Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 07/26/11

Game One Hundred Three: Cubs (42-60) vs. Brewers (54-49)
Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Ryan Dempster (7-7, 5.00/1.42) vs. Chris Narveson (6-6, 4.45/1.40)

The Cubs return to the field tonight and begin a 10-game, three-city trip with the first of three against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs play a majority of their final 60 games outside of Wrigley Field (35 of 60) … Q’s squad is 17-29 on the road this season.

Now that the pesky three-game win-streak is out of the way, could the Cubs actually win four in a row? The Cubs will have their hands full with a very good Brewers offense and a pitcher they’ve had little to no success against in Chris Narveson (5-0 in career, 2-0 this season against the Cubs)

Mike Quade announced his rotation for the series on Sunday afternoon … as well as the first two games against the Cardinals. After Ryan Dempster tonight, Carlos Zambrano will face Zack Greinke on Wednesday and Randy Wells gets to match up against the Brewers most consistent pitcher this season, Shaun Marcum, on Thursday. Matt Garza is penciled in for the opener in St. Louis with Rodrigo Lopez making the start on Saturday afternoon.

After spending their last day off until August 11, tonight it all begins with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off a horrible outing in which he threw 86 pitches to the Phillies in just three innings. According to Mike Quade, Starlin Castro and the missed pop up on the second batter of the game set the tone for the Cubs 9-1 drubbing at the hands of Philly. Dempster struggled with his command in the heat and could not find a rhythm. Dempster allowed six runs, all earned, on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Dempster has struggled mightily on the road this season (3-2 in nine starts with a 6.70 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP). If the Cubs are going to have a successful road trip, Ryan Dempster will have to step up his game a notch or two.

Dempster was on a roll before his last start and had posted back-to-back victories while his team had won his the last four games he started. After a very good June (1-2 in six starts with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP), Dempster is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s second start of the season against the Brewers. Dempster received a no decision back on June 13 in a Cubs 1-0 victory over Milwaukee. Dempster tossed seven innings of shutout ball and the Brewers managed just four hits and a walk … Dempster struck out seven. Dempster has had success against Milwaukee throughout his career and is 15-3 in 45 games, 23 starts, with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP … at Miller Park, 6-2 in 23 games, 11 starts, with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Brewers Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Yuniesky Betancourt – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Ryan Braun – 8-for-41 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 3 walks
  • Craig Counsell – 7-for-28 with a double, a home run and 5 walks
  • Prince Fielder – 9-for-38 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 8 walks
  • Corey Hart – 5-for-36 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Mark Kotsay – 3-for-13 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Jonathan Lucroy – 1-for-5
  • Casey McGehee – 7-for-23 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
  • Nyjer Morgan – 0-for-9 with 2 walks
  • Rickie Weeks – 9-for-34 with a double and 6 walks

Chris Narveson has been extremely inconsistent this season but more than a serviceable fifth starter for Ron Roenicke. Narveson is coming off an excellent seven-inning outing against Arizona in which he held a very good D’Backs offense scoreless and allowed only four hits with no walks (four strikeouts). Narveson has excelled at Miller Park this year (5-2 in nine starts with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP) and is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

Narveson has already faced the Cubs twice this season and beat them both times (2-0 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHP). In 12 1/3 innings against the Cubs overly aggressive offense, Narveson has walked only four while striking out 14.

The Cubs have never handed Chris Narveson a loss and the veteran southpaw is 5-0 in 11 career games, four starts, with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Narveson

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-10 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-1
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-9 with 4 doubles
  • Starlin Castro – 2-for-8 with a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 3-for-7 with a double
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-11 with a double and a home run
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-3
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-14 with a home run and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-9 with a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 4-for-13 with a double and 3 walks

Boys of Spring – The Movie
Friend of the CCO, Tim Sheridan, is putting the finishing touches on a Cubs documentary about his time with the Chicago Cubs. Tim is the long-time P.A. announcer at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and the film is full of behind the scenes, never-before-see footage shot by Tim as he worked next to Cubs legends like Harry Caray and Ron Santo.

From the official press release: To be a part of Boys of Spring – The Movie, fans can donate as little as $10 using an account. As a thank you, fans will receive a copy of the Boys of Spring documentary before its official release next spring. There are a range of donation levels and rewards available on, including Cubs memorabilia and your name in the movie’s credits.

Boys of Spring isn’t about a team winning or losing. It’s about something deeper. An examination of life on its winding path and how, in spite of perceived failures, there is happiness and success. Cub fans will find joy this season and for years to come with the Boys of Spring film by donating and claiming their place in Cubs history. An epic World Series drought can’t stop the faithful Cubs followers, who know better than anyone – “There’s always next spring!”

The CCO will be running reminders during game previews for the next few weeks and I encourage the Faithful to check out ‘Boys of Spring – The Movie

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • Richard Hood

      Why is Pena playing against a LH’er ?

      NM just saw Muskat’s tweet.

    • paulcatanese

      If Pena is not going to be at first,does that mean Johnson to RF and Baker to 1st? I dont think Quade has any more RH hitters left, even on the bench.
      This should be fun tonight. Oh well, we are contenders again and should pull this one off.

  • GrantJones7

    Neil, sent you an email, jsut a heads up

    • Neil

      Thanks Grant, will check tonight.

  • Neil

    According to multiple reports, Wood back in Chicago with bad flu and not with team. Wood was seen by team doctor and is getting fluids.

    • Brentcarmona

      well great another reliever unavailable gives quade another reason to leave dempster in longer. that or make a reliever in a position to fail.

  • Neil

    From the Tribune: Quade says Cubs can get back in race this trip, adds: “I’m not a lunatic.”

    • Richard Hood

      He needs to lay off the gatorade. He has a salt deposit in his brain where his reasoning function should be.

    • paulcatanese

      That is totaly an amazing statement, this man is well,,,whatever. Pena not in the lineup tonight? Is there a rumor out there?

    • BosephHeyden

      Looking at this three ways:

      Logically:  the Cubs just swept their first three game series of the year AND just won three games in a row.  Chances are very slim they can actually do that again this week and make it six games in a row.

      Mathematically:  Even if the Cubs do sweep the Brewers, they’re still 15 games under .500 while the Brewers would be two games over.  Meanwhile, you’re also counting on THREE other teams to get swept, with the Pirates at Braves being competitive enough that a split is likely, the Cardinals taking on the Astros where the Cardinals would have to forget how to play baseball to get swept, and the Reds vs the Mets, which is also unlikely to be a sweep for anyone.  Factor in the games the other teams have against each other and, yeah, very close to a zero percent chance of winning there.

      Realistically:  This is a team that is operating with one constantly good reliever, a starting rotation filled with a bunch of four or five guys playing in roles above their actual talent level, and a very inconsistent offense.

    • Bryan

      That is just too funny.  Amazing what a three game sweep of a more pathetic team than your own will do to Cubs management. 

      And even if the north siders can pull off the unimaginable and keep on winning at any pace, the fact that three teams are mainly inseparable at the top, and a fourth is on their heels, means that the gaining ground in the race is a silly ambition.  But go ahead, keep believing what JH is pitching ya.  Idiot! 

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      lol he is crazy we have no chance to get back in this race I guess he most of drink some vodka. lol

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      Yes Mike, you are. (If this team remains intact)

    • diehardcubfan

      Quade is spending way too much time hanging around with JH rubbing Crane Kenney’s crystal ball, sipping on the blue koolaid, hitting on the bong and singing kumbaya around the campfire.

      Their idea of reality is simply amazing.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Casey Coleman (3-2, 4.59)
    Tennessee – Brooks Raley (6-8, 4.23) projected
    Daytona  – Casey Harman (2-1, 4.50)
    Boise – Austin Reed (0-2, 7.06)
    AZL Cubs – Hunter Ackerman (0-2, 3.19)

    Peoria has the night off.
    Hunter Ackerman was erroneously reported as the starter for the AZL Cubs yesterday. The AZL Cubs had the day off on Monday.

    • Neil

      Dallas Beeler is headed from Tennessee to Mesa to rehab.. Shoulder tendinitis

      • Tom U

        Brent Ebinger was called up to Tennessee the other day. Marco Carrillo may take Beeler’s spot in the rotation.

    • Tom U

      Ryan Searle starting for Tennessee

  • paulcatanese

    Lopez to start against the Cardinals on Sat.? I thought he was relegated to the bullpen? Does Quade ever do the same thing twice, actually he does with his lame lineups day after day.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Hope the Cubs win tonight

  • Neil

    Aramis with a 2 run shot … took over 6th place on the Cubs All-Time Home Run List

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Another home run for Ramirez to bad we can not trade him

  • Cheryl

    Fuku isn’t in the lineup, maybe there’s something going on tradewise with him?

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      A left handed pitcher is on the mound , Fuko usually plays against right handed pitchers.

      • Cheryl

        I got so used to seeing him ead-ff I forgot. Thanks.

  • GaryLeeT

    I knew I could count on Dumpster to immediately crap all over a good beginning by the offense.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    There goes the lead , the Cubs pitchers seem to always gave up runs in the first inning.

  • Neil

    Dempster is struggling … again. Wonder if Castro will be blamed for this one. After all he missed the grounder from Prince Fielder.

    • The Maven

      Remember, we can get back in the race, we’re just a few moves away, and I am not a lunatic!

      • BosephHeyden

        Can you imagine being a person highly sought after this season as trade bait and then finding out at the trade deadline you were traded to the Cubs?  I think I’d retire at that point.

  • Neil

    The untouchable one misplayed that ball in right field

    • paulcatanese

      I think you meant the ball was “untouchable” for the right fielder.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Baker is a lousy OF. Tough to watch him out there.

      • John_CC

        Hey, it’s not his fault, remember Quade said so because he isn’t really a right fielder you cannot expect him to make every play!

  • Neil

    Dempster already at 42 pitches with two outs in the second.

  • Neil

    Nice at bat by Castro

  • Tom U

    An interesting development:

    After going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI, Matt Szczur is taken down for a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth with a runner on first and no outs (he also had an outfield assist). 

    Logan Watkins, starting at short, replaces Szczur in centerfield (Watkins 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI).

    • cubtex

      I hope they aren’t including Szcur in a trade.

      • Aaron

        Remember, Hendry still thinks “2-3 solid moves away”, and he even restated that when talking about 2012. 

        Don’t think for a moment that he’s given up on this year….not with Resident Idiot Quade as manager saying the same thing.

        I wouldn’t put that move past him.

        It could be Szczur was injured, or just getting a break (though, being 2-for-3 in the game with 2 doubles would be pretty puzzling as to why he’s getting a break, but whatever)….Earlier in the year, every time someone was pulled from a game at AA or AAA, a lot of us were saying they’d be brought up, and most of the time, we were wrong, so this could be nothing….or, it could be Hendry being a moron yet again.

        • cubtex

          Yea, hopefully he felt a pull in his hammy or something minor and they just pulled him as a precautionary

        • Tom U

          The other part of this is that with an experienced lead-off hitter and centerfielder in Evan Crawford on the bench, Manager Buddy Bailey decided to go with career minor leaguer Rafael Valdes as a pinch hitter and move Logan Watkins to center. Weird!

      • paulcatanese

        I wouldnt doubt it.

  • Neil

    WOW! Dempster just saved several of his teeth … and then some.

  • Neil

    Second and third with no outs … Pena and Soriano due up.

  • Neil

    Pena walked, Narveson out. Loe in for Soriano

  • GaryLeeT

    Soriano is playing like this so he can discourage other teams’ interest. Thank you J.H. for allowing him the opportunity to plague the Cubs FOREVER!

  • Neil

    Soriano and Barney, three outs with two swings of the bat. No runs.

    • Aaron

      Again….how Hendry thinks this team is 2-3 moves away from contending is beyond me.

      Pena is hitting in the .220’s, and failed to show up for basically the first 2 months of the season, then started coming around late May and June. He’s worthless, just as Lee was worthless, and has continued proving he was worthless with the O’s. Aging 1B that are 33+ years old should NOT be counted on, and yet Hendry sounds as if he wants to extend Pena for next year. WOW!!!

      Baker as “untouchable” should show everyone the lunatic that Hendry is…a couple fries short of a happy meal. (actually, he needs to lay off those anyway)

      Then hanging onto Grab-ass this long is an insult to every mildly decent reliever in the Cubs’ farm system.

      Koyie Hill doesn’t even belong in a MLB uniform….and Reed Johnson is closer to being admitted to an old folks home than making decent contributions down the stretch this year.

      ….and I don’t even think I need to mention Ramon Ortiz

      What a joke this team has become…and it’s ALL on Hendry.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Reed Johnson has played well for the Cubs this year:

        .328 BA.555 slugging
        3 BB
        36 K
        WOW. He never walks! But he has hit the ball.
        4 HR
        23 RBI

        He has played well this year. I wanted to drop him and take a younger guy out of ST, but he proved me wrong.

  • Matt

    Hahaha pathetic….

  • Neil

    K-Rod just retired the Cubs in the eighth on 11 pitches.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Adam Dudd hit a 2 run bomb in the 1st inning off of Verlander. Sox and Tigers are tied 2-2 after 8.

    WOW! Keeeeeeeny Williams threat to ship them all out seems to have helped out.

  • Aaron


    Something has to be wrong with Crawford. It has to be an injury, because why would you bench a player that’s hit .333, and hasn’t played since July 19th….a week ago if you’re keeping track, if he isn’t injured?!?!? Oh, wait….this is the Cubs we’re talking about…so it makes COMPLETE sense now.

    Same thing happens when guys are called up to the big leagues….they rot on the bench after hitting over .300, playing everyday in the minors.

    Nothing surprises me anymore with Hendry at the helm. THERE IS NO DAMN PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Player development has actually stalled this year, despite all the movement around the system. It’s like they won’t just do the right thing at all in terms of developing from within. 

    For instance, rather than releasing them outright, the Cubs opted to demote Bibens-Dirkx, Camp, and Stevens, providing the club with an opportunity to look at guys like Antigua, Suarez, and hell, even Bour or Burgess (even with his struggles) at the AA level. All but Bour are eligible for the Rule 5 this coming offseason. Why not get a look at them at AA?

    • Tom U

      Matt Cerda also hasn’t played since July 15th.

      There is starting to be quite a logjam of infielders in the system. 

      Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya are hitting the cover off the ball in Arizona. 

      Boise is having a hard time finding at-bats for Wes Darvill, Brad Zapenas, Kenny Socorro, Wilson Contreras, Zeke DeVoss, and now Dustin Harrington.

      Rubi Silva is now seeing time at second for Peoria, who also have Arismendy Alcantara, and Elliot Soto, with Pierre LePage on the DL.

      Logan Watkins has been lights-out in Daytona, who have added minor league vets David Macias and Rafael Valdes.

      Tennessee can use some help, as Junior Lake appears to be over-matched, while Nate Samson has come back down to earth. Matt Camp is just a guy.

      Iowa’s infielders have been well documented.

      With some stiffs backing up at the major league level, its now time to make some moves.

      • Aaron

        Funny thing is, Cubs can’t even identify their own talent, and move guys around accordingly.

        Zapenas, Socorro, Contreras, Harrington, Silva, Soto, Macias, Valdes, Samson, and Camp are all roster filler type of players, yet ALL are getting extensive playing time. Why is that? Especially when their bats don’t project at the next level.

        Guys like Hernandez, Amaya, DeVoss, Watkins, Alcantara, Geiger, LePage, and others should be moved along and given more playing time (in the case of Geiger, he was moved up recently). 

        If I had to rate the Cubs depth (in terms of how I’d rank them):
        C-Soto, Castillo, Clevenger, Gibbs, Rosario
        1B-Bour, LaHair, Ridling (if Cubs sign Vogelbach or even Shoulders, they move up to #2 and 3 respectively), Hoilman
        2B-Barney, LeMahieu, Cerda, Watkins, M. Hernandez
        SS-Castro, M. Gonzalez, Lake, Alcantara, Amaya
        3B-Vitters, Flaherty, (Baez would be #3 if he signs) Rohan, Geiger
        LF-Wright, Ha, Perez, Klafczynski, Gretzky, (Schlect if he signs)
        CF-Jackson, Szczur, Crawford, DeVoss, Zapata
        RF-Colvin, Spencer, Burgess, Easterling, Martin

        As you can see, the Cubs are pretty slim at the corner IF and OF spots, and that is why I kept saying this year’s draft was so incredibly important to lock up quickly.

        If they can sign position talent like the guys I listed below, the Cubs should be just fine…but if they don’t, they’re up sh$t creek without a paddle, considering Hendry refuses to deal his veterans for anything useful:
        Baez-3B, SS
        Dunston Jr.-OF

        The reason I say all this, is the Cubs might have a bunch of future MLB role players in their system, but hardly any star-caliber players.

        Of that bunch, I’d say Castillo, Bour, Vogelbach, Shoulders, LeMahieu (if he fills out and adds power), Baez, Castro, Vitters have the chance to develop into stars.

        The other issue compounding the depth issues (in terms of QUALITY depth) is the fact that the free agent market offers just Molina, Fielder, Pujols, and Swisher (team option likely to be exercised) as options for the team next year.

        About the only position players you’d want on this team next year from the current 25-man roster are Soto, Barney, Castro, Campana, and ARAM. 

        Yet, with Hendry at the helm, you get the feeling that EVERYONE will be back (and that even includes Fukudome on a smaller salary)


  • cubtex

    Congrats to former Glenbrook North Spartan and Northbrook Il native Jason Kipnis on his first major league hit yesterday! A game winner for the Tribe!

  • Neil

    Cubs lost to Brewers 3-2 Tuesday night. Ryan Dempster:
    3R, 7H, BB, 7K, 6 IP; Aramis Ramirez: 1-for-4, HR, 2RBI; Starlin Castro:

  • diehardcubfan

    Well that was a short lived winning streak but again we actually played a real baseball team.  JH and Quade though tomorrow will still believe we are in this and that in 2012 we are only a couple of moves in contending.

    That makes three years now for that slogan.  JH should patent it.

  • jw

    For Pete’s sake Soriano cannot be with this team next year…have a nice $54mm piece of shoe leather Mr Ricketts

  • Aaron


    Now…Can we please get lobotomies for both Hendry AND Quade now?!?! RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!

    How can Selig get involved with the Padres and Dodgers, and prior to that, even the Expos/Nationals because they were becoming a joke, yet sit back and watch one of the most popular franchises in the game be run completely into the ground on his watch?!?!?!?At some point, you have to think that MLB needs to step in to clean up the mess, because a big market, top payroll team should NOT be in this position right now, and facing even dire straits come next year when the fan base dwindles even further, thus making exacerbating the financial crisis afflicting the team with their debt ratio that was publicized a few months ago.

  • paulcatanese

    Typical Cubs, outhit the opposition again and still lose. DeWitt, over his head, ball four. Too bad they cant use a courtesy runner four times a game.