Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Royals – 06/24/11

Game Seventy-Five: Cubs (30-44) vs. Royals (31-44)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

Ryan Dempster (5-6, 5.46/1.48) vs. Bruce Chen (4-1, 3.59/1.34)

After spending their last off day before the All-Star break traveling to Kansas City, the Cubs get back on the field tonight and begin a stretch of 18 games in 17 days leading up to the break on July 11.

The Cubs are struggling in just about every aspect of the game right now and enter play tonight 14 games under .500, the lowest mark of the season for Q’s squad.

Mike Quade shifted his rotation for the Cubs first series in Kansas City since 2000. Carlos Zambrano will stay on regular rest and will match-up against Danny Duffy on Saturday. Randy Wells was pushed back a day and will face Luke Hochevar in the finale Sunday afternoon. Quade announced Matt Garza will start the makeup game against the Rockies on Monday and Doug Davis will start one of the two games on Tuesday … Quade is not sure who will start the second game, one possibility is Rodrigo Lopez or the Cubs could call-up Casey Coleman to make the start.

Ned Yost is running out two lefties to begin the series. After Bruce Chen tonight, the Cubs will face one of the Royals top pitching prospects Saturday in rookie left-hander Danny Duffy. Quade will run out his right-handed lineup so expect to see a lot of Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, D.J. LeMahieu and Luis Montanez over the next two games.

In other newsDarwin Barney is expected to begin a rehab stint with the Iowa Cubs on Saturday. If all goes as planned Barney could rejoin the big league club as early as June 29. Marlon Byrd will join Barney in Iowa on Monday and begin an expected weeklong rehab assignment in Triple-A. Byrd is hoping to return to the lineup on July 4 against the Nationals.

Two of the worst teams in baseball, record wise, will square off for the next three days. While the Royals future is looking bright, the Cubs seems to be going in the opposite direction. Tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off another poor outing in which his team needed him to step up and lead them to a victory. Dempster labored through 5 1/3 innings last Saturday against the Yankees and took the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and a season-high (or low) six walks. The Cubs lost the game 4-3 and a win that afternoon would have been the Cubs third in a row … and would have gotten them a series win against the Bronx Bombers. Since last Friday, the Cubs are 2-4 and back to 14 below the respectable mark.

Ryan Dempster has struggled mightily on the road this season … 2-2 in seven starts with a 7.53 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP, teams are hitting .304 against Dempster outside of Wrigley. It is past time for Dempster to put together a string of successful starts after an extremely inconsistent first three months of the season.

Dempster is 1-2 in his last four starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s second career start versus the Royals … 1-0 in one start with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP (four runs on six hits with five walks and a strikeout in six innings). Dempster’s only appearance against the Royals came back on June 12, 2002 while he was a member of the Florida Marlins’ rotation.

Royals Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Wilson Betemit – 0-for-3
  • Melky Cabrera – 1-for-6
  • Bruce Chen – 0-for-2
  • Alcides Escobar – 2-for-11 with a walk
  • Jeff Francoeur – 5-for-12 with 3 doubles
  • Chris Getz – 2-for-7 with a triple and a walk

Bruce Chen will be activated from the 15-day DL prior to tonight’s game and make his first big league start since May 5. Chen has been on the shelf with a strained left lat. Chen completed three minor league rehab starts and should be able to throw at least 100 pitches tonight.

The veteran southpaw was off to a good start and beat the Orioles back on May 5, 9-1. Chen held Baltimore to one run on five hits in seven innings with two walks and five strikeouts.

Bruce Chen has not lost at home this season and is 3-0 in five starts with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Chen is 1-1 in 11 career games, four starts, versus the Cubs with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. The last time Chen faced a Cubs’ team during the regular season was back in 2002 as a member of the New York Mets (1-0 in five relief appearances with a 1.13 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP).

Cubs Career Numbers against Bruce Chen

  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-16 with 2 walks
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-6 with a home run and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 6-for-10 with 3 doubles and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-13with a home run and 2 walks

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Fukudome – CF
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Baker – DH
    Soto – C
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Montanez – RF
    LeMahieu – 2B

    Dempster – P

    • BosephHeyden

      So eventually he’s going to learn Ramirez and Soriano are the two guys who belong at DH whenever DH is available, right?  Right?  Anyone?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yeah. You are right. 

        The problem with Baker at 3B–he made all seven of his errors at 3B last year in very parttime play. 

        • BosephHeyden

          Then he can play right.  Kansas City isn’t that hard of an outfield to master:  Baker plays right, Montanez move to left, Soriano DH’s, and there’s the ideal setup.

          And since that took me six seconds to put together, if the Cubs lose this one on errors, this is Quade’s fault.

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

      Baker at 1st would have been better with Pena’s horrible splits vs Lefties but as hot as he has been I understand why he is in there……. grumble …… grumble ……….. idiot………… grumble

    • paulcatanese

      Quade must think he’s a genius as he now has two pinch hitters on the bench that will sove all his problems, DeWitt and Johnson,they even bat from the opposite side of the plate. The odds are pretty good that he will pinch hit for LeMahieu somewhere tonight with DeWitt . He has what he calls his “veteran” lineup out there tonight.On second thought he would use Johnson and then move DeWitt to 2b and burn 3 players at once.

    • Kevinwickit

      What I see is the Cubs displaying players for the trade market.

    • gocubs

      I like this lineup, but as BosephHeyden points out why isnt Soriano the DH with Baker in LF? 

      And whats the deal with Montanez?  Why do we have him up here over Colvin?  

  • Anonymous47701

    If Tom doesn’t Fire Jim Hendry at seasons end, possibilites are that:

    A-Hendry will stay after 2012

    B-Hendry will resign, leaving Mike Quade open for dismissal.

    C-Well, what do people say?

    • paulcatanese

      The way that Ricketts is approaching this team with his input and beliefs(lack of making anything happen) I see no other answer but A.

      • Anonymous47701

        I hope Hendry resigns. That would be the smartest move on his part, and maybe it will make Tom Ricketts think twice.

        • BosephHeyden

          It wouldn’t be smart on Hendry’s part.  He’s a baseball GM:  there are very few positions available at any given time, and the only movement from that job is up (VP of operation, President of operations, etc.).  Hendry won’t quit unless another job is open to him or he’s promoted.

  • studio179

    Unbelievable! Does Quade draw straws for his lineup? Plus, he has a couple DH types that he insists on playing in the field against these AL teams. Trade market? It is a safe bet Sori is going no where.

    • paulcatanese

      I’m sure he does,did anyone ever wonder what the players must think out there? I would be thinking “what am I doing out here”? “why am I listening to this guy”?and “he dosent know his head from a hole in the ground”.Gotta be a strange way to make a living.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Starlin Castro singled to center in the first inning of Friday night’s game, hit
    #100 of the season in the 75th
    game

    • cubtex

      He is one hell of an offensive player for his age!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro caught stealing for the first time this season (10-for-11). Cost the Cubs a run …

  • gocubs

    Quade’s “strategies” are unreasonable. The guy manages like a high school manager.  How is it that its glaringly obvious to fans that this guy is not a MLB manager, and so hard for Hendry, Rickets to see.  I mean some of this guy’s moves are just plain dumb.

    • cubtex

      Totally agree! You would think Pat Listach or Dernier would be in his ear to make some suggestions to him. They might very well do that…but his game strategy late in games is brutal. I don’t think I have seen anyone worse!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Second time tonight a Cub has made an out at third on a bad baserunning play

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Speechless …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And now they are throwing the ball around … good thing Quade stressed fundamentals

    Just like that game tied at three.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    They look horrible tonight … and that is saying something

  • Dorasaga

    You gotta love this young Royal offense. This is what the Cubs SHOULD HAVE.

  • Brentcarmona

    neil you point this out every time he does it… dempster always wetting the bed when given the lead.

  • GaryLeeT

    Chen, with his 84 MPH fastball, shows the Dumpster what to do to the
    opposition the inning after your offense gives you the lead. How some of these
    Cub players accept their paychecks with a clear conscience is beyond me.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs’ fourth baserunning mistake of the night

    • Brentcarmona

      beat me to it!

  • Brentcarmona

    quoting pat from the radio ‘ four baserunning mistakes in six innings. ramirez out by twenty feet.’ hmm that sound like our cubbies. glad im not watching.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Be glad you are not watching … very, very bad.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Just picked up a rumor on ESPN Insider that the Phils are looking for a RH bat. Phils are low on dough, so they cannot afford much. 

    JEFF BAKER fits the bill. Baker is hitting well this year vs. LHP, as he also excelled vs LHP last year. It would be a mistake to deal him away for nothing. 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Phillies were rumored to be interested in Marlon Byrd before the obvious

      • Ripsnorter1

        That would have given us some salary relief if nothing else. Too bad. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Riggleman quit the Nats. 

    Question: can he file for unemployment benefits?

  • Ripsnorter1

    IF the Cubs drop this game, that means they will have a perfect .400 “winning” percentage. Only the Astros are worse. And I mean WORSE. The Cubs have struggled mightily, trying to drop into last place, and the Astros won’t let them. 

    I have this worry: that Mark Cuban will buy the team and fix their problems. He could do it.

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

      The Astro’s already sold. He might end up in LA though.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    I truly hate watching this team and the Honeymoon is over for the Ricketts family. What I demand:

    1: Ditch this regime and hire solid baseball people who can build a contender, yet keep an eye on the future.

    2. Spend your own money and fix your crummy stadium. 

    • Dorasaga

      That’s a dreamer.

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

      ok please have the United Center, the Cell and Soldiers Field all give back the tax money that was raised by the 13% entertainment tax on Wrigley Field first so that all get the same treatment. It should be fair Wrigleyville  area and Cubs fans paid for those stadiums and are continuing to pay to for the upgrades. So to say that they all deserve the money that is coming from a “dump” but the guy should not ask for public money to help fix it is just a little hypocritical. It is only fair for Public financing to help pay for the renovation when one of the main reasons for the history of futility can come right back to that same Public passing city ordinances and stupid laws that constrict the way the club can do business. But your right please lets hope the Ricketts are smart enough to move the Cubs to the Suburbs where they are at least treated fairly.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Quade can’t wait to get Blake DeWitt into the game.

  • GaryLeeT

    Cub’s dugout celebrates run scoring double play. What a great snapshot of the season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs get the minimum out of the maximum

  • GaryLeeT

    You know, I have to give the Cubs their props. Scoring 1 run on 5 hits, in one inning, is nearly impossible to do.

  • cubtex

    I am really questioning these speed guns. 93 mph sliders…98 to 100 mph fastballs by countless pitchers!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent job of hitting by LeMahieu

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Royals 6-4. Castro: 3-for-5, RBI; Ramirez:
    3-for-5, 2B, 2R, Pena: 2-for-4, 2B, 2R, RBI; Dempster: 4R, 2ER, 9H, BB, WP in
    6IP

  • paulcatanese

    Just got thru watching the game,my wife asked, “who won”? I said “the Cubs” she answered,”why”?,”How?”

  • paulcatanese

    I knew DeWitt would get in the game, great productive double play.

  • Anonymous47701

    The Cubs Can Still Swap Their Big Contract with another team can’t they? I mean the Vernon Wells for Alfonso Soriano swap shouldn’t be out of the question.