Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Dodgers – 04/23/11

Game Twenty: Cubs (9-10) vs. Dodgers (11-10)
Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 175
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (1-2, 6.84/1.52) vs. Ted Lilly (1-2, 4.09/1.32)

Updated 9:12am CDTJeff Stevens Optioned to Triple-A Iowa – Justin Berg Recalled from Triple-A Iowa

How will Q’s squad respond to Friday’s loss to the Dodgers? The Cubs enter play this afternoon a game under .500 after dropping their last two games. The Cubs are one of two teams in the majors (New York Yankees) this season that has not won, or lost, more than two games in a row. In order to keep that streak intact, the Cubs will have to beat an old teammate, Ted Lilly.

The Bulldog‘ re-signed with the Dodgers in the off-season for three years and $33 million after being dealt to Los Angeles at the trade deadline. Lilly enjoyed his time with the Dodgers and wanted to remain with the team that originally drafted him. Lilly will make his first career start, and appearance, against the Cubs this afternoon.

With Lilly on the hill, look for Jeff Baker at first base and Starlin Castro back in the leadoff spot.

The Cubs could make a roster move before today’s game. With Jeff Stevens unavailable for the next two to three days and possibly another ‘Bullpen Day‘ on the horizon (the Cubs are still undecided on how they will handle Tuesday’s start), the Cubs could make a change in the pen according to a report from Bruce Levine.

Today it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off a horrible outing and he admitted as much after his five-inning performance at Coors Field. Dempster had a chance against a rookie, making his first appearance at the big league level, to send his team home with a successful road trip. To the Cubs credit they battled back and took the lead before Dempster gave it up again and departed after five more disappointing innings.

With all of the uncertainty in the rotation the Cubs need for Ryan Dempster to step up and pitch his team to a victory this afternoon.

Ryan Dempster has struggled at Wrigley since last August. He is 0-2 this season with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP after a questionable at best home record last season (5-7 in 16 starts with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP). The last time the Cubs’ Opening Day starter won a game in front of the home crowd was August 4, 2010 (15-3 over the Brewers). Dempster has managed only two wins at Wrigley since the break last year … with the Cubs being 3-7 in his last 10 starts at the Friendly Confines.

Today will be the 13th start of Dempster’s career against the Dodgers. Dempster is 7-3 in 22 games, 12 starts, with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. One of Dempster’s best starts a year ago came against the Dodgers … eight innings of shutout ball, just three hits allowed with a walk and seven strikeouts.

Dodgers Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Casey Blake – 1-for-6
  • Jamey Carroll – 0-for-3
  • Andre Ethier – 7-for-17 with 4 doubles and a home run
  • Tony Gwynn, Jr. – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Matt Kemp – 2-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • James Loney – 1-for-10
  • Aaron Miles – 2-for-12 with a walk
  • Marcus Thames – 0-for-1
  • Juan Uribe – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run

Ted Lilly is coming off his first win of the year, a seven-inning shutout performance against the Atlanta Braves. Lilly surrendered just four hits, walked a pair and struck out six … by far his best start of the season.

Prior to his last outing, Lilly had struggled and did not complete five innings in his first two starts of the year. Lilly has been very good since the trade last July that sent Lilly back to the team that selected him in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft.

The Cubs know how to beat Theodore, whether they can or not, that is the question.

Cubs Career Numbers against Ted Lilly

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-6 with 2 doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Marlon Byrd – 5-for-11 with a double
  • Blake DeWitt – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-10 with a double, a triple and 5 walks

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

Share on Fancred
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to Comcast SportsNet, Cubs leaning toward starting Russell on Tuesday against the Rockies

    • Aaron

      The Cubs under Quade are becoming the laughingstock of baseball as a whole.

      First, Quade says Russell or Samardzija will start depending on who gets in relief then whoever wasn’t in relief would start. Russell relieves, a few days later he starts.

      Secondly, Quade refers to Russell as basically a LOOGY after his second horrendous start.

      Lastly, he now is saying Russell will start a third time. Really?!? Who is running this show?

      It really is a joke, and I have been paying more attention to the minors and other teams. I don’t have the time to watch crappy baseball anymore.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jeff Stevens was sent down today, Justin Berg recalled

  • Niren23

    2 face value tickets for today. section 239 row 15
    http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/tix/2342003847.html

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    How can a major league team keep trotting out to the mound a left handed relief specialist to be your starting pitcher every 5 days.? What a joke.

    • BosephHeyden

      Yeah…it hasn’t worked twice, and yet they have Samardzija, who is actually designed to start, sitting on the bench being used in situations maybe Russel should be used in.

      There’s only so much more of this I’m willing to chalk up to this being Quade’s first go-around.

      Also fun: if the Cubs win today, they’ll have hit every conceivable .500 mark for the first twenty games (1-1, 2-2, 3-3, etc.). They’re the first team to actually do it for 18 games (all the way up to 9-9) since the 70’s, but if they can get this 10-10 record, this very well could be a major league first and would set the 2011 Cubs up as the historical gold standard for mediocrity.

      • paulcatanese

        I say it every day,it is Quade’s fault and I think he is over his head trying to manage a major league team. He certainly has no clue how to manage the pitching staff and has extented his belief in Dempster over and over again. When is he ever going to realize that Dempster,when he starts to go will go very quickly and cannot wait. I really don’t understand why he did not go to the bench when the Cubs had the bases loaded and two out,that was another stupid move on Quade. With the pitching its either his fault or the pitching coach’s fault,but since he’s the manager the buck stops with him. I am very happy they came back to win today, but no team can keep that up.

  • Last_ginger

    Should be 1-0 Cubs. Castro trying to do too much for this struggling Offense

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Barney and Ramirez … liked the fact Barney took what he was given.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano did not swing the bat throughout the entire at bat. Can’t remember that happening before.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And other free pass scores …

  • The Maven

    Submitted for your consideration:

    Could the Garza trade have affected the Cubs’ starter problems?

    Had the deal not been made, the Cubs would have opened spring training with six pitchers vying for three starting roles: Cashner, Wells, Silva, Coleman, Russell, and Archer. After Silva’s meltdown, this would have been reduced to five.

    Because it would have been a more wide open affair, someone like Russell would have been stretched out more in camp. As camp wound down, the rotation would have looked like: Dempster, Zambrano, Cashner, Wells, and Russell – with Coleman and Archer starting at AAA.

    When Casher and Wells go down, the Cubs would have had two starters ready in AAA, instead on maybe relying on a 38 year old who hadn’t pitched all spring.

    Sorry, this was supposed to be posted before the game, but I’ve been having connection trouble.

    • Dorasaga

      I doubt. The Cub Think would want a veteran like Wellemeyer to get back to feet, and once again, GM Hendry proved his genius by finding a gem out of old players close to retirement.

      Archer, with his inability to find control throughout his career, is not ready anyway (the Rays are trying, but a 2.132 WHIP at triple-A is showing otherwise). There wouldn’t be Cashner, Wells, and Russell “stretching out.”

      I’m pointing to the obvious reality. The Cubs cannot think like Maven. They wanted a veteran presence, and if wasn’t Garza, somebody else would fill in. Take you pick.

      • The Maven

        LOL :-)

        • Dorasaga

          And I mistyped. Archer is still in double-A. I’m starting to wonder… even if the Cubs got this right as you suggested, Cashner might not be the answer. For the pitching staff, the Cubs need two to three more moves. McNutt is more interesting, if we compare these prospects’ stats. Just a thought.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Castro not standing and watching … and Barney continues to impress. Nice piece of hitting.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs with a double steal?

    • Serothis

      yes…reports are in! it is in fact snowing in hell. :D

    • paulcatanese

      Neil, that was amazing,cant remember the last time I saw that with the Cubs. And Barney,it wasnt even close. Those two do not take anything for granted they run like a major leaguer should.

  • Baron_S

    A-Ram blown over by an 88mph fastball… sheesh!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Let Lilly off the hook, that is twice in three innings

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reed with a RBI double … and Castro delivers with 2 outs

    • paulcatanese

      I can’t deny it Neil,after bashing Johnson he makes me look like an idiot. He is definately having his moment in the sun,good for him. Castro? what can anyone say,just better and better.

  • Baron_S

    Castro is a beast!! what a pure hitter!

  • Serothis

    wow. castro is just unstoppable right now.

  • EqDoc

    Castro is so much fun to watch right now. He just looks like he loves to play the game.

  • Serothis

    as good as castro is. we jackson does come up i hope he hits 3rd because the pair of castro and barney at the top of our line up just seems unstoppable.

  • Cheryl

    Get Jackson up here!

  • EqDoc

    … and Dempster’s usual late inning meltdown begins…

  • Nathan

    never thought id say this but i think its time dempster gets put on the trade block. great club house guy and everything but i dont think we are gonna win a championship with him on the mound. we could prolly get some good young talent for him as well. solid number 3 pitcher but we need to contend and rebuild at the same time

    • paulcatanese

      Maybe back to the bullpen?

  • Baron_S

    thats 7HR given up by Dempster in 30 IP

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dempster serves up 2 homers and three runs in the fifth.

  • Cheryl

    The relief pitchers will be barely able to lift their arms come July if this continues. Dempster has slipped but is still a good pitcher. The Cubs could get some good young pitching tallent for him.

    • paulcatanese

      Cheryl,if they could get some new talent for him,they better do it quick. I keep waiting for the guy to come around,its just not happening.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Ryan Dempster is Canadian for wetting the bed.

  • Baron_S

    F#$# Get this guy outta there — 8th HR on the season..

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Last three hits off Dempster has left the park

  • EqDoc

    Oh come on!!! We all saw this coming, where the heck is Q? Dempster was done two innings ago!!!

    • paulcatanese

      Yes, and he does it every time Dempster pitches, waits too long(Quade).

  • Serothis

    seriously dempster….wtf?

  • Baron_S

    oh god! this is unbearable to watch — Sorianos pathetic dive and the HR — i need a drink!

  • Dorasaga

    Wow. I made an analysis once comparing Dempster and Chris Carpenter, and suggested that Dempster retire in 2012, due to his marginal effectiveness throughout his career and his inevitable decline.

    I didn’t expect that day should come this quick. And those three were quick blasts, for the sons of Brooklyn.

  • GaryLeeT

    Just look at the snowball effect of burning up the pen. Instead of using Pena, Colvin, or even DeWitt there in the 5th, when there was a chance to do some real damage, they leave Dumpster in to pitch what? One inning, in which time he will likely blow the lead?

    • paulcatanese

      Totaly agree.

  • Baron_S

    that was fantastically craptastic stuff from Dempster

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Another bad outing for Ryan Dempster

  • Baron_S

    what a f#$# meltdown… this is embarrasing and shambolic

  • roughriider

    Looks like the Cubs have three relief pitchers starting games.

  • Dorasaga

    Neil, is this the first inherited run scored, this season, for Marshall?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, Marshall usually gets out of the jams. Could not today.

      • Dorasaga

        Yeah. I went through Marshall’s gamelog on mlb.com, and he never gave up a run inherited. But today, he gave up TWO. The closest thing he had to not resolving a jam as on April 18, against San Diego, one run on the base with two outs, and Marmol saved him.

        I guess this is the kind of game that exposed the Cubs weakness, not that there weren’t plenty for us to notice.

  • Brentcarmona

    We discussed every ‘if’ about this team. And dempster underperforming was not really one of them ,for me at least. I thought he wouldnt grab the number one starters role by the horns by any means, I just thought he would be above average, like a number three starter. But wow I didnt think he would be this bad. i bet hendry is crapping his pants right now. There was just so many things that neeeded to go right for this team, especially the offense (the pitching is something that was usually solid, starting pitching that is.) But now one of our strengths, getting quality starts isnt even one of them. Dempster needs to make adjustments as he always looks solid then just blows it.

  • GaryLeeT

    I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I think it might be time to look at Samardzija as a starter again. He can’t do worse than Russell

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro … simply wow

    • GaryLeeT

      I can’t say how closely I would follow this team, if he were not on it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney does his job.

  • Baron_S

    yeahh!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Baker delivers … a two-run double

  • JedMosley

    I love Jeff Baker!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Dodgers 10-8 Saturday afternoon.

    Starlin Castro: 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI; Darwin Barney: 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI; Jeff Baker with GW, 2 R 2B in 8th

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs make history with a 10-10 record

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Is it the first time that a team has ever been .500 after 20 games without winning or loosing 2 in a row?

      • Tony_Hall

        The Cubs won 2 in a row and lost 2 in a row, they just haven’t every gone more than 1 game over/under 500 yet.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Tony you’re right, the Cubs have not won more or lost more than two in a row this season

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        The 2011 Cubs are the first team in big league history to begin a season with 10 consecutive stops at the .500 mark. They have been 1-1, 2-2 … all the way to 10-10.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

    NICE COMEBACK WIN! Never thought they had it in them to fight all the way back and win it. Rubber tomorrow!!

  • paulcatanese

    Someone didn’t tell Castro and Barney that Ted Lily is a major league pitcher. They both put on a performance today. Castro had good intentions with dropping that ball and trying to turn two, smart instant view on his part. Need I say more on Barney and his play in the ninth inning,very good play,and it started the inning off right for Marmol,that out was a big one and took some pressure off Marmol as I imagine he felt a llitle after his last closing attempt. the shark looked good ( for him ) again.

  • Tony_Hall

    Very nice comeback win. Castro and Barney have been great. The play in the 9th where Barney was moving to his right, shows how nice it is, to have defense up the middle. Just think how many runs our pitchers would give up, if Barney and Castro were replaced by Theriot and Fontenot.

    • paulcatanese

      Yes sir,and without those two I don’t think the Cubs would be anywhere near .500.

    • Dorasaga

      Theriot has been a good player. Not great, but good, both defensively and offensively. I don’t understand why a lot of Cubs fans didn’t see that.

      • Tony_Hall

        Theriot was a good player for the Cubs, I don’t believe I said he wasn’t. When he first came up, he brought energy, excitement. He made the plays on defense, he was suppose to make. On offense, I can still see him slapping single after single to right field and then going for a double, when the right fielder, took his time.

        But, what I said was that Castro and Barney give up less runs, than Theriot and Fontenot. The ground that Castro and Barney cover is nice to see and their arms are able to make any throw. We have for years and years, had guys, who had limited range and limited arms.

        Now Castro is a keeper, give him a contract that locks him up through his arb years, and club options, that cover his early FA years. Theriot became expensive, as his level of play was not a $3M player, just as Fontenot was not worth $1M. Theriot and Fontenot are the type of players, you use through their controlled years, and maybe early arb years, depending on cost. Trading these type of players in their last controlled year or 1st arb year is the way to go. They are replaceable with guys like Barney. Barney is a guy you use through his controlled years, and see what he will cost in arb.

  • paulcatanese

    Commenting on Dempsters comment 12 minutes ago. I give him credit for telling it like it is. He is not executing his pitches. I’m sure he is looking at the tapes and hopefully can figure it out, the Cubs should not go too much further with him.