Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 07/05/11

Game Eighty-Seven: Cubs (35-51) vs. Nationals (43-43)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Nationals Park, Washington D.C.

Ramon Ortiz (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Ross Detwiler (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Updated 2:28pm CDTCubs Selected Contract of Ramon Ortiz from Triple-A Iowa and added to 40-man Roster. Ortiz called up from Triple-A Iowa. Casey Coleman Optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room on active roster for Ramon Ortiz. Marcos Mateo placed on 15-Day DL with elbow soreness. Chris Carpenter recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take Mateo’s spot on the active roster.

After giving another game away on the 4th of July, the Cubs will try to avoid going a season-low 17 games under .500 behind Ramon Ortiz. Ortiz is taking Carlos Zambrano’s spot in the rotation after the Cubs were forced to put Big Z on the DL last Friday with lower back soreness.

Marcos Mateo left in the 10th inning of Monday’s game with an apparent elbow injury. Mateo reportedly flew back to Chicago following the game to undergo an MRI on his right elbow. Mateo will likely be placed on the 15-day DL and the Cubs could use the injury to recall Chris Carpenter. Carpenter was optioned to Triple-A following Sunday’s game to make room on the active roster for Casey Coleman.

With Mateo’s injury, the Cubs might not have a choice but to place Ryan Dempster on the 15-day DL. Dempster is listed as day-to-day with core problems. Prior to Monday’s game Quade indicated Dempster could start the finale against the Nationals or the opener in Pittsburgh on Friday. But with all of the injuries and needing to make room for Ramon Ortiz, the Cubs might not have a choice but to DL Ryan Dempster. If the Cubs choose that direction they could backdate the trip to DL to June 30. Once Ramon Ortiz is officially added and activated the Cubs 40-man roster will stand at 40 players.

The Cubs will face lefty Ross Detwiler tonight for the first time. The former first round pick of the Nationals will make his 2011 big league debut. With the lefty Detwiler on the hill, Starlin Castro should get bumped up in the batting order, which should get him out of his mini slump … at least for one game.

Tonight it all starts with Ramon Ortiz

Ramon Ortiz signed a minor league contract with the Cubs soon after both Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner were placed on the DL (April 10). Ortiz has been with the Iowa Cubs ever since and posted a 6-3 record with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

The 38-year old right-hander has not pitched regularly at the big league level since 2007. Ortiz made 16 appearances (two starts) for the Dodgers last season. Ortiz was 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP … his last big league win came in relief on May 1, 2010 in Pittsburgh.

The goal for the Cubs and Ortiz tonight should be to eat innings and keep the score as close as possible. The promotion of Ramon Ortiz is a further indictment of the poor planning by the Cubs GM.

Ramon Ortiz is 1-1 in five career games, two starts, against the Nationals/Expos organization with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. The last time he faced the Nats was on April 23, 2010 at Nationals Park (one run on one hit with four walks in 2 2/3 innings).

Nationals Career Numbers against Ramon Ortiz

  • Alex Cora – 4-for-11 with a home run and a walk
  • Laynce Nix – 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and a walk
  • Ivan Rodriguez – 8-for-34 with 3 home runs
  • Matt Stairs – 4-for-13 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 1-for-4

Ross Detwiler will make his 2011 big league debut after spending the season with Triple-A Syracuse … 6-6 with a 4.53 ERA in 16 starts. The Nationals former first round pick (2007) was 1-3 in eight games, five starts, last season with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

The Cubs must show a little patience against Ross Detwiler tonight and make him work. Tonight will be Ross Detwiler’s first career start and appearance against the Chicago Cubs.

Carlos Pena (1-for-2 with a walk) is the only player on the Cubs roster that has faced Ross Detwiler.

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Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth