Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 08/16/11

Game One Hundred Twenty-Three: Cubs (54-68) vs. Astros (38-84)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston

Ryan Dempster (10-8, 4.79/1.39) vs. Brett Myers (3-12, 4.71/1.38)

Q’s Cubs will go for their fourth win in a row tonight and if they can solve the riddle that is Brett Myers, the Cubs would post their fifth straight series win for the first time since 2008.

Mike Quade is looking for a long outing from Ryan Dempster tonight. The Cubs pen is spent and with the unknown that is Casey Coleman set to start the finale on Wednesday afternoon, Dempster needs give his team a long, quality start. Quade has an extra arm in the pen for now in Scott Maine but he is likely headed back to Triple-A to make room for Coleman to be activated Wednesday.

Koyie Hill has served as Dempster’s catcher in his last three starts. Dempster has posted three straight victories with Hill behind the dish and neither one of the Cubs’ catchers have hit Myers in their career. With the early game on getaway day, Hill will likely get the start tonight.

Somehow the Cubs have posted back-to-back wins with some very sloppy play … both at the plate and in the field. The Cubs have committed six errors and struck out 28 times over the last 18 innings.

Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster

After posting losses in two straight decisions, Ryan Dempster is coming off his third straight victory … and his longest outing in nearly a month. Dempster held the Nationals to one run on three hits (a solo shot by Ryan Zimmerman in the first) in seven innings. Dempster issued just two walks and struck out six … and maintained the all-important 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Ryan Dempster has struggled for the most part on the road this season. In 11 starts, Dempster is 4-3 with a 6.24 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

Dempster is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP … and owns a 4-2 record in six starts since the break with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s second start of the year against the Astros. Dempster beat the ‘Stros in Houston back on April 11 (four runs on six hits with three walks and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings). Dempster is 6-11 in 49 career games, 23 starts, against the Astros with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP … at Minute Maid, 4-7 in 24 games, 13 starts, with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Clint Barmes – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-3
  • Matt Downs – 1-for-1
  • Carlos Lee – 14-for-39 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Jason Michaels – 0-for-1
  • Humberto Quintero – 3-for-16 with a home run and a walk
  • Angel Sanchez – 2-for-7 with a double and a home run

Brett Myers is having a bad season against every team but the Chicago Cubs. Two of Myers’ three wins have come against Q’s squad and he’s made them look pathetic in the process. Myers has dominated the Cubs to the tune of a 2-0 record in two starts this season with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Myers is coming off a solid start against the D’Backs (three runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings) but received a no decision. Myers has not posted a win since July 20 (against the Nationals in Houston).

Since the break, Myers is 0-3 in six starts with a 4.20 ERA and is 0-1 in his last two outings with a 5.27 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

The Cubs have never been able to figure out Brett Myers. He is 12-3 in 19 career games, 15 starts, with a 2.12 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Brett Myers

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-4
  • Darwin Barney – 0-for-9
  • Marlon Byrd – 9-for-23 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-19 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 5-for-18 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-5
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-10 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-10 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-43 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-33 with 3 home runs and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 3-for-13 with a walk

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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:

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

  • gocubs

    Wasnt Castro supposed to get a day off like a week ago?

    • Neil

      Yep …

      • Rbmercer

        He got his day off when we had the rain out

  • Tom U

    Tonights’ minor league starters:

    Iowa – Jay Jackson (6-12, 6.05)
    Tennessee – Brooks Raley (6-9, 4.11)
    Daytona – Angel Guzman (0-1, 3.86)
    Boise –  Austin Reed (1-4, 6.75)

    Peoria has the night off.

    • cubtex

      Tom…Do the Cubs have any minor league starters with an ERA in the 2.00’s? It seems as if we see lines like 4-8 5.30 every night!

      • Tom U

        Cubtex, that is the nature of the beast in the minors. You have to take into account pitch counts, piggy-back starters, questionable defense, field conditions, promotions, and many more variables. That’s why I like strikeout-to-walk ratios and WHIP. They tell if a pitcher is around the plate, and if they are getting outs.

        Here are some ERA’s though, in no order. When team is in ( ), the player was promoted and the numbers reflect that team:

        Marco Carrillo – 2.29, 5 starts (Tennessee)
        Nick Struck – 2.31, 6 starts (Tennessee)
        Jeffry Antigua – 2.51, 5 starts
        Zach Rosscup – 2.54, 9 starts
        Matt Loosen – 1,74, 5 starts (Peoria)
        Dallas Beeler – 2.08, 9 starts (Peoria)
        Eric Jokisch – 2.96, 11 starts
        Luis Liria – 2.84, 5 starts (Boise)
        Willengton Cruz – 2.94, 11 starts
        Frank Del Valle – 0.00, 3 starts (AZL Cubs)

        This doesn’t include Robert Whitenack, who had a 1.93 ERA in 11 starts between Daytona and Tennessee.

        • cubtex

          Thanks. I understand what u are saying.Too bad Whitenack got hurt. He was the only one who seemed on the verge of helping this year.

  • Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Cashner expects to go out on minor-league rehab assignment next week.

  • Demitri

    Why doesn’t Soriano get benched and put Reed out there? Whatever from what ive heard theres a good chance soriano is released. Outfield of Jackson, Byrd, Colvin next year with Reed as the 4th outfielder. Not the greatest, but fun to watch.

    • Richard Hood

      They had that last game. Soriano has actually been hitting pretty good lately.

    • paulcatanese

      The kicker here is Soriono will get traded to the AL as a DH and the AL will either disband it or the NL will add it and the Cubs will have paid for Soriono to go and turning out to be a double loss for the Cubs.

  • jfish1219

    So any guesses on what tom rickets is going to say when he “makes comments on the future of the cubs”…. I’m going with he is going to talk about the farm system and that is about it.

    • JimBo_C

      I am hoping that after he talks about the farm system and after he talks about their change in draft philosophy and successful signings ….

      that he proceeds to step 2 (of what many of us want to happen) and announces that Crane Kenny has decided to pursue other opportunities and that he will start his search for a replacement.

      steps 3 thru N (which should come later) would involve further draining of the swamp and cutting ties with Hendry, Quade, Z, Soriano ….

      • Richard Hood

        As my father use to say the hardest thing to do is focus on draining the swamp when you are up to your Butt in Alligators.

        • JimBo_C

          As a University of Florida alumni …. Your father sounds like a Georgia Bulldawg.
          Sent from my iPod

          • Richard Hood

            I like that but he was a Saluki. SIU and proud of it.

      • Tom U

        Draining the swamp, fitting reference!

      • Ripsnorter1

        He ain’t goin’ to talk about draining any swamps!  


        You think I’m just being negative? Well, he just announced he’s keeping Jim Qlueless and Mike QQade, didn’t he? And Crane Kennedy ain’t going anywhere, so just FORGETABOUTIT.

        Here’s what he’ll say in one sentence: “What has been, will continue to be.”

        That’s it, folks.

    • paulcatanese

      I think you are about right, and no real changes will be made for next year. The winning streak the Cubs are on now will be brought up again and again with the old excuse that “we would have been fine without the injury factor this year”” ther is no real need for change, we have found what we need”.

      • Cheryl

        He wil say something beyond the draft and farm system. Otherwise I don’t think he’d call this type of press conference.

  • Brentcarmona

    any reports out there that lists the spending of each team this draft?

    im just curious, wanted to see how the cubs stacked up.

    • Aaron

      the Cubs actually rank lower than you’d probably think, but it’s not due to a lack of effort (though I thought they should’ve spent whatever it took to land Zimmer and Jacquez).

      The fact is, teams like the D’Backs, Rays, Pirates, Royals, etc., had top picks, supplementals, and HAD to spend more because of that.

      I’m sure if the Cubs had 5 supplemental picks, or whatever the Rays had, they’d probably have to spend more than the estimated $12 million they spent, but they only had 50 picks. Also, the reason the Pirates spent more was due mostly to them taking a near impossible sign in Josh Bell with whom they gave the largest amount of money ever ($5 million) to a pick beyond the 1st round. 

      So it’s all relative. I’m still impressed by how much they spent, though they’ll still rank somewhere between 7-8 in the league most likely

      • brent carmona

        Yes agreed, the effort was definitely there. I just wanted to make sure we were not the only team doing the big spending, in this case we were not. To continue tom’s post on the previous thread, we must do something to create roster space at the minor league levels. Thats great we had a very successful draft (always a step forward after many steps back) however PLAYER DEVELOPMENT has to take a step forward as well. There is no point in spending chunks of money in amateur signings if players dont have a chance to succeed.

  • Neil

    Castro and Barney set the table … and Ramirez knocks one in.

    • Aaron

      and Byrd continues to prove how worthless he is, by grounding into a double play with no outs and the bases loaded. But….he is untouchable, right?

      • J Daniel

        Really need an upgrade.  Byrd, in my opinion, would be an excellent 4th outfielder.  But need much more as a starter.  He is just way to much a tweener.  Not enough power, not enough speed, a good player but the also means not good enough.

  • Neil

    Horrible first inning for Dempster. 32 pitches, 17 for strikes …

  • Tom U

    Josh Vitters has just taken over the RBI lead for the Tennessee Smokies with 66.

  • Neil

    Byrd is swinging at everything …

  • Tom U

    An interesting report from Tom Rickett’s visit to Boise yesterday.

    • Richard Hood

      At least he has an idea of what our training and minor league facilities should look like at this point. It means he is learning on the job. That is always a good sign.

    • cubtex

      I like what I have been hearing and seeing from Ricketts.

  • woody34

    Some interesting articles:

    Zambrano options:

    Dunston Jr:,0,2102967.story

    Cubs Draft:

    • Ripsnorter1

      There are no realistic options on Z that I can see. Z and $46 million dollars to get Barry Zito? PPPPPPLLLLLLEEEEEAAAAAASSSSEEE!

       Ricketts probably would be deeply troubled to add 46 cents to the deal.
      This guy is–imo–penny pinching these days. He just spent $864 million to buy this 28th worst team in MLB. He is going to try to get some play out of these contracts.

    • Neil

      Woody, good to hear from you and thanks for posting the link to Keith Law … Law liked the draft.

      • woody34

        Been reading daily Neil, just not been posting.  Ty though.  Been busy getting ready to open new restaurant in burbs.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Dumpster has 95 pitches through 4.1 IP. 

    And he’s your ace of the staff….

  • Neil

    Colvin with #5 … That was a BOMB!

  • Roland

    A little breathing room.  Way to go Colvin.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tyler Colvin:

    Before being sent down:
    Mar/Apr  51 AB….2 HR….7RBI….137 BAMay…12 Ab……000 BA  (He was overused by QQuade in May)
    June….8 AB……1 H……..143
    Totals before being sent down: 104 AB….10 H….096 BA

    After being sent down…..
    July  7 AB….1 H…1 RBI
    Aug….35 AB….7 H….200 BA….2 HR.,….4 RBI
    Total after being sent down: .190 BA….2 HR…..5 RBI

    He’s hitting .100 points higher now…..

    His strikeout ration is nearly 25%

    • Ripsnorter1

      So I talk about him and he belts a HR! Congrats to Tyler.

    • cubtex

      Are you going to start calling him Mr.196 light?

      • Ripsnorter1

        I thought I might give him a chance to see what he can do before I do that. LOL

  • Richard Hood

    Is there even a reason to comment on that one ? Nope just had a feeling.

  • Neil

    Ramirez hit that one on the train tracks

    • paulcatanese

      Right Neil, in all the games I watched with the Astros that was the first one I saw on the tracks, crushed.

  • Rbmercer

    Byrd may be the best example of a worthless .300 hitter there is.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Why do you say that?

      Because he doesn’t hit in the clutch?
      Because he doesn’t hit with power?
      Because he can’t run?
      Because he hits into as many double plays as “Double Play” Lee?
      Because he doesn’t drive in runs?
      Because he fans whenever the team would profit by him putting the ball in play to advance the runner?

  • CubsfaninBama

    I’m beginning to think that Woody may be a better option at closer with the way he has been throwing lately. 

  • paulcatanese

    Impressed with Pena continuing to go to left field.

  • paulcatanese

    Grand slam to beat the Cubs, good gosh.

    • Aaron

      The sad thing is, if you polled Cubs Nation (assuming anyone still cares at this point), they probably called Marmol giving up the slam…I know I did…but I’m extremely cynical with this team to begin with.

      The thing that really upset me was that Marmol, once again, had no idea how to get anyone out, and Quade just sat there while he loaded the bases. WOW….

      You have to admit, though, that Marmol giving that up was probably the best thing that could happen to this team….it just further cements the perception that Quade is a moron and doesn’t know how to manage an MLB team

      • CubsfaninBama

        Anything in the strikezone was flat and about 90 mph.  Most MLB hitters can hit that all day long.  I called it too.  Just could not believe that Quade didn’t even go out.  Hell, I would’ve had the pen up with guys on first and third at the latest given how he was throwing.

      • Mike1040

        What serious major league manager would stand there, clap his hands and watch a struggling relief pitcher serve up all those hanging mistakes and walks, and base hits and then leave him in until someone actually sends one of those hanging sliders into the ether to lose the game for him??? Quadsie is a moron, everyone but him knew what was coming. My wife knew for crying out loud. I was scrteaming at the tv to get the bum out of there. But the real bum is Quade. No more blue Kool Aid for me.

  • CubsfaninBama

    And…the grand slam.  Boy, Marmol looked so hittable, it was ridiculous.  Can’t everyone tell when he doesn’t have “it”.  I would put him on a very short leash when he is “off” with his stuff.  Just plain terrible.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost to Astros 6-5 on Tuesday night. Grand slam in 9th off
    Carlos Marmol.

    Ryan Dempster: 2R, 4H, 3BB, 7K, 7IP; Tyler Colvin: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI; Aramis Ramirez:
    2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI; Carlos Pena: 2-for-2, 2 2B, 2BB, R

  • studio179

    Marmol is not the same lights out guy and has not been that guy for some time.

    Thanks, Hendry. Kept him too long.

    • Aaron

      remember….Hendry is the same buffoon that had the guts to say Baker, Pena, Johnson, Marmol, and Byrd were “untouchable”. Who says that for a bunch of mediocre ballplayers?!?!?!?!?

  • paulcatanese

    Dang it, that slam wiped out a good effort by Aram, Pena, and Colvin. I sat here and actualy called it ,dang it, dang it.

  • brent carmona

    I feel like Marmol took off this past offseason, knowing he was going to get a fat paycheck. He looks heavier than last season (hard to say now but I definitely saw a difference in spring training), his movement on his slider is nowhere close to what it was previous seasons, and just one season later his velocity has dipped 4-7 mph slower on his fastball and 2-4 mph on his slider.

    I dont really call out ballplayers on work ethic, and theres really no cut and dry proof that he did slack off, I just get the feeling he got a big head with his dominance and waited for his big contract.

  • Rbmercer

    It’s amazing to me how overnight Marmol went from unhittable and making hitters look silly and comfortable…to the state he is at now, where every slider is flat and it doesn’t buckle anybody anymore. It happened sometime earlier in the year where all of a sudden guys were taking great swings off of him.

    I hope he finds it again, if he does, it prob will have to be in the offseason.

    • brent carmona

      Thats exactly what worries me. Although he struggled at times previous seasons, his stuff has absolutely dissapeared so fast this year.

  • roseyc

    Poor Quade doesn’t know what to do and just sit and let this game go away. Blind man could see that Marmol didn’t have it but not Quade. First of all Wood was pitching good Marmol wasn’t needed but nooooo! Quade trying to prove he’s the manager brings in Marmol just proving how clueless he is. I hate to even look at him. A child can manage when everything goes right. A real manager can know when to pull the pitcher and he didn’t have anybody warming up and he didn’t even go to the mound or send the most worthless pitching coach Riggins out to just control the situation. He just there like the idiot he is

    • erniesarmy

      “Blind man could see that Marmol didn’t have it but not Quade.”
      That’s true, but Ricketts makes Quade look like Larry the Eagle.

      Talk about BLIND! He announced he is keeping Quade, Hendry, and Kenney? The guy is about the most clueless owner I have seen in nearly 50 years of watching baseball. 

      I miss the Tribune Co. already!

      • Richard Hood

        He hasn’t announced anywhere that he is keeping anyone yet. I don’t know where that is coming from other than a certain poster here that thinks there is no way he announces anything positive.

  • Aaron

    Marmol is now 2-4 with a 4.08 ERA…and if memory serves me correctly, I believe that makes it 7 or 8 blown saves for him.

    Who keeps a closer in the same spot with a 4+ERA and that many blown saves?!?!?

    The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting a different result….That’s the Cubs….where losing is “A WAY OF LIFE”

    • erniesarmy

      Been that way for over 100 years, Aaron. And with Ricketts at the helm it’s not going to get any better for a long long time.

      Where is the Chicago sportswriters on this? Is there anyone out there that is going to hold him responsible for this mess?