Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 04/28/11

Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (10-13) vs. Diamondbacks (10-13)
Game Time – 8:40pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Chase Field, Phoenix

Ryan Dempster (1-2, 7.63/1.63) vs. Barry Enright (0-2, 6.65/1.70)

Following a well-timed rainout and a long flight to Phoenix, the Cubs return to the field tonight in need of a win. The Cubs have lost three in row for the first time this season and begin a very challenging seven-game West Coast road trip tonight.

The Cubs open a four-game series at Chase Field behind Ryan Dempster. The Cubs took two of three against the D’Backs at Wrigley earlier this month and after Sunday the Cubs will not see D’Backs again until the Cactus League next spring.

Mike Quade shifted his rotation in the wake of Wednesday’s rainout. Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano (Friday) and Matt Garza (Saturday) will pitch on regular rest. Quade decided to push Casey Coleman’s next start to Sunday … and Coleman will be available out of the pen tonight.

Jim Hendry has accompanied the team to Arizona and is expected to meet with Mike Quade and Mark Riggins to discuss the fifth spot in the rotation. The trio will decided whether or not to bring up a pitcher from the minors (Jay Jackson is a strong possibility) or keep using James Russell to begin games. The fifth spot comes back around Sunday but the Cubs will likely use Coleman in the finale in Arizona with Russell or a minor leaguer pitching the first game of the Dodgers’ series.

Kirk Gibson will send all right-handers to the hill against the Cubs for the next four games. Kosuke Fukudome is expected to start all of the games versus the D’Backs and hit in the leadoff spot. Starlin Castro could hit second or third with Fukudome at the top of the lineup.

On the way out of town, the Cubs said they were looking forward to playing in warmer weather. How does the cliché go?

In a battle of two 10-13 teams, tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off another poor outing and in a month full of bad starts, Dempster’s last was probably his worst. Dempster gave up a season-high seven earned runs on nine his with three walks to the Dodgers. Dempster struck out a season-low three batters but was taken off the hook by his teammates.

In order for the Cubs to stick around in the division they will need Ryan Dempster to pitch to the back of his baseball card. Dempster has struggled with his command, especially with locating his slider. For all of the problems the D’Backs may or may not have, scoring runs might not be one of them. If Dempster struggles tonight it could end up being an unscheduled ‘Bullpen Day‘.

Dempster has struggled in his two other road starts this season. Outside of Wrigley Dempster is 1-0 with a 7.15 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Dempster’s only win came in Houston on the night he allowed four runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Bottom line with Dempster tonight is he must keep the ball in the park. Dempster has already served up eight home runs in 30 2/3 innings this season.

Dempster faced the D’Backs during the series at Wrigley and took the only loss of the three-game series. Dempster allowed five runs, four earned, on 10 hits in seven innings without issuing a walk or a home run.

Tonight will be Dempster’s 15th career start versus Arizona. He is 2-7 in the first 18 games, 14 starts, with a 5.99 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP … at Chase Field, 2-4 in 10 games, nine starts, with a 6.66 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP.

Ryan Dempster has never fared well against the D’Backs or at Chase Field.

Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Henry Blanco – 0-for-6
  • Russell Branyan – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Stephen Drew – 4-for-8 with a double
  • Mark Grace – 2-for-12 with 4 walks
  • Kelly Johnson – 1-for-11 with 5 walks
  • Juan Miranda – 0-for-3
  • Miguel Montero – 3-for-8 with a walk
  • Xavier Nady – 5-for-13 with 2 home runs
  • Justin Upton – 2-for-15 with a walk
  • Chris Young – 4-for-14 with a double, a triple, a home run and a walk

Barry Enright is coming off his worst start of the season. The Mets pounded Enright to the tune of five runs on 12 hits (both season highs) with one walk in 5 2/3 innings. Enright struck out only two batters and dropped his second decision of the season.

Enright has struggled all month and has yet to pitch into, or complete, seven innings of work. Enright has decent stuff but struggles with his command. The Cubs must make Enright work like they did back on April 5 at Wrigley … a 6-5 Cubs win and Q’s offense scored four runs on seven hits with three walks (three strikeouts) in six innings.

Enright will make his third career start against the Cubs. He is 0-1 in the first two starts with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Barry Enright

  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 2-for-6 with a home run
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-2
  • Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-6 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-3 with 2 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-2 with a double

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • Calicub

      He did it he freaking did it. Byrd down colvin gets a start…maybe quade xpent his rainy day off reading CCO.

      Great job as always Neal

  • Jeff Darby

    I’m sure this question won’t go over very well here, but given how much the starting rotation has struggled, is it actually possible that we miss Larry Rothschild?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Rothschild, imo, was not a problem at all. I view him as very competent. The Yanks grabbed him in a heartbeat, so you know he wasn’t a dummy. Cashman actually knows what he’s doing.

      • Keith Moreland

        You are right Rip, he wasn’t. If you look at many pitchers pre- and post-Rothschild, he’s actually good. The Yankees aren’t dumb. He was a good pitching coach, and we will miss him.

        I know some took shots at him, but that wasn’t based on facts. The guys can coach.

  • GaryLeeT

    So, having the “still waiting for him to hit” Pena in at #5, the “can’t lay off a down and in curve” Colvin, the “never has hit” Hill, and the ERA challenged Dumpster all in the same line-up is a recipe for success?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes, a recipe for success for the opposing team. This is looking pretty ugly already. Bedtime. FORGETABOUTIT>

  • Neil

    Here goes Dempster … a double and a 4-pitch walk to the first two batters.

  • EqDoc

    Dempster = sucks!

  • Neil

    Wow! A slam on a 0-2 pitch. Give me a break …

  • diehardcubfan

    I am sure glad I turned on this game. Are we in trouble. We can’t even beat mediocre teams. I agree with others we will be lucky to win 72 games.

  • Neil

    Dempster’s all over the place.

  • Neil

    Better put Jay Jackson on a plane. Going to have to use Casey Coleman tonight.

    This is horrible

  • GaryLeeT

    The Cubs are 12th in runs scored, and dead last in ERA (after tonight) in the NL. They are a team ripe for an extended losing streak.

  • RickinMSP

    Maybe we’ll get to see two grand slams in one inning.

  • Neil

    A hit on a 0-2 pitch by the pitcher … really?

  • Ripsnorter1

    What’s this? Another “Bullpen Day?”


    • Ripsnorter1

      I won’t complain. Dumpster got one out, at least. He has never, ever been any good in Arizona. As Neil noted above, a lousy 2-7 in 18 games with a 5.99 ERA.


      • diehardcubfan

        Yes, you are right but that doesn’t explain that abysmal performance. That is one of the worst inning I have ever witnessed.

  • GaryLeeT

    I wonder if Soriano, and Fukudome are happy that they are no longer the most over paid players in baseball? Thank you JH. Heck, add Ramirez, Zambrano, Pena to that list, and Cubs have 6 of the 7 (Zito) most over paid players in baseball. Nicely done.

  • diehardcubfan

    What a joke this team is becoming.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Hey, Neil: can we start Dumpster tomorrow night since he only threw 40 pitches to get the one out?

    • Neil

      Yes, technically he could start. I would think Sunday or Monday they might have to. Q needs to put Coleman in, can’t have the entire pen pitch tonight.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I hope Berg goes 5 easy innings for us. We need the relief.

    AND I hope Quade doesn’t burn him out like he did Jeff Stevens–90 pitches. CRUEL.

  • Neil

    Ryan Dempster is lifted after recording only one out in the 1st inning. Allowed 7 R on 4 H, 4 BB, 0 K, HBP, threw 40 pitches, 18 for strikes

  • Brian

    RIp brings up a good point. Dempster could probably start Sunday. Maybe he should.

    Demp might just be done. Like, really done.

    • Ripsnorter1

      We’d better wait until he leaves Arizona. He never has been effective out there. If they wait until Monday, it will be the Dodgers. LA is the ball park that most helps the pitcher’s ERA in all of MLB. Dumpster needs a helping hand right now.

  • Neil

    The Cubs offense can’t even get the ball out of the infield.

    • diehardcubfan

      We always make mediocre pitchers look good with our juggernaut offense.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Berg is not throwing enough strikes. 7-14. DANGER.

  • RynoTiger

    Stupid me decided to chaperone a school program to the game Friday night. Thankfully though I’ve decided not to wear any Cubs gear. It’s gonna be rough.

  • Neil

    Berg issues a 4-pitch walk to Barry Enright … really?

  • Neil

    Koyie Hill with a home run? Is there a full moon?

  • Brian

    Who said Koyie can’t hit!!!!

    *sarcasm alert*

    Please know I know he is not good.

  • Keith Moreland

    I can’t ever totally dog Dempster; the fact is he works his tail off, is a first-class guy, even pitched through the terrible problems his child was having in ’09. Dempster would do anything for the team, including re-do his contract. He is a first-rate teammate.

    He is pitching terribly right now, and I bet he would be the first to acknowledge that. I bet noone wants to turn that around worse than Ryan Dempster.

    But he might be just old and done. Which would be sad.

    I will always stand by the decision to re-sign him, and I would never question his desire or effort. Sometimes the body can’t deliver what the mind wants to. Being 40 years old myself, I get that completely.

    I hope he turns it around……

    • diehardcubfan

      I hope you are right, because as you noted he is a class act and deserves better.

      • Keith Moreland

        You are right, and we should never forget that Dempster is a 100% class act. I hate to see guys like that fail, but sometimes they do.

  • Wickitkevin

    Like I said last game is team is getting harder and harder to watch.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I have to say it: Some crawled all over Larry Rothschild while he was here. But if you are looking at his results, the Cubs were #2 in MLB in quality starts last year. Our new pitching coach hasn’t had nearly as much success: LAA has had 18 quality starts: we have had 6 and are unchallenged in our last place home. The crummy Arizona D”Backs, next to last place in the league in QS, have had 9.

    Sure, some will say, “Wells went down and Cashner, too.” I agree: Wells is a decent pitcher, and I hope Cashner will be But rookies struggle, for the most part, because this is one tough league.

    But this year we are LAST in MLB in starting pitcher’s ERA. We are 29th in MLB in starter’s wins. We are #7 in most losses (Sea has 12; Cubs 10). WE are 28th in starter’s IP. We are 19th in BB given up by starters. AND WORST OF ALL: we have the absolute worst Batting Average Against our starters in MLB: .296. (Compare LAA at .225/ Cards at #3 with .239). And Dumpster hasn’t even one quality start as of yet. Z has 2 QS and Garza has 3 QS, both in 5 starts each.

    So I say “Rothschild is a proven pitching coach, and Mark Riggins may very well be another Quade: a cheap, inexpensive minor league coach brought in by Jim Clueless to save money.”


    • Keith Moreland

      I agree with you, and said that above, and said that at the time he left: if you look at Larry Rothschild’s results, he is good. Look at pitchers before, after, and during his tenure….he makes them better. The Yankees are not stupid; they went and got the best. That was a loss.

      I never understood the criticism he received, the stats never bore out anything other than he was good. We are now confirming that, no offense againts Riggins.

    • bacboris

      Of course its worth remembering the good, pitching staff leading in strike outs and a very respectable era. But dont make the man out to be a guiness.

      His desire to cut down on Rich Hill’s runners by changing his mechanics destroyed him. Zambranos child like behavior and getting a reassured pat on the back was also his call.

      If we’re at the point, that he was our lost opportunity/ missing factor, man we’re better off not just rebuilding but straight up repaving wrigley.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yes, Hill was destroyed IN PART by changing his mechanics, and the other part was Lou yelling at him for the walks.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The D’Backs Enright is no great pitcher. The Cubs should fight back if the bullpen can hold ’em.

    • diehardcubfan

      Rip, stop drink’in the blue kool aid. We don’t have a pray the way we are swinging the bats.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Enright is AWFUL. We ought to be shelling him. Everyone else in the league is. And if K. Hill can crush one, well then, even PENA ought to be able to get ahold of one.

        BTW, speaking of Pena, K. Hill just moved up past Pena in HR, BA, and RBI per AB.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Berg just can’t throw enough strikes to win. I don’t know why. Maybe he doesn’t trust his stuff. Whatever the cause, he’s throwing more balls than strikes, and in MLB, you’ll die doing that.

    • Keith Moreland

      Rip, I never thought, and still don’t, that Berg is a major-league pitcher. He sucked last year, and still does. I hope Dolis, Carpenter, Jackson, McNutt, etc. come up and start replacing the roster detritus that this guy respresents.

      Sorry Jason, you may be a great guy, but you got nothing!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Unfortunately, he doesn’t look the part. He pitches to contact, and has walked 24 and fanned 24 in his MLB covering 58.2 IP. That’s not enough K’s. He has also given up just a hair more hits than IP (60 H). He doesn’t throw enough strikes to win.

  • Aaron

    We’ve all lived through some incredibly awful seasons as Cubs fans…and maybe it’s just me, but for some reason, this is by far the worst Cubs team I’ve ever watched. There’s not a thing to like about it. At least the Cubs in the 90’s were somewhat entertaining to watch with Sandberg, Grace, Dawson (for a few years), Sosa, etc. Even some of the awful teams in the early 2000s were entertaining to watch, at least. All around, I can’t think of a worse team.

    This team can’t field
    This team can’t hit
    The bench is a joke
    The pen outside of Marmol, Marshall, and Wood is a joke
    The rotation is a joke
    Management is a joke
    Quade is a joke

    All around, this team has to be the worst one I’ve watched from top-down

    • Ripsnorter1

      I watched the 1974 team–it was HORRIBLE at 66-96. But then Dusty’s last year was 66-96, too. Which would you rather have?

      #1 starter: Bil Bonham (11-22) vs. Z (16-7)
      #2 Rueschel (13-12) vs. Marshall (6-9)
      #3 Hooten (7-11) vs. Maddux (9-11)
      #4 Stone (8-6) vs. Rich Hill (6-7)
      #5 Ken Frailing (6-9, 3.88) vs Carlos Marmol (2-4).

      Yup. 2006 was a bad year. At least the 1974 had some decent starters. Bill Bonham went to the Reds and went 11-5. Rueschel could always pitch. Hooten won a lot of games for the Dodgers. Steve Stone went to the O’s and won 25 games. Only Ken Frailing, part of the Santo trade to the Sox, never amounted to much.

      Contrast the 2006 Cubs: Z was a good starter, but Marshall never amounted to a starter, and neither did Carlos Marmol. Rich Hill is a head case, and all of that talent has been wasted. Maddux was done by the time the Cubs signed him again. So 2006 was worse than 1974 in terms of starting pitching, at least.

      So I say, 2011 or 2006 are vying for the worst Cubs’ teams in the last 50 years. 2006 they won 66 games. Will they even win 66 in 2011? The coaching has took ONE GIANT STEP BACKWARDS, to say the least.

  • diehardcubfan

    Pena looks so overmatched at the plate right now you wonder if he will ever come out of it.

    He is hitting nothing square. They are all quiet outs.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I hate to disagree with you, but consider this . . . .
      Last year, Pena had 582 PA and hit 56 line drives. That’s one in 10 almost.
      2011: Pena has 73 PA, and 10 line drives. That’s one in 7.

      You don’t know it, but Carlos is having a resurgent year!

      BTW: Pena has 10 hits: 6 line drives, 1 bunt, 2 on fly balls, 1 on a grounder.

      Maybe he should bunt more.

      • diehardcubfan

        Rip, you always note some impressive statistics. Where do you get your info from?

        • Ripsnorter1

          Baseball Reference, just like Neil does. : )

          • diehardcubfan

            Yes, Baseball Reference is a good source. I just do not have the time to do as much digging as I would like.

        • Ripsnorter1

          BTW, I was being sarcastic about Pena having a resurgent year. LOL

          • diehardcubfan

            I know.

      • diehardcubfan

        On a more important note. GO BULLS!!

      • diehardcubfan

        I am wondering if Pena will be batting .100 by the All Star break.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Adam Dunn is stinking the joint up, too.

          The thing with Pena, besides the HUGE hole in his swing, is that he signed a FA contract with the Cubs. That almost always means a 25% drop off in production. Well, in his case, he was hitting .196 to start with. 25% less is . . . .



          .147 BA.

          So I don’t expect him to fall all the way down to .100, but it is possible.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    We are in for a long year. I truly hope Hendry is whacked after the season and Tom Ricketts hires a new regime. I feel sorry for Quade because the guy inherits a crap team. As for Hendry, no more chances you should be gone.

    • Baron_S

      AFTER the season? Tinley Jim — surely you kid!

  • paulcatanese

    It was more fun at the Dentist. This is sad,really sad. Now that Koyie Hill showed his power stroke he will probably start a lot more. Quade’s grin from ear to ear when Hill came back to the dugout tells it all. And there was a post that said managers don’t lose games,well not staring coleman tonight and pushing the rotation back a day (per Brenly on the broadcast ) so that they could get a little more rest say’s it all. One thing I will say about Brenly is he say’s it like it is.The one thing I dont care for is his insistance to second guess on the air. If he wanted to manage he had the opportunity to apply for it.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Brenly was too smart to work for Jim Clueless.

    • JedMosley

      So Quade being happy one of his players hit a homerun is a sign Hill is going to play more?? Why is it wrong that Quade would be happy when one of his players hits a homerun??

      • paulcatanese

        With that many runs down would you be happy? If it tied the game or won it different story,then be happy.

        • JedMosley

          I would not be happy, but I think that’s reading to much into a facial expression to say Hill would be getting more playing time, that’s all

    • JedMosley

      Also, Mike Quade is the least of this team’s worries. He’s just trying to work with the hand he’s been dealt

      • paulcatanese

        If thats what you believe,fine,I respect your’e opinion.We all follow the Cubs with different views.The view I had tonight was one of total disgust and shut it off after seven innings.

        • JedMosley

          I was disgusted too Paul, I forgot to set my DVR and when I got home from work I turned it on in the bottom of the first and Dempter was not pitching and we were down 7, I turned it off then. You are more devoted than I am.

  • paulcatanese

    Baker,three groundouts,the last one was hit hard though. But not enough for the three hole.Pena with 9 runs down swings at the first pitch, fouls a change and then strikes out on a pitch that almost hit him, but Quade said he will continue to play him.

  • Cheryl

    I missed part of this game. Glad I did.

  • Baron_S

    why is Darwin Barney being rested every other day now?? He is 1 of 2 things(w/Castro) going good for the Cubs…

    its inexplicable. Hendry is a bigger oaf than Omar Minaya… that is not high praise!

    • paulcatanese

      Barney is being rested because he forced his way onto this team with his stellar play,Ojeda was hurt, Baker(for some unknown reason) is playing because Pena has to be at first for Quade, Baker was hot for a few games but he would be much better at first base and Barney at second. Quade has a thing for guys that JH wants on the team. I don’t know Baron nothing makes sense. I tried to think of all the reasons Barney should not play but can’t come up with one solid one.

      • Baron_S

        Paul, I feel bad for Quade ….. there are lot of roster decisions that reek of Hendry’s incompetant overbearing buffoonery….. Quade is his lap dog cause Hendry gave him a shot. He seems like a good baseball coach and a nice guy — he is being controlled by an imbecile

        • Tony

          I think we all knew that Q was hired over Sandberg to be a yes man. Unfortunately, the game is still going faster than Q can keep up with right now. I hope that will change soon. But if Tommy Boy isn’t starting to question, JH’s job now, well, to borrow Neil’s line, I would be speechless..

  • cubs1967

    at this rate…….not only will the pigeons be back at wrigley when the bleachers are vacant…………so will the crickets…………as in the only noise will be the crickets at wrigley dump.

    congrats tommy ricketts………..u’ve set a record for a new owner losing their “honeymoon” period the fastest ever!

    after all the years of tribune ownership……….this is what bud selig gives us!

    F&&*(((( Bud and this team…………….

    103 yrs and counting………..their is NO grace period……….nor any chance of this owner ever winning a championship till their collective heads get out of their buttox!

  • Neil

    Cubs pounded by D’Backs 11-2 Thursday night. Koyie Hill and Reed Johnson with RBI. Ryan Dempster’s line: 7 R, 4 H, 4 BB, 0 K, HBP in .1 IP, threw 40 pitches, 18 for strikes

  • John_CC

    O dear. O…dear…

  • Wickitkevin

    Anybody else feel violated?

    • Neil

      Now that’s funny … yes.

    • Tony

      We, as life-long Cub fans, deserve better than this!

  • Baron_S

    Hendry’s quote from 9 days ago
    “We all feel that ‘Demp’ and Garza are going to throw better than they have,” general manager Jim Hendry said. “And then you get the other guys (Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner) back, and all of a sudden you’ve got a pretty interesting club.”

    What oh what does he have to do to get fired!!!