Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 04/06/11

Game Six: Cubs (3-2) vs. Diamondbacks (1-3)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (0-1, 8.10/1.50) vs. Armando Galarraga (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Q’s squad will try to end their first homestand of 2011 on a positive note this afternoon. Tuesday’s win guaranteed them at least a .500 record over the first six games but a win this afternoon would go a long way into the first off day of the season.

The Cubs hit the road Friday for the first of nine away from Wrigley Field.

Carlos Pena will likely be held out this afternoon for the second straight day … with a likely return Friday in Milwaukee. Pena’s thumb was wrapped Tuesday.

Geovany Soto was expected back in the starting lineup this afternoon for the finale against Arizona. If needed, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol should be available for Mike Quade late in the game.

Today it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster had a rough outing on Opening Day and will look to bounce back against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Dempster was very good four innings before losing his command and walking the bases loaded. Dempster was done in by two big flies and must keep the ball in the park this afternoon.

When Dempster is right he maintains a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. In his first outing, Dempster walked four and struck out seven … not a recipe for a Dempster ‘W’.

Dempster struggled with the gopher ball last year. Teams hit 25 dingers off the veteran right-hander, the second most off Dempster in his career in a single-season (30 in 33 games in 2000).

Today will be Dempster’s 14th career start against the D’Backs. He is 2-6 with a save in 17 games, 13 starts, with a 6.07 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP … last year, 1-0 in one start with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.

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 – 0-for-7 with 5 walks
  • Miguel Montero – 2-for-5 with a walk
  • Melvin Mora – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Xavier Nady – 5-for-13 with 2 home runs
  • Gerardo Parra – 2-for-5
  • Ryan Roberts – no official at bat, one walk
  • Justin Upton – 2-for-12 with a walk
  • Chris Young – 2-for-12 with a home run and a walk

The Cubs will get their first look at Armando Galarraga in an Arizona uniform. Rumors suggested in the off-season that Jim Hendry discussed a possible deal for Galarraga with the Tigers that would have included Tom Gorzelanny.

Detroit released Galarraga on the same day they avoided arbitration with the right-hander … and later dealt him to Arizona for a couple of minor league prospects. Today will be his first start of the season.

Galarraga made headlines with his “perfect game” last season but was inconsistent at best in 2010. Galarraga posted a 4-9 record in 25 games, 24 starts, with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Galarraga beat the Cubs in Detroit on June 25, 2009. Lou’s crew managed four runs on six hits in six innings with a walk but the Tigers won the game 6-5 on RBI hits by Ryan Raburn and Magglio Ordonez off Ted Lilly.

Cubs Career Numbers against Armando Galarraga

  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-9
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2 with a triple
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 1-for-2 with a triple
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 2-for-7
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-3 with a double

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver
  • socalicubsfan

    Wells and Cashner to the DL!?!?

  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

  • John_CC

    stretch Woody out.

  • Chris

    Mark Grace’s career numbers against Dempster made the list!? I guess he was a Diamondback.. I don’t recall ever seening past players on the list, although, I have never looked too close.

    • Roland

      Neil will through a past player in every once in a blue moon. I think he is just making sure we are awake.

  • Neil

    Jim Hendry said Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner will not pick up a baseball for 10-14 days. Cubs plan on being very cautious with both pitchers.

    • BillyFinT

      Thanks for the update, Neil. As your latest post says, Coleman be recalled.

  • BillyFinT

    “Cashner… was diagnosed with a strained right rotator cuff after undgergoing an MRI late Tuesday. The team initially called his injury a tight right shoulder.

    Wells… will be placed on the DL with a strained right forearm. Both pitchers will be re-evaluated after two weeks without throwing, manager Mike Quade and general manager Jim Hendry said. The club had not yet announced any corresponding roster moves.”

  • John_CC

    That sounded like a ugly play

  • Jon

    What do ya know!? More 2 out runs given up by the Cubs… More specifically by Dempster, at least this time they were to a guy hitting .167…. O ya, and guess who scored it… Willie Pujols, I mean Willie Bloomquist with a single then a SB

  • BillyFinT

    Some thoughts after watched all games of the Opening Week so far:

    – Colvin is a good first baseman.
    – Barney is a good second baseman.
    – Barney shows some discipline batting.
    – Dewitt didn’t look good when Soto threw to him today.

    The Cubs had Mark Grudzielanek, Todd Walker, DeRosa, Fontenot, and then a grudging Theriot moved to second base for the past eight years. They are all, at best, mediocre fielders at 2B.

    I’ll say this again: None of them compares to Barney, defensively, at their prime.

    I get why Quade might need to give Dewitt and Baker playing time. Hendry gave him some Major League players with egos and good reputation among the scouts, and it’s the Q-job to make all these guys, off the field and on the field “players” (scouts, Hendry), happy. Showcase some talents. Hey, maybe he’ll find something good out of either Dewitt or Baker.

    – That’s not what the fans need. We need a winning team. You can’t win without good players like Barney playing everyday while replaced by mediocre-s.

    – There seems to be less empty seats today than the past four days. After all, Cubs fans are still optimistic.

    • Aaron

      DeWitt isn’t good defensively or offensively, and I don’t really see a fire/intensity out of him that would necessitate keeping him on the team as a “good clubhouse guy”.

      The glaring weakness on this team is offense, but in a close second is defense.

      The Cubs overall have above average pitching, but here’s some glaring weaknesses on defense:
      C-while Hill is a back-up, his defense has been WAY overstated by Cubs management. All you have to do is look at his stats to know that (something the Cubs under Hendry have obviously NOT been in tune with)

      2B-DeWitt and Baker have no range at 2B, and they don’t have that great of arms either

      3B-ARAM was dreadful in the field last year, after having shown significant improvement defensively throughout his years with the Cubs, he regressed considerably. It remains to be seen if there will be any carryover effect into this year, but my guess is, yes, it will.

      LF-Do I need to say anything here? Soriano is, by FAR the weakest link in the whole defense.

      CF-While Byrd made some outstanding plays last year, this Spring Training, and early on this year, you can clearly tell he’s lost a step, and he projects to be league average at defense

      RF-Fukudome has lost his edge defensively, and that was to be expected, as like Byrd, he’s also lost a step, and Colvin will never be a great RF defensively, but the positive is, outside of Reed Johnson, he’s the best defensive option we have in the OF

      Given all of this, the only above average league defenders we have are Soto, Pena, Castro, Barney, and Johnson

      • BillyFinT

        Indeed. That’s the thing about all our evaluation as fans. Well, stats are imperfect, but if we look at a player’s stats in a long run, his career, or at least starting from three years, 1200 innings on the field to have the sample size for a stat to be useful, then we’ll most likely find stats matching their reputation. A few needed more than his career; Bert Blyleven, and I surmise Randy Johnson will need more time as well to be Hall of Fame-reputated.

        The thing is, Dewitt had played years in the Major League as a second baseman, 1236.2 innings. He’s been below average. He’s turning 26. His body will start aging. I’ve quoted some analysis before, so I won’t bore you…

        Nobody fight the Force of Nature and win. These guys, Dewitt, Baker, Fukudome, Byrd. They won’t get better defensively. Only worse.

        Jim Hendry is at the booth; stopped me from thinking for a minute about stats. LOL

  • Aaron

    Anyone still need a reason to get rid of Soriano? He doesn’t hit enough home runs, or get enough big hits to outweigh the amount of runs he gives up in the field.

    WOW!!! He was so nonchalant about picking the ball up, then dropped it, and didn’t even try that hard to get it in quickly after that. Pathetic!!!!!!!!!!

    What I don’t understand is why he’s still on the team. If the Jays could unload an even larger contract in Vernon Wells (albeit, he is younger), why can’t Hendry find a taker in the AL for Soriano as a DH, and pay half his salary? Or more, for that matter.

  • BillyFinT

    When Kasper said, “The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation honors the Ricketts with…” that just made me sick.

    What had the Ricketts done so far for the Cubs fans that made them high enough to steal that honor established by Ron Santo?

    Wait another year or two, a ring, then maybe they can say that.

  • studio179

    Ugg! I was hoping Castro would knock in at least one, but he Ks.

  • Agustin_Rexach

    It looked as if Marlon needed to prove he could do what Young had done with the 2 stellar catches…. Only to find out he could’t! Lol it was filthy funny and then Soriano ButterFingers complete the comedy with a bobble and a donkey throw to Castro. What a loser that Fonzie. He is a DH at best. And marlon you know better.

  • Neil

    The two swings and misses by Castro to end the third marked the first time this season he swung and missed at a baseball

    • Theboardrider

      Great stat! Thanks Neil…

  • Neil


  • Agustin_Rexach

    Oh hi there Aramis! Damn Colvin robbed!

  • Matt

    Rami with his first dinger!!! I will put up with his horrible defense if he can give us a little power.

  • Neil

    That was Aramis’ first home run of 2011 … Counting Spring Training.

  • Neil

    Dempster just can’t hold momentum …

  • Neil

    Willie Bloomquist again and again and again …

  • Aaron

    …..and Soriano costs the Cubs another run, and another baserunner by missing that catch.

    What amazes me most is that other teams come in here…it’s not even their home park, and they make catches against the wall. Case it point was Young catching Colvin’s drive…..and yet Soriano routinely is ultra tentative and slows up right by the wall, like he’s never played near it before….

    just dreadful. I don’t know how Hendry can watch from the booth, and no understand that you simply cannot have this guy on the team anymore

    • BillyFinT

      Maybe that’s why Hendry left a few minutes ago. LOL

      Man, this is another brutal game. I feel bad for those 30,000 or so optimistic fans out there in the cold. Lit them up, Cubs!

      • Richard Hood

        If you think there are 30000 fans in the seats with that much green you are kidding yourself. The place looks half full at best.

        • BillyFinT

          I was being optimistic. LOL I think a lot of fans simply walked around, and now, away. There was one shot across the bleachers earlier bottom of third, and it was almost full.

          But agreed, this attendance plus the last five games are no compare to the Opening Week @Wrigley the past four seasons. Not a good way to start a season.

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron,you may not agree with me on this one,but I have to put it out there anyway. The Cubs have two outfielders Colvin and Fukudome that I have faith in to throw anyone out. Byrd is done at bat and with the glove.Pena,I dont quite know yet,and( Castro and Barney.)keepers,those two could be the best DP combo for the Cubs in a long time. Jackson should be brought up now, not later. The Cubs have absolutly nothing to lose I didnt even mention Soriono,Johnson,Baker and Hill, Not worth the type.

  • BillyFinT

    An error on Soto for that run. Hmm. Soriano got one “easy out.”

  • nick_ss

    Time to get Dempster outta there!!

  • Baron_S

    Dempsters getting lit up

  • John_CC

    Dempster is getting pounded.

    This is gonna be a long season.

  • Neil

    Soriano is not helping but Dempster is getting hit hard today …

    • Endy

      dont worry he’ll throw a shutout when we’re 10 games back. that guy is not clutch at all. he pitched well in 2008, when was the 3rd starter behind z and Lilly and lineup was awesome. i’ll never forgive him for that granny to loney. overpayed company shill

      • Jon

        very true… Big Game Ryan Dempster… Opening Day Bust… Playoff Bust… Crosstown Rivalry Bust… Ace Bust

  • Aaron

    The Cubs have 3 hits today……THREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Neil

    SORIANO! Cubs fourth hit of the game, leaves the park.

    • BillyFinT

      Then with Grabow, the height was sting-brief.

    • John G

      Well that makes up for one of the runs he gave up.

  • BillyFinT

    King, Bulls player, and fan and analyst, got Soriano and Dempster on his fantasy baseball team.

    Mark that down. Every one got hope.

  • John G

    John G sucks.

    John Grabow, that is.

  • John_CC

    That’s funny, I was going to comment that Soriano will probably come out and smash repentant solo homer to try to make up for terrible defense.

  • BillyFinT

    Is that 2009 ARam back? the one who learned plate discipline with a Jedi master? or is this just a Cubbie Occurrence?

    … Fonzi be Fonzi.

  • John_CC

    And with an opportunity to make a real difference…Soriano whiffs.

  • Aaron

    Soriano misplays two balls (should’ve been 2 errors…only 1 though on record), hits a solo shot (again, a relatively meaningless shot), and K’s with the the tying runs on base to end the inning.

    Meanwhile, DeWitt botches one of the easiest grounders I’ve ever seen.


    • Aaron

      So, if you’re keeping track at home…

      Soriano costs the Cubs 2 runs for sure (another run indirectly as a result of his botched play at the wall as that runner would also score)

      Soriano hits a solo shot
      =net loss of 1, possibly 2 runs

      DeWitt goes 0-2 with a walk, and an error
      =net loss of __________(whatever scores this inning)

      • Aaron

        Again…..why are they on the team?

  • John_CC

    o man…

    and up comes Wille the Cub Killer

  • Neil

    Third error of the game, the difference is the defense today. The D’Backs have one and the Cubs do not.

  • Neil

    Good job by Mateo

  • Aaron

    Excellent job by Mateo getting out of that jam…..with a little bit of luck on Young’s botched bunt attempt

  • John_CC

    It is not too early for Q and the Cubs make a big example out of the poor play thus far. These are probably two worst teams that Cubs will see all year. Send DeWitt down, they do not need him. Cut Grabow. Soriano should be benched, but he won’t because….blah!…and “he’s hot” right? Make a point that the guys that make plays, use they’re heads, and show a good approach at the plate will play.

    See, I think the problem is that Q manages like he’s still in AAA – lots of encouragement, ect. Well, this isn’t AAA, Mike, though your team plays like it!

  • Aaron

    Soto looks terrible at the plate right now. Isn’t this yet another indictment of Hendry and Quade?

    I even said this in Spring Training that the advantage of taking Castillo or Ramirez north is that if Soto struggles early on, they can get him working with Rudy, but you don’t have that luxury with Hill

  • Neil

    Cubs lost to D-Backs 6-4. Dempster’s line: 5R, 4ER, 10H, 6Ks, 7IP. #Cubs defense, 3 errors. Soriano/Ramirez HRs

  • cubs1967

    those attendance figures of 27 or 26,000 will be HUGE wishful numbers come July…………..6 HOME games against 2 of the worst teams in the NL and you come away at 3-3!

    and the 2 best pitching performances to date are on the DL now till may 1st or so and that’s w/ ZERO setbacks.

    dewitt cannot field………..but you keep playing him quade.

    the suntimes and fox 32 in the morning both had news stories on the low attendance………’s hoping it continues so maybe daddy ricketts calls the kids and asks why the family fortune was spent on this team and the clown act of kenney crane, JH and quade get launched out of a rocket.

    just disgusting……… really is.

    • Aaron

      I couldn’t agree with you more….and listening to Hendry during the game was very very painful for me.

      What shocked me was that he admitted that it’d be tough to score runs, basically indicting the dreadful offense he created.

      He even said, “we’re going to have a lot of 1 run, 2 run games this season”

      Well, gee, I wonder why……………….You ARE the moron that put this offense together.

      Tom Ricketts….there’s a phone call for you……

      What’s that? You want to know who’s calling?
      ……………ummmmmm……I’m being told it’s Reality calling. He’s telling you that Hendry is not fit to be the GM of the Chicago Cubs.

      Oh, you want to know why you should care?
      …………..well…………….did you see the attendance numbers? Fans don’t come to games because they hope you might eke out 1 run games….they come because they think your offense actually has a chance to score. They’re not idiots, they know both shutouts and no-hitters are very rare. The 20-27,000 fans you’ve had show up this year are going to be the norm, and NOT the exception.

  • Neil

    From Chris DeLuca:

    Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster’s fifth-straight loss at Wrigley, dating to Aug. 31, 2010 vs. Pittsburgh. 11.35 ERA (29 ER/23.0 IP) in that span.

    • John_CC

      If this was anyone but Dempster – hardest working guy on the team, clubhouse comedian, leader, autograph signer, super-dad and all around standup guy, he be getting crucified by now. That is a really bad string of numbers.

      • paulcatanese

        John,it didn’t have to be that bad for Dempster today. It was very clear from the outset that he didn’t seem to have it. Quade decided that he will let him go that long and that was his error to not bring someone in and it just kept going downhill. Grabow didn’t fare much better. On the defensive side of the ball I seriously wish Byrd would give up the dream of shoestring catches,he finally got burned, then of course it was compounded with Soriono kicking the ball,end result a gift run. John there were so many more disapoinments today that I just cant bring myself to list all of them.

        • John_CC

          Hey Paul, I agree and I am not trying to put blame on Dempster. I am just pointing out that as the #1 pitcher in the rotation, Dempster is not that strong anymore. The offense and defense are worse, I agree. But like you said, from the outset it was clear that he wasn’t on. That just seems to happen too much with him. He does work through his crappy starts, though, and never completely looses it, I’ll give him that. But when he gets hit, he get’s hit hard and he gives up too many longballs.

          When Garza gave up a dozen singles and K’d a dozen he got a good amount of (unfair) heat for it, basically because of how he arrived, not because of how he plays. When Dempster gets lit up for 10 hits he gets the free pass.

          Just an observation, I’m not indicting any of the starters. The bigger problems are beyond them.

          • paulcatanese

            Thanks for the reply John. I didn’t think you were putting any blame at all on Dempster. I just think tht Quade being around Dempster as long as he has should realize when he has it or not,and when he dosen’t get him out of there,dont wait until the seventh and its too late,that is the managers fault not Demps. Actually I agree with you on Garza in comparison he did pitch well and so did Wells and Cashner and to a degree Zambrano. At the worst we(Cubs) should be 5-1.