A Third of an Inning – Cubs 2 Diamondbacks 11

Game Twenty-Four – Cubs 2 Diamondbacks 11
WP – Barry Enright (1-2) LP – Ryan Dempster (1-3) Save – None

To say the Cubs seven-game road trip started on a bad note would be an understatement. The Cubs struggles at Chase Field continued Thursday night and those that thought Ryan Dempster’s horrible beginning to the 2011 season had hit rock bottom were sorely mistaken.

Thursday’s game was over in the bottom of the first inning after Ryan Dempster allowed seven earned runs on four hits, four walks and a hit batter in a third of an inning. Dempster hit Justin Upton before serving up a Grand Slam to Stephen Drew … the ninth homer hit off Dempster in 31 innings this season.

Ryan Dempster threw 40 pitches, 18 for strikes, and left with his team in a 7-0 hole.

Mike Quade had to use five pitchers to get through the unscheduled ‘Bullpen Day‘ with Justin Berg taking one for the team that will likely cause him to be sent back to Iowa. Berg completed a career-high 3 2/3 innings and threw 54 pitches, 25 for strikes. The D’Backs scored three runs more runs off Berg on four hits.

Cubs pitching issued 11 walks, one intentional, and hit two batters to go along with 11 hits … 24 baserunners in eight innings is unacceptable and the only pitcher to retire the D’Backs in order was John Grabow (sixth inning)

The Cubs allowed Barry Enright to shut them down Thursday night. The only two runs came courtesy of a Koyie Hill home run and a sacrifice fly in the seventh by Reed Johnson. Q’s overpaid offense managed only five hits, one for extra bases, and five walks. The Cubs complained about the weather during the last homestand and said they would start hitting in the warm weather … what is the excuse now?

The Cubs were retired in order in four different innings (second, fourth, sixth and ninth) and appeared indifferent for the most part. After a miserable performance with runners on base over the last two games at Wrigley, Q’s offense was 0-for-5 with RISP and left seven on base Thursday night. The Cubs are 1-for-21 in the last three losses with RISP and have left 26 runners on base.

While Kirk Gibson’s team was hitting the ball all over Chase Field with authority, the roster assembled by Jim Hendry had a difficult time hitting the ball out of the infield against Barry Enright and Josh Collmenter. With all due respect to Mr. Enright, he is not one of the elite pitchers in the league and was pitching for his spot on the roster Thursday night. The Cubs offense looked old as player after player hit weak, routine grounders early in the count. The Cubs have forgotten, or do not care to remember, what it means to take pitches and put themselves into hitter’s counts.

It is only April, but unless changes are made with the Cubs approach both at the plate and on the mound it is going to get worse, not better, for Q’s squad as the season progresses.

With Thursday’s embarrassing loss, the Cubs have lost four in a row and have dropped six of the last seven (10-14 record) …

The bottom of the first inning Thursday night was very difficult to watch. Ryan Dempster was all over the place and could only record one out before he left the game with his team down by a touchdown and an extra point.

Dempster’s outing began with Chris Young ripping his first pitch down the left field line. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Young ended up with a double. Dempster then issued his first free pass of the night, a four-pitch walk to Kelly Johnson. At that point the writing was on the wall for another bad start but nowhere near what Dempster ended up doing.

Ryan Dempster hit Justin Upton on a 2-2 pitch to load the bases with no outs.

Dempster jumped out ahead of Stephen Drew 0-2 before serving up the next pitch that Drew deposited over the wall in right. Drew’s first career Grand Slam put the D’Backs up by four … but they were not done.

Ryan Dempster retired Miguel Montero for the first out … and the only one he would end up recording. Dempster then walked the next three batters he faced to load the bases. Melvin Mora, Russell Branyan and Gerardo Parra took what Dempster gave them, which was nothing.

Dempster then gave up a bloop single to Barry Enright on a 0-2 pitch. Marlon Byrd was out of position again (too deep with the pitcher at the plate) and Enright dropped a single into right center. Mora scored … 5-0 Arizona.

With the bases loaded and one out, Chris Young ripped a 2-1 pitch into left. Branyan and Parra scored … 7-0 D’Backs and Ryan Dempster’s night was over.

Dempster threw 40 pitches, 18 for strikes, in one-third of an inning.

Justin Berg came in and took one on the hip. Kelly Johnson ripped a 2-1 pitch back up the middle that hit Berg. He recovered and threw out Johnson at first. Justin Upton broke his bat and popped out to second to end the inning.

Arizona sent 12 to the plate in the bottom of the first and scored seven runs on four hits with four walks and a hit batsman. Neither Dempster nor Berg struck out a batter in the first.

The Cubs predictably went down in order, and quickly, in the second.

Stephen Drew led off the bottom of the second with a single to center on a 3-2 pitch. Miguel Montero followed with a double to left center on a 1-2 pitch. Drew scored … 8-0 Arizona. Mora grounded out to short, Montero advanced to third and held when Branyan struck out looking for the second out (the D’Backs first strikeout of the game).

Berg then intentionally walked Gerardo Parra to face Barry Enright … but walked Enright on four-pitches to load the bases. Berg retired Chris Young on a grounder to second to end the inning.

After Koyie Hill put the Cubs on the board in the top of the third with his first home run of the season, the D’Backs got the run back in the bottom of the third … and then some.

Justin Berg hit Justin Upton with one out. Berg retired Stephen Drew on a groundout to second but Miguel Montero continued his offensive onslaught against Cubs pitching. Montero lined a 2-1 pitch over the wall in right … 10-1 Arizona.

The Cubs went down in order in the fourth.

Justin Berg kept the D’Backs from tacking on in the fourth and the Cubs had a small shot of making a game of it in the fifth.

Barry Enright issued back-to-back one out walks to Tyler Colvin and Koyie Hill. Blake DeWitt hit for Berg and grounded into a 3-6 force. Kosuke Fukudome walked to load the bases for Starlin Castro.

Castro popped a 1-2 pitch into right field. Justin Upton made a diving catch toward the line to end the inning … and took away at least two RBI from Starlin Castro.

The Cubs second run came in the top of the seventh … yes, the top of the seventh.

Marlon Byrd led off with a single to left. Tyler Colvin followed with a single to right center on a 3-1 pitch. With runners on first and third with no outs, Koyie Hill struck out swinging. Reed Johnson then popped a 2-0 pitch into center. Byrd tagged and scored … 10-2 Arizona.

After Kosuke Fukudome walked and chased Barry Enright from the game, Starlin Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.

The D’Backs got the run right back in the bottom of the seventh. Chris Young led off with a double to left. Kelly Johnson ripped a single into right on a 1-2 pitch from Marcos Mateo. With runners on first and third, Upton lined out to second for the first out.

Stephen Drew grounded out to first on a 1-1 pitch, Young scored … 11-2 Arizona.

Carlos Marmol retired three of the four batters he faced in the eighth and kept the D’Backs from adding on.

Thursday was an ugly night for the Chicago Cubs.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Carlos Zambrano will face Armando Galarraga Friday night.

Quote of the Day

"It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." - James Gordon
Share on Fancred
  • Tony_Hall

    Who knew that Coleman was the better start over Dempster in AZ! Oh yeah, the CCO. If anyone was to be skipped it should have been Dempster in AZ!

    If we are going to be this bad, we should be getting experience to players, who will be around in the future, instead of playing guys, who have NO future with this team.

    This is a broken record, and one I just don’t understand, as JH would be following Ricketts stated goal of building from within, and also buying himself a few years, as they develop. At this point, JH must have more than even 9 lives…

    • John_CC

      Broken record is right, Tony – and a pulpy horse carcass at this point…ugh. I was writing this same sentiment numerous times yesterday, how they have to just wake up and start giving the future some experience, and evaluation. I’m so disgusted right now. I may have to pull back already and stop paying attention to this disaster for a while. It usually takes longer, like at least into May or June, but it is so clear that this team is beaten, demoralized and simply doesn’t have the players. uuuuu…

    • paulcatanese

      Tony,you are right and I have been playing the same record over and over again. Bring the new blood in,period.

    • Dorasaga

      I don’t know what to say; I could have expounded on that To-Do List. Firing Hendry is not actually obvious; a little more than a day ago we at CCO were debating if the Cubs is really NOT AS BAD with J.Hendry. So… Like how you reverberated: Speechless.

  • studio179

    Reports say the Cubs will be looking to address the 5th starting spot in Arizona on this trip. While they are at it, address the 1st starting spot. I know they can not go out and replace him at this point, nor would they if they could do it. But Dempster has been bad against the Diamondbacks and with his other starts.

    Last night is exactly why management messed up the ‘bull pen’ game thing with Russell starting. It is bad enough to burn out the pen every 5th game, but in between the scheduled ‘bull pen’ games, makes it that much worse.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You don’t want Dumpster in the bullpen, do you? You wouldn’t pay a man $70 million to blow games out of the ‘pen. It’s not, shall we say, chic. Nope. This guy has to start. Blow games in the first inning. That’s cool.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I say, have Dumpster call Larry Rothschild and see what Larry can do to fix him.

        • studio179

          I guess so. But Dempster can call any one here and we would tell him the same thing Larry would…hit your spots. They sure are hitting him…or he is hitting them…or walking them.

        • cubtex

          Good point Rip. Rothschild obviously had a better understanding of working with the Cubs pitchers than Mark Riggins. Rothschild has already made strides with AJ Burnett. I think Riggins might be over his head!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Well now, there is already a call to bring Aram back for 2012 and beyond. Yup, he’s a FA after this year. Only making $16 million right now. Looking for a raise, of course. It’s the high gas prices, ya know, and he has to live.

    What’s he doing for us from the cleanup spot these days, any way?
    .314 BA….6 2B….1 HR….9 RBI…..in 97 PA puts him on a pace to hit 5 HR this year, with 45 RBI. I wonder what his contract demands will be. $20 million?

    I am hoping for Marquez Smith instead. Time to move on.

    Read the speculation here.

    http://viewfromthebleachers.com/blog/2011/04/27/are-the-cubs-hancuffed-to-ramirez-in-2012/

    • Tom U

      An interesting article, but not entirely complete. The author completely ignored Ryan Flaherty.

      Flaherty is currently hitting .352 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI at Tennessee. While he’s only played third once this season, he played it almost exclusively last year.

      Worried about the defense? A quick call up to the booth and a chat with Bob Brenly should cure that. His 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks led the National League in errors that year and won the World Series. As long as Flaherty makes the routine plays, it should be no problem.

      • cubtex

        The kid played shortstop at Vandy so I think he can handle 3rd.

        • paulcatanese

          I bow to your’e knowledge on infield play. Us former shortstops could play anywhere, accept second base, that tore my arm up wth the different angle to throw,plus one of the hardest to play.

          • cubtex

            Ha! Paul, I haven’t heard of many shortstops who couldn’t handle a move to 3b. Cal Ripken,ARod to name 2 famous cases. Flaherty has good hands and the knock on him is average range for a SS. He is a bigger kid and seems to me like a logical shift to 3b.

          • Dorasaga

            So, this might be the answer for 2012 and beyond?

  • jw

    I’d like to say the silver lining is that Hendry will be gone…but I can’t drown out the words of Tm Ricketts that he beieved in Jim Hendry. If he beileved in Hendry what does he know about building a team to compete in the league. I bet he’s wetting his pants worrying about how he is going to pay off the gargantuan loan because the seats at Wrigley are going to be MT.

    • paulcatanese

      JW, there are a lot of reasons that the stands will be dwindeling. The main one of course is the economy. People cannot digest the tremdous amount of money players are recieving these days. As you post, management that does not know what they are doing, handing out contracts that are out of sync with the times. Contracts that were given out a few years ago,while high were at least in a time when people were making some kind of money. Last year or so things have changed with employment for the worse. People are much less tolorant of the huge amounts of money spent on players,any players,any team.The contracts players are now demanding,,and getting, borders on insanity. Can anyone honestly say if the Cubs were to sign Puljols or Fielder for the amount of dollars they will bring add to attendence? I dont think so. You will find that players like Kerry Wood will be admired for what he did and will be well accepted by the public. The thing that broke the Camels back for me was Pena, I was against that right from the beginning. Now that was a stupid contract no matter what he would do, certainly his track record should have told JH what he would get in return for the money.It is an insult to hard working people to have things like that shoved in their face. So, you have management,manager,poor players and the economy none of which shows any rapid signs of improving. Thats my take on it.

      • paulcatanese

        JW,I was remiss in posting the amount of dollars Puljos and Fielder would bring,should have said the amount of dollars the will demand. Sorry for that mis-type.

  • Cloycub13

    I wanted to comment on Brian’s ramble but I think my fellow counterparts here did a good enough job af stating my case so it was not relevant to repeat…But I have to make the following statement…

    I do not care who you blame!!!!!!! Flat out and straight up DO NOT CARE who you blame! If it isn’t Quade then it is Hendry! If it isn’t Hendry than it is Ricketts! SOMEONE HAS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!!!!!

    This is a joke, and like someone very eloquently stated yesterday during “Talkin” we as life long fans of this team deserve better, and another very aptly asked if we feel violated!

    All I can say is WOW! Worst pitching staff in the league (Rip’s stats bear it out), worst offense in the league in the clutch, NO POWER whatsoever (Aram, Byrd, Pena have 1 combined dinger)…funny how Aram Byrd and Pena are the heart of the order for the 1st month, I guess Hendry mandated that. Frying up the bullpen like a slab of bacon for breakfast, Horrible defense, and 0, I mean 0 fundamentals. Starlin and Darwin have been amazing at 1-2… break that crap up, wayyyyy too successful, I guess Hendry did that one too.

    Someone needs to be canned…there will be noone left in the seats NOONE! I was so filled with anticipation and excitement when the Ricketts took over, I was quickly informed that I was duped, and now I am a miserable Cub fan with a not fun team to watch..not only are they not fun… they are pathetic and sickening.

    Someone please give me a a reason not to give up!

    • John_CC

      I wish I could, Cloy, but I’m right there with you. Unfortunately we are all programmed to accept a marginal product and disappointment, but like you said, it isn’t even fun to watch. Why do I want to watch all these same old players, literally, that haven’t been successful for 3 years now? Castro and Barney prove that it is fun and excitingto watch young players. When Castro boots 3 balls in one inning you say, aw shucks, but he’ll get better. When it’s Byrd and Soriano misplaying fly balls and Byrd and Pena and Aramis stranding runners…you get the point…I’m done with this team – not the Cubs, of course, but this THIS team. It’s beyond embarrassing.

      • paulcatanese

        John,good point,”this team” and I can understand where you are coming from. I didn’t turn the game off until the seventh inning,but then I am programed in a slightly different way than most on here. I have been a Cub fan for so many years,have seen so many lousy teams that I have little or no confidence they will ever win a World Series in my lifetime. I approach the games with the philosophy of how or what will they do to lose today and actually find it humorus to see it happen. Even when they made the playoffs I knew that they would go no further on to the World Series. The prime thing to even watch is based on a particular player who is having a good year. Hank Sauer,#44,Santo,and to some extent Sosa,when he was trying early in his career. This year it’s Castro and mor-so Barney. Then you watch the reverse players,Aram,Pena, Byrd etc. Thats the only joy I get out of these guys, and the wife just threw another to me as I am typing she said “I’ll say one thing, they are never dull”. I guess that sums it up.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tom Gorzelanny is a better starter than James Russell. I’m so glad they dealt him away for nothing. By doing so, they keep Jim Clueless’ record intact: he has made a good trade in 9 years.

    • cubtex

      I don’t get the love affair for Gorzo? Would the Cubs be any better this year with him? Many on here were saying that the Cubs didn’t need to upgrade their pitching staff by making the Garza deal. Garza hasn’t pitched great yet but I think he will start getting some wins(although I am not too confident about him getting 14 like I predicted) The point is….imagine having a staff of Demp,Z,Silva,Wells and Gorzo this year. Wow! If the Garza deal would not have been consumated……that very well could be the rotation. The one change would be to add Coleman for Silva if the Cubs still would have cut Silva. I know there is a lot of love for Coleman,but to me he is a fringe #5. As I have stated in the past…..he needs everything to go his way to win games. Line drives hit right at fielders, they need to turn double plays and the team needs to play excellent defense. At least now with Garza, if you get Cashner back healthy with Wells you will have 3 starters you can build a staff with.

      • paulcatanese

        The only reason I was pushing Gorzo last fall and early year was a pitching staff needs some kind of balance. Must have a least one wrong-arm to throw in as a starter,they are so hard to come by. Example,look at what the Diamondbacks are throwing at the Cubs this weekend, all rightys. That would be a disaster against a team that had a lot of lefty (good) hitters. Obviously that dosen’t apply to the Cubs and the all righthanded staff will work for AZ. At this point,today the only real starters the Cubs have are Z and Garza(no particular order) It’s going to be a very slow process from here on out to get a staff back that can be competitive. Those two alone cannot do it all,just as Barney and Castro cannot. You are right, they need to play perfect baseball defensivly for anyone the Cubs put out there. Every game this year has been dictated by the offense,pitchers cannot go out there and feel the added pressure of having to pitch almost perfect baseball. I really have changed my mind about Garza, he is a competitor, interesting games he throws, but definatly a competitor.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I still believe Garza is an inconsistent starter, re: his stats last year.

          A winning team needs pitching depth. It takes 8 starters to make it through a season. The Cubs dealt away any depth they had went they threw Gorzelanny away. But of course Jim Clueless is at the helm, so it isn’t surprising. Anybody that could deal away DeRosa’s .287 21 HR and 87 RBI for Jeff Stevens is incompetent, in my book.

          • cubtex

            They dealt away DeRosa who has been a stiff since leaving the Cubs for Archer(who they used to get Garza with)

            Just read that the Giants are trying to unload DeRosa and are willing to eat a good chunk of his contract to just get rid of him. He has only 20 something AB’s in a utility role this year making 6 mill.

          • paulcatanese

            Rip, Garza, inconsistant yes,a competitor,yes,interesting to watch? Very much so. I should have clarified that. And you know I agree about Gorzo,but then we have Grabow,”who could ask for anything more?” Their could be a musical built around this team,well,maybe a musical comedy.

      • Ripsnorter1

        It’s simply, really: do you want James Russell starting next turn, or would you rather have Gorzelanny? To help you decide, I’ll post their stats here, so you can see.

        Russell
        3 GS…9.2 IP (that means he averages less than 3.1 IP per start)…4 2B…6 HR….4 SB….4 BB….5 K….League is hitting him to the tune of .404 ….they are slugging him at the tune of .872. ERA is 11.17.

        Now consider these “sluggers”–The #1 Slugger in all of MLB at this time is
        Lance Berkman, slugging .795. Now notice that Rusell’s slugging against is .872. Do you get the picture? He’s an AWFUL starter. He had the ability to turn mundane hitters into Super, Superstars, surpassing Barry Bonds at his steriod-injected heights.

        Gorzelanny:
        4 GS 22.1 IP (almost 6 IP per start)…16 H…league hitting .195 against him…slugging .390 against him….4 HR….2 2B….ERA is 3.97

        We already had Gorzelanny, and we gave him away for prospects that won’t make it: read: for free.

        So you see, that’s why I give Gorzelanny love. [XXXXX} wants to release the entire roster and call up the youth. Well, we did in this instance, and I regret it. Don’t you? LOL

        And please agree with me that Jim Clueless is . . . . CLUELESS!
        lol

        • cubtex

          If you read any of my past posts you know how I feel about Russell. Never liked him! Watched him pitch for the Longhorns and didn’t think much of him there. I don’t understand this love affair with Russell? Always gave up more hits than innings pitched.

          Rip- Please don’t judge players on such a small sample size like 22 IP. Gorzo is not a big loss. He is not someone to build a rotation with.

          Garza,Cashner,Wells,hopefully McNutt those are pieces to move forward with.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Cubtex,
            Gorzalenny has been around for years. He’s a competent fifth starter.

      • Ripsnorter1

        The rotation would have been:

        Dumpster, Z, Wells, Cashner and Gorzelanny.

        Silva in reserve. Sam Fuld hitting .400 in CF. You know . . . .

        • cubtex

          That would be much worse in my mind. And Sam Fuld would still be in AAA if he was with the Cubs. He is lefthanded and he wouldn’t take playing time away from Fuko or Colvin based on last year.

        • Cheryl

          Rip, Look at the bright side. Fuld is much better off where he is, given the Cubs situation. I’m happy he’s doing so well. He would never have had the chance here.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I understand and agree. However, would the Cubs be a better team today IF our management would have kept and played him? Like I mentioned before, Brenly, before the Byrd signing, said he’d be just fine in CF.

          • Cheryl

            It probably would have been a better team. But in order to get better they have to change the way they look at the younger players. They may be forced to do that after this year. Dempster has pride and I can’t see him continuing in the awful pattern he’s in now. If he decides to retire, look for Coleman and Jackson to be called up. The team has to get younger. But contracts don’t go off the books until next year and heaven help us if they decide to resign Ramirez and keep Pena.

          • paulcatanese

            Cheryl, I think Dempster at some point soon will find his location problems and correct them. His relatively new windeup ( with the glove) and only a little more than a year has caused him timing to be a little off. He still has good velocity its his location thats giving him fits.Whatever he decides to do he will do it with the best interest of the Cubs. Very much a class act and has contributed a lot to Chicago and to the Cubs.

  • PleaseStopLosing

    I’ve packed it in and called it a season now officially. Ricketts will not make $1 off me this year or anytime soon… I will only tune into games now when I have nothing else going on to laugh at all the empty seats and remember a time when a trip to Wrigley was the highlight of my summer.

    Those days are gone… Might catch a Cubs game in Miller Park though just so I can enjoy some baseball.

  • Endy

    Its ok everyone. Dempster and Pena are really good guys.

  • roughriider

    Turn out the lights.

    • paulcatanese

      OK Don.

    • paulcatanese

      Yes and I forgot,”the parties over” classic Don Meredth.

  • Aaron

    This team is a disaster, and it’s almost entirely due to Hendry (and the Ricketts) outdated strategy of relying on veterans to get them through a season. It might’ve worked a few years ago in the steroids era, but it won’t fly anymore. Almost every successful team out there right now has a predominantly younger lineup (meaning 30 years and younger).

    Meanwhile, let’s just assume the Cubs play Baker more because he’s hitting right now. Here’s the lineup they’d likely go with:

    Fukudome-RF 34 yrs old
    Castro-SS 21 yrs old
    Baker-2B 30 yrs old
    ARAM-3B 33 yrs old
    Pena-1B 33 yrs old
    Soriano-LF 35 yrs old
    Byrd-CF 33 yrs old
    Soto-C 28 yrs old
    =average age of 31 yrs old. Castro brings the average down to more respectable, but if you take him out of the equation, everyone else averages 32 years old.

    That’s PRECISELY why the Cubs are losing right now. Their veterans suck.

    On one hand, I feel bad for Quade, because this is the hand he was dealt. However, on the other hand, HE was the one that went predominantly veteran down the stretch last year when he could’ve given Fuld, Castillo, Snyder, etc. more AB’s, and he decided to go veteran, and even allowed Nady, who wasn’t going to be resigned, to get a bulk of the AB’s down the stretch. So, I guess I feel bad for the guy that his first MLB managerial gig is a trainwreck, but he also has to shoulder a whole assload of the blame as well.

    Furthermore, Quade allowed Russell to get 3 starts, when he was an absolute disaster as a starter, and even he admitted that he was best suited as a LOOGY.

    The list of guys that should be released/traded off the 40-man roster, at this point is limitless.

    Here are the guys with either 1 year left, or are auto-renewal (either MLB or 40-man) Notice that I’ve listed the ones that I’d replace first, and the ones I’d try to build around below that:
    Pena
    Fukudome
    ARAM
    Hill
    Johnson
    Baker
    DeWitt
    Perez
    Berg
    Smit
    Stevens
    Berg
    Schlitter
    Gaub
    Grabow
    Maine
    Coello
    Caridad
    Diamond
    Russell
    *****************
    *likely keepers:

    Soto
    Castillo
    Mateo
    Samardzija
    Coleman
    Garza
    Dolis
    Cabrera
    Wells
    Cashner
    Wood
    Colvin
    Barney
    Castro

    The only players signed beyond this season are Marmol and Marshall, whom I’d keep, plus Soriano, Byrd, Dempster, and Zambrano, whom I’d trade/release

    Despite what everyone has said about Dempster, he’s a great guy to have on the team, and I have no problem whatsoever with his extension, other than I thought it was 1 year too long, as that was the market rate for a pitcher of his caliber at the time. (it’s not anymore…but it was at THAT time). You almost hope that he’d pull a Gil Meche, and do the right thing, and just retire, because something is clearly wrong, and he doesn’t have “it” anymore.

    Other players I’d consider dealing would be Soto, Colvin, and Marmol. Marmol has lost a considerable amount of velocity this year, and his K rate is down. I’d rather go after a Papelbon after this season, and try to deal Marmol for prospects if I could, and rebuild from there, as he, along with Marshall, Cashner, Garza, and Castro are probably the only guys on the team that could fetch you much via trade, and you certainly wouldn’t want to trade the latter 3 at this point.

    Obviously, like last year when they were clearly out of the race early, Hendry will try to hang in there until the bitter end, and the Cubs will have wasted most of the year playing for nothing, meanwhile, inhibiting the growth of their own system.

    I mentioned this before, but guys like Ridling, Flaherty, Clevenger, and Marquez Smith, due to age, need to have their opportunity NOW.

    Given that, the logical thing to do, would be:
    -release Pena, bring up Ridling
    -trade/release Johnson, bring up Flaherty
    -release Hill, bring up Clevenger
    -trade/release DeWitt, bring up Smith
    -demote Russell, bring up Jay Jackson

    Those are the IMMEDIATE solutions that could accomplished today. Later in the season, they should:
    -trade Byrd, bring up Jackson
    -trade/release Fukudome, bring up Campana
    -trade ARAM, bring up Vitters or LeMahieu, whomever is doing better
    -trade/release Dempster, bring up McNutt
    -trade Zambrano, bring up Whitenack
    -trade/release Grabow, bring up Beliveau or Lorick from Daytona
    -trade/release Baker, bring up Scott Moore

    The Cubs have some decent IF and OF prospects right now in: Lake, LeMahieu, Flaherty, Vitters, Ridling, Spencer, Gonzalez, Ha, Campana, B. Jackson, Sczcur, and LePage.

    Guys like Ha, Sczcur, LePage, Lake, etc. need to advance a level, but they’re blocked by guys like Flaherty, Spencer, etc., who also happen to be blocked.

    The Cubs roster management is one of the worst I have ever seen in professional sports. (outside of the Blackhawks snafu with the contract tenders and the Bears in 2002 with their tender snafu)….but the Cubs have experienced issues under Hendry that I’ve never seen before from a pro baseball team. I hope something is done about this, because the owners cannot demand better player development, only to see their GM block the very players they want to advance, from ever seeing the light of day in MLB until they’re out of their prime years (ie.-reaching MLB at 28-29 years old), and that’s PRECISELY the path Hendry is creating for these guys right now with his veteran dominated 40-man roster.

    • Ripsnorter1

      How old is the person leading MLB in slugging? His name is Lance Berkman. He is also #2 in hitting at .410.

      How old is the player seeking $300 million for his next contract–whom many say, “He’s worth it?”

      Matt Holiday is leading MLB in hitting at .433. How old is he?

      How old is the player who is #3 in MLB in hitting. His name is Polanco.

      #4 in hitting is Ethier. How old is he?

      “The most feared hitter in MLB” is Jose Bautista. How old is he? He is hitting .360 (#7) with 8 HR.

      Zobriest leads MLB in RBI with 25. His birthday is on May 31. How old will he be?

      I do agree the “No More Steroids” era will shorten careers. No question about it. Barry Bonds could have kept hitting HR’s into his 60′s, provided of course, that his head didn’t grow too big to keep the catcher from seeing the incoming pitch.

      BUT my point is that age alone is not the sole quantifier of who is good or not. The Cubs COULD have had a competitive team with THIS ROSTER if they didn’t have such screwy management. Now they need a fifth starter and all they have to chose from is James Russell, Russ Ortiz, Todd Wellemeyer, and Doug Davis. GAG!

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,I know you will put the lineup out as soon as you can as always. My biggest fear i that it will be a carbon copy of last night as Quade has his favorites Pena,Byrd etc. playing again.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Paul, no Pena tonight. Baker is hitting fifth and playing first. Byrd and Soriano are hitting sixth and seventh.

      • paulcatanese

        I replied on the next blog,but am glad Quade has seen the light at least for one night. It looks like the best they can put out there,hope they do well.

  • Brp921

    It is time to fire Jim Hendry (and has been for a couple of years) and bring in someone with a vision for the future. Let the new person decide who they want to keep in management. Bring up some of the young talent that they believe to be ready. The Cubs are going nowhere this year so all focus should be on what kind of team they can be in 2013 or 2014. I would be happy with any good baseball person for GM and bring back Ryne Sandberg as manager. I think he would insist on excellence and 100 percent effort frome everyone including the veterans and thats what this team needs. I think the veterans believe this as well and that is why they gave their support to Mike Quade. Jim Hendry knew Sandberg would have the will of the fans and could not be persuaded to do his will, and that is why he hired Quade. Ryne Sandberg knows the Cubs minor league system and should be the man in charge on the field.

  • EqDoc

    I read in the Tribune today that because of lagging ticket sales, the Cubs will be discounting beer and hotdogs for bleacher ticket holders… Here is a priceless response from one reader:

    “There are two ways to fill up the seats. Win or cut beer prices. Jim Hendry has eliminated winning…..so DRINK UP CUBS FANS!!”