Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/02/11

Game One Hundred Thirty-Eight: Cubs (59-78) vs. Pirates (62-75)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (10-10, 4.76/1.40) vs. Brian Burres (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Updated 11:40am CDT - Cubs purchased the contract of Bryan LaHair from Triple-A Iowa, added LaHair to the 40-man roster and called up on Friday morning. Andrew Cashner is expected to be activated from the 60-day DL on Tuesday. The Cubs announced there will not be any additional call-ups prior to Tuesday.

The final month of the Cubs 2011 season begins this afternoon with the first of three against the Mighty Pittsburgh Pirates. With the six-game homestand that begins this afternoon and concludes Wednesday night against the Reds, the Cubs have only 12 games remaining at Wrigley this year (32-37 at Wrigley in 2011).

The Cubs are coming off their best month of the season (16-13 in August) and are facing big decisions as the franchise moves forward. Not only is this the penultimate homestand for several of the players, but it also figures to be the next to last homestand for Mike Quade.

The Cubs are expected to announce their September call-ups at some point prior to today’s game. Reports Wednesday night suggested that Bryan LaHair would take the last available spot on the Cubs 40-man roster. Andrew Cashner is expected to be activated soon from the 60-day DL, which would run the Cubs’ big league roster to 38 players. Carlos Zambrano is eligible to come off the disqualified list on September 12. Zambrano does not count against the 40-man roster until then.

After struggling early in the season against Pittsburgh, the Cubs have won seven of the 13 games versus the Pirates this year. The Cubs enter play today three games back of the Pirates for fourth place in the NL Central … and this weekend is the last series of the year against Pittsburgh, who threw a curveball at Mike Quade late Thursday.

Jeff Karstens was originally scheduled to pitch today’s opener but Clint Hurdle decided to go with Brian Burres. Burres was called up from Triple-A on Thursday and will pitch on regular rest. The 30-year old southpaw pitched in 20 games for Pittsburgh a year ago.

With the lefty on the hill, look for Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker in the starting lineup … but what about Koyie Hill? Hill caught Ryan Dempster’s five previous starts leading up to last Saturday’s dud against the Brewers. Dempster had put together a solid string of starts with Hill behind the plate.

In other newsAndrew Cashner pitched the eighth inning for the Iowa Cubs on Thursday night. Cashner retired the side in order on 10 pitches (nine for strikes) … seven of the 10 pitches were clocked in the upper 90s (98, 99 on the gun).

Over the last ten games, the Cubs are 13-for-82 with runners in scoring position and have left 80 runners on base. The Cubs are 3-7 during that span and have been outscored 38-30.

It is Labor Day weekend … and today it all begins with Ryan Dempster.

Ryan Dempster is coming off a bad start against the Brewers. Dempster lasted just four innings after running up his pitch count and being quite hittable. Dempster gave up five runs on seven hits (two home runs) with two walks and three strikeouts. Dempster just did not have anything last Saturday night.

The Cubs have lost Dempster’s last two starts and he’s was mediocre, at best, in both of those outings.

Ryan Dempster finished August with a 2-2 record in five starts with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … since the break, 4-4 in nine starts with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.

Dempster has fared much better at Wrigley (6-6 in 15 starts with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP) than on the road this season (4-4 in 13 games with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP).

This afternoon will be Dempster’s fourth and final start of the season against the Battlin’ Bucs. After losing on Opening Day, Dempster has posted wins in his last two outings against the Pirates … 2-1 in three starts with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Dempster does not match up well against Pittsburgh and will shoot to improve on his 8-11 lifetime mark versus the Pirates (48 games, 23 starts, with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP).

Pirates Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Pedro Alvarez – 1-for-5 with a double
  • Ronny Cedeno – 5-for-14 with a double and a walk
  • Chase d’Arnaud – 1-for-3
  • Ryan Doumit – 4-for-23 with a walk
  • Josh Harrison – 0-for-2
  • Jason Jaramillo – 3-for-6 with a double
  • Garrett Jones – 2-for-20 with a home run and 4 walks
  • Andrew McCutchen – 6-for-20 with a double, a home run and 4 walks
  • Michael McKenry – 2-for-2 with a double
  • Xavier Paul – 0-for-4
  • Alex Presley – 2-for-3 with a double and a triple
  • Jose Tabata – 2-for-8 with a triple and 2 walks
  • Neil Walker – 7-for-12 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Brandon Wood – 0-for-2

Brian Burres was called up on Thursday when the rosters expanded throughout the league. Burres has been in Triple-A all year and will make his first start of the season with the Pirates.

Burres was 5-9 with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 25 games, 23 starts. This is the 30-year old southpaws second stint with the Pirates (4-5 in 20 games, 13 starts, in 2010 with a 4.99 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP) … and Burres dominated the Cubs a year ago.

Burres’ best start of 2010 came against the Cubs in Pittsburgh on May 6. Burres tossed seven innings of shutout ball against Lou’s crew and allowed just three hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Burres and the Pirates pounded the Cubs and Randy Wells 11-1 in the game that started Wells’ downward spiral.

Brian Burres is 1-0 in four career games, two starts, against the Cubs with a 6.60 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP … at Wrigley, no record in three games, one start, with a 12.38 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Brian Burres

  • Jeff Baker – 0-for-3 with 2 walks
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-1 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 3-for-13 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-2 with a double and 2 walks
  • Tyler Colvin – 0-for-2
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-2 with a double
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-5
  • Carlos Pena – 6-for-18 with 2 home runs and a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-7 with 2 doubles
  • Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-7 with 2 doubles
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory." - Arthur Golden
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      I see another platoon lineup out there today. I dont think Qua has learned a thing yet as he continues to believe this is the way for the Cubs to win. I dont have the capability to find out how many times this has worked in his favor. Given the record of the Cubs I would not say too often.

      • John G

        The only thing Q has to gain is an outside chance he’ll get picked up somewhere as a first base coach. If I had to guess, he’ll wind up with a job that he is qualified for, somwhere in A ball. Maybe AA if he can find a stupid GM somewhere. Like he did here.

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

          You guys may think I am crazy but I think his future is going back to the development side. When he was in the minors as a manager with Oakland in the late 90′s he was thought of a “maker of stars” after the number of kids that he got pushed to the big club.

          • John G

            So you think that Manager of the Chicago Cubs may be his penultimate job?

            (Hey, I actually used the word in a real sentence.)

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

            LOL no I think this is his LAST job as a manager. He is better suited in other aspects.

    • Cheryl

      The season is over Quade. You could have put Colvin in Right, Johnson in Center and LaHair in LF.

  • Anonymous47701

    2012 Pitching Staff idea

    R.Dempster
    M.Garza
    W.Rodriguez
    R.Wells
    C.Rusin

    bullpen

    S.Marshall
    K.Wood
    A.Cashner
    Sc.Maine
    R.Dolis
    J.Russell
    C.Marmol-closer

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

      If we are going to trade for a starter why settle for Wandy”big fly” Rodriguez. I think there are better options to be looking at. I would rather have Danks or maybe sign Oswalt if his option isn’t picked up.

      • Anonymous47701

        The Cubs need Two Lefty Starters to help balance the rotation, so with Dempster, Garza, and (maybe) Wells, Roy Oswalt doesn’t seem like an option, Unless Dempster doesn’t pick up his club option or Wells Fails to make the rotation. John Danks….He won’t betray Ozzie and the South Siders.

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

          Why doesn’t Oswalt seem like an option? He is going to make 10 million on a one year contract to get his value up. He is only 31 and seems destine for a revival at some point. His 16 million option will not be picked up by the Phillies.

          Danks is going to be TRADED. He is entering his last year of Arbitration and about to get very expensive on an already expensive team. The only possiblity that could change that is if they get someone to take that Rios contract from them.

          • gocubs

            Oswald turned 34 in August.  Were are you getting that he is only 31? 

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

            I think I was looking at the wrong line. I still think he is worth a one year contract.

          • gocubs

            Even at 34 and the down year he had, I do a 1 yr contract with him for sure. 

        • John G

          Speaking of John Denks. I am going to Comerica Park tonight. Denks vs Verlander. I expect the Tigers drive a stake in the heart of Sox fans this weekend.

          A side story about Denks. Back in July I took my grandkids to a Sox/Tigers game at Comerica. Before the game we were standing at the wall in right field and Denks was one of the pitchers shagging fly balls during PB. My 8 yr old grandson had on a Cubs tee shirt with #13 and Castro on the back. Denks grabbed a fly right below us and looked up in the stands. I yelled to him to throw the ball to a Cubs fan and he laughed and flipped us the ball. A little while later he flipped another one to my 12 yr old granddaughter. We are John Denks fans now. Wouldn’t mind seeing him in Cubbie Blue.

          • John G

            Sorry, I meant Danks, not Denks. I get him mixed up with Jenks.

          • Dorasaga

            That tells me you ain’t no Suckie fan. LOL

      • cubtex

        Agreed. If the Marlins can’t lock up Anibal Sanchez he is another they should consider trying to trade for.

  • paulcatanese

    I see where LaHair has been assigned number 6 and Qua said he was going to see action at first base and some outfield. As to the amount of action that was left up in the air. I would hope it would be enough time to get an evaluation of LaHair, but given the track record of Qua, I would not think that will be the case.

    • John G

      Can he live up to that number? I wonder what Keith Moreland has to say about that?

    • Gramps

      Was listening to the pre-game show on radio and heard Moreland say that LaHair will probably get 30-40 at bats this month. He said that regulars have earned the “right” to play until the year is over!! I like Moreland but don’t agree with him. What does he mean by “right”? Is it only having 23 rbi’s at this time of year (Byrd)? Does it mean leading the majors in outfield errors (Soriano)? If a youngster is brought up, he should be played to see what he can do at this level. Probably will be the same old crap as last year with the kids sitting and regulars playing. Is there anybody in this organization that has common sense to tell the manager to play the kids? This team needs more than a change in management, it needs a complete overhaul. Makes me sick to see all the crap that goes on. 

      • paulcatanese

        I agree with you Gramps, was watching the game on mlb and shut it off, they are just the most boring bunch I have seen in a lost of years, going no where and kids waiting , as I am to see them play, at least the hustle is there.

  • John G

    Neil, I love it when you use the word “penultimate”. It’s not a word I would usually use. In fact it’s probably the second to last word I would use.

    Keep up the good work.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with you John, never heard of the word before, I thought it meant shorter lines outside the mens room until I read the sentence a few times.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you and very well played

  • Dorasaga

    I just want to make sure, because i missed the replay… was that a HBP on McCutchen’s finger?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena with #25

    • cubtex

      Ha! Murphy’s law. Paul…… That HR was for you! Lol

      • paulcatanese

        I have to chuckle on that one, it always seems to fall that way for me.

        • cubtex

          Yep! Funny how that works

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

    An update on Jackson being pulled out of the AFL. It seems that Jackson has been named to the Pan American team that plays at the same time as the league gets underway.

    • Cheryl

      Good for Jackson. He’s better off there then with the Cubs under Quade.

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

    I know I went off on journalist coverage of our GM situation yesterday and no one wants me on my high horse again but there is now another “journalist” that has absolutely lost all credibility. I think that Rosenburg should have stayed covering the Sox because he comes out very vindictive and extremely personal in his latest attack on the Ricketts clan and TR in particular. I shouldn’t even show a link to the story but I can’t help myself.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/rosenblog/chi-helping-cubs-ricketts-understand-gm-comments-20110901,0,6980852.column

    • John_CC

      Richard, I have never really cared for Rosenbloom.  He acts and writes like a blogger, not a journalist.  He is overly obnoxious and like you said vindictive and personal.  Another know-it-all, “I’m smarter than all you” loud mouth, jackass. 

      Get over yourself, Steve!

    • cc002600

      Oh gosh, don’t waste your time reading this guy. He’s a complete ass.

      His cheap shots are so ridiculous, I don’t know how he still has a job.

      Do people actually read his stuff and believe what he is saying ? Jeez

    • Tom U

      Never read anyone who makes smart you-know-what comments to readers, after he’s had a few days (or weeks?) to come up with a response.

    • paulcatanese

      Richard,who is that guy? “fan boy owner” what a jerk remark and so many times. One would think a writer that is supposed to have a command of the english language could do better that that. Obviously he was cut short on a freebie at the ballpark or they caught him with his doggie bag at the all you can eat shrimp table.Living on the west coast has the advantage of not reading those kind of guys in the paper out here. He is supposed to be a pro and above all of the childish remarks he put out there, those are reserved for all of us on the blog.

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

        I do not think he is getting invited to the Ricketts next media luncheon but that is regardless. He just seems to have an axe to grind. I can not for the life of me think of anyway that he should be writing for an actual news paper.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    80 pitches in 4 innings for Dempster

  • Dorasaga

    Time to watch Sharapova. This Cubs team is no where near the fun…

  • Dorasaga

    So, it seems like Brenly is a Cleveland native.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dempster is starting the seventh … has thrown 113 pitches (76 for strikes) in six innings

    • John_CC

      And that worked just about as expected…at least he didn’t give up a homer!

      • Dorasaga

        Even so… Someone mentioned bringing back Wood as I was catching up the Minor League report. I would love him brought back but to retire by March. Dempster should also be ASKED to retire regardless of what he thinks about himself. His decline is apparent. It has nothing to do with his suffering kid. He’s been on the decline since 2008.

        Plus, where else can we watch Jay Jackson, Dolis, and McNutt pitch those 200 innings if “veteran presence” is all over the place? (Why is Quade not playing LaHair like, right now?) Think change…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-1 to Pirates on Friday afternoon.

    Ryan Dempster: 3R, 7H, BB, 9K, 6.1IP; Carlos Pena: 1-for-3, HR, BB; Starlni Castro: 1-for-4

    Cubs: 5 hits, 0-for-5 RISP, 5 LOB

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

      And the new pitcher kills us again. You would think that we would at least change our strategy against them at some point.

      • Tom U

        I think the team needs to look at advance scouting. Even if a pitcher is just up from the minors, there should be something known about him. C’mon now, your supposed to be professionals!

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

          Your assuming that our guys read scouting reports. I have seen no indication of that being a valid option for any of our people.

  • cubtex

    Roger Clemens is going to have to face another trial! I thought after the mistrial he would walk. Trial is not till April 17th.

  • paulcatanese

    Again Byrd with two strikeouts and no runs batted in. Why oh why is he still playing? And Qua is the only person who could play in the NFL without a helmut. There is no way anyone could penetrate that thick skull of his, he will not make any changes at all, and will continue to play Vets, why, why ,why.? Getting down to the nitty gritty as far as games left to play I forsee he may use them as pinch hitters or defensive replacements in the last game of the season. I would not put it past this guy at all.

  • cubs1967

    so i expect today’s lineup to have lahair, jackson and yet NO.

    if tommy boy and his clown sidekick think any worthy current GM will take the cubs job; they both are on crack!

    since the firing of JH ; here’s 3 questions any GM will ask and then tell PK the realities of MLB and leave.

    1.why is zambrano NOT released after his suspension.  if PK thinks he can be traded; well i have some condos in vegas he can buy cheap too.

    2.why is jackson NOT up here; getting 30 days of at bats against real MLB pitchers in real games???…………like there are 20 players on this team anyone wants let alone 40.  release someboy randy or kenny or tommy boy.

    3.who the F*** is kenny crane and why is he still a part of this organization.  unless PK tells the new GM that kenny will NOT be involved in any meetings; if I’m friedman, cashman or beane; i politely tell PK that disneyland is in florida.  good luck.

    4. why the hell is pean getting paid 5M for 1 month of work???……..when lahair could of been brought up……..and how does lahair play w/ pena due 5M……….so pena is soooo goooood in the clubhouse he is worth 5M???……even the best managers don’t get 5M!

    this all tells me the next GM will be a once fired josh brynes or a never before GM like ben cherington (could be OK) or a thad levine; who could work out OR could flame out like josh byrnes and waste a good 3 yrs adding the cubs NO championships to 106.

    here’s hoping i’m wrong; but in any good interview; the candidate interviews the employer just as much as the other…………and in this case; that is bad news for the diehard fans.

    103 yrs and counting…………….there is NO grace period.

    • paulcatanese

      I have to agree with you, it is a two way street and in the case of the Cubs I would say its 80/20 with the 80 on the applicatnt. Too many things have not been settled yet for an informed decision with someone coming in.I would think any potential GM will have a lot of questions that need to be answered. I know one thing for sure Qua should have  been gone at least to show good faith for someone coming in.

      • Cheryl

        Agreed. But when is Ricketts going to tell Quade he has to play the rookies? LaHair will be lucky if he plays in three games at this rate.

        • paulcatanese

          Cheryl, I too would like to see the kids play, unfortunatly I think Ricketts is content(wrong word,content) but play out the string with the little games that are left. The bad part of that is of course Qua is putting the Cubs a month behind in seeing what the others can do, not right but thats kind of what I think will happen. I would imagine with all that has happened this year Ricketts would like to fly to the Bahamas and hide till next spring.