmmmmm….let’s check your logic here

        1) Gio Gonzalez was traded in 2005 along with Aaron Rowand and Daniel Haigwood for Jim Thome.
        *Verdict=WIN for White Sox. Thome was tremendous for them, averaging 34+hr, 90+RBI

        2006-Gonzalez was traded BACK to the White Sox, along with Gavin Floyd (turned out to be a pretty good pitcher, didn’t he?) for Freddy Garcia
        *Verdict=WIN for White Sox. Garcia pitched in 14 games the next 2 years after the trade, then the White Sox got him back for nothing in 2009 as he signed as a FA after being released by the Mets earlier that season

        2008-Gonzalez was traded along with Ryan Sweeney and Fautino de los Santos to the A’s for Nick Swisher. Swisher hit poorly with the White Sox, but still amassed 24 hr, 69 RBI before he was traded to the Yankees for Marquez, Nunez, and Betemit
        *Verdict=It looks like the White Sox will lose this one, as Betemit, Marquez, and Nunez haven’t produced since. However, it’s NOT like the A’s have run away with this trade, as Gonzalez produced ERA’s of: 7.68, 5.75, and 3.23. If he produces another 2010 season, then you can say the A’s ran away with this.

        Overall, in the 3 trades Gonzalez was a part of with the White Sox, they won 2 out of 3. I’d say that’s pretty good, wouldn’t you?

        2) Hudson was traded during the 2010 season, along with David Holmberg to the D’Backs for Edwin Jackson.
        Daniel Hudson=8-2 overall, 2.45 ERA, 14 starts, 95 IP
        *7-1, 1.69 ERA, 11 starts with D’Backs

        Edwin Jackson=10-12, 4.47 ERA, 32 starts, 209 IP
        *4-2, 3.24 ERA, 11 starts with White Sox

        Yes, Hudson outperformed Jackson after the trade, but 209 IP vs 95 IP is hardly a slam dunk case for the future. Let’s see what happens this year

        3) Clayton Richard, Dexter Carter, Adam Russell, and Aaron Poreda were traded in July 2009 for Jake Peavy. Carter had a 5.45 ERA in A-ball last year. Russell had a 4.02 ERA in MLB last year and 4.88 ERA in AAA last year. Poreda had a 4.97 ERA in AAA last year. Richard was 14-9, 3.75 ERA (the year of the trade, he was 5-2, 4.08 ERA)…meanwhile, Peavy got injured, pitched in 17 games, and was 7-6, 4.63 ERA (the year of the trade, he was 3-0, 1.35 ERA)
        *If Peavy is injured again this year, you could say the Padres ran away with this deal, but it sure looks like a wash to me.

        I’m pretty sure the White Sox are pretty damn satisfied with Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, Jackson, and Peavy

        • cubtex

          Aaron! I always knew u were a White Sox fan!

        • cc002600

          Richard for Peavy is a “wash” ? What planet are you on ? Peavy has been getting paid $15M / Yr for the last 2 years to be on the DL and Richard won 14 games lat year for the league minimum. huh ? I was so happy 2 years when the cubs resisted getting Peavy.

          I knew that would have been big mistake. Look at at his last 5 years and you will see 4 of those 5, he has either been hurt or BAD. And if you’re dumb enough to think he’s going to come back this year and win 15 games, please call me because I have a bridge I would like to sell you. I don’t care what’s going in ST right now, means nothing.The guy is an overrated pitcher.

          You honestly believe that Kenny Genuis wouldn’t want that one back ?? Please. you must be smoking something.

          And oh, Edwin Jackson, yea, nice pitcher. Too bad he willl be pitching somewhere else next year as they let him walk as FA. Then how will that great trade look to you ? hmmmm.

          And I can’t wait to see Donkey Dunn strikeout 200 times and bat .230 for 15M per over the next 4 years. YUCK !!!!!!!!!!!

          Your hatred for Hendry clouds your judgement for everyone else. Kenny ain’t that good, pal.

          • cubtex

            Well said! Aaron is so negative on anything Cubs that he tries to justify trades made by other GM’s as being good deals!!! His lack of knowledge is really glaring by those comments! Ha.. As I said…he must be a Sox fan!

        • cubtex

          HMMMMMM. Let’s see your logic…Peavy(big ?????) Gavin Floyd(Mr. Inconsistent) and Edwin Jackson(4.47 ERA) vs Gio Gonzalez(youth), Daniel Hudson(youth) and Clayton Richard(youth) 3 potential top of the rotation starters for the next 7 to 10 years and you would want that top group???????/ Ha ha ha ha!!

          • cc002600

            could not agree more, cubtex.
            He says Floyd is really good. Huh ?

            The guy is 46-42 in his career with 4.53 ERA !!! Whoopdeedoo !!
            If he was on cubs, acquired by Hendry, he would be the worst pitcher in either league, guaranteed.

  • cubtex

    This lineup is so weak! Baker in the leadoff spot is ridiculous!!! That is the reason that I was mentioning Bonifacio yesterday in my post. With ZERO team speed except Perez(if he makes the team) this team will struggle to score runs! Assuming nothing is done with this roster…here is what I would like to see!

    1. Byrd
    2. Castro
    3. ARAM
    4. Pena
    5. Soriano
    6. Colvin
    7. Soto
    8. DeWitt/Baker

    Not great but that it is what you have to work with!

  • Neil

    Soto just homered to right center

  • Neil

    Dempster was very good today .. one bad pitch

  • Neil

    Soriano with a 2-run shot to center. First pitch from Brad Zeigler.

  • cubs1967

    and that would be a typical Quade mistake……..

    where is Colvin……….have we not moved passed Fukunuts should never bat against LHP.???????
    second, why would Fonzie bat behind Pena against LHP???????


    • Richard Hood

      Why should Colvin? He can not hit LH either. That is the problem with having a “platoon” of 2 left handed players.

      • Tony

        Richard – Not sure what stats you are looking at but Colvin is pretty even vwith the lefty/right thing.
        250 – 302 – 519 – 820
        256 – 321 – 492 – 813

        The 820 OPS is against lefties!!!

        Of course, last year, Fukudome had a higher OPS against lefties as well, in only 42 AB’s, as anyone that has watched Fukudome, knows that he can have some awful looking AB’s against lefties.

        • cubs1967

          thanks…………….for proving my point.

          colvin can hit lefties; he took cliff lee deep last year; just needs more AB and at least he doesn’t twist himslef into knots like fuku.

  • Neil

    Here comes Grabow

  • Neil

    Grabow with a good inning …

    • paulcatanese

      Glad for Grabow

  • Neil

    Reed Johnson with a 2-run homer

  • Neil

    Cubs lose 6-5 to A’s on walk-off single in bottom of 9th by Conor Jackson off Sean Marshall. Fernando Perez committed error to start 9th. A’s scored three runs in 9th. Ryan Dempster’s line: 6 IP, 2 R, 4 H (HR), 0 BB, 3 Ks.

    Geovany Soto, Alfonso Soriano & Reed Johnson with HRs

    • RyanC

      Reed’s 2 run homer and Perez’s crucial error might give Reed the roster advantage as of today.

      • paulcatanese

        Both should take a hike.

    • paul catanese

      Neil that was another good outing by Dempster, looks like he is locked in. Thats the plus. Again the offense needs to step up,but 5 runs should have been enough 3 homer game,thats a start.

  • cubs1967

    newsflash to PK Ricketts and family:

    Your fan base is making a STATEMENT!!!

    first, the convention did not sell out; 1st time EVER.
    second, cubs attendance in mesa is down 30%.
    third, i’m guessing tix went on sale in feb at an all-time low as it’s not been disclosed SO sox will outdraw cubs this year and make up the 700K spread by gaining 351K and cubs losing 350K.

    a perfect reverse triple play for the clueless Ricketts.


    highest tix price in baseball; by FAR the worst owners in chicago.(and that is saying alot w/ the wirtz and mcmcaskey family in this town!!

    103 yrs and counting, no championships, no clue for owners or management, soon NO fans at wrigley????

    • paulcatanese

      The owner has diversified interests and the family has put some of their money into theater or rather movie production(The Conspiritors) a Robert Redford movie. Not too much of a surprise as Redford was offered a scolorship for baseball to Colorado in his youth and did prove he was a good athlete in The Natural. ie AARP magazine. Maybe that should be full time for them?