Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/13/11

Game One Hundred Forty-Eight: Cubs (65-82) vs. Reds (71-76)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Ryan Dempster (10-11, 4.74/1.42) vs. Mike Leake (11-9, 4.00/1.18)

The Cubs will shoot for their fourth straight win tonight behind Ryan Dempster. Q’s squad is 3-1 on the current seven-game road trip … and has won three of four against the Reds over the last week.

After scoring 18 times on Monday (six in New York after the calendar flipped to Monday in the Eastern time zone and 12 in game one against the Reds), runs figure to be at a premium tonight with Mike Leake on the mound. Leake has had the Cubs number and is coming off both a dominating and disappointing performance at Wrigley. Leake was in total control until two outs in the ninth last Tuesday … Starlin Castro reached on an infield single then Bryan LaHair stunned Leake with a game-tying two-run bomb that left the park.

Bryan LaHair and Tyler Colvin are expected to be in the starting lineup tonight. If Quade does start both ‘The Rabbit‘ and Colvin, which outfielder will get the night off? Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd’s numbers are very similar against Leake … and neither one are very good.

Alfonso Soriano notched three more RBI last night. Soriano has 78 RBI this season and is one short of his highest RBI total in a Cubs’ uniform. Soriano drove in 79 runs in 147 games last season.

In other newsStarlin Castro is the first Cub since Mark Grace in 1992 to have four separate hitting streaks of at least 10 games. Castro has hit in 13 straight and has reached base in his last 25 games.

Tonight it all starts with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster is coming off a no decision against the Reds in a game in which Mike Quade left him in too long again. Dempster held the Reds to one run over the first six innings but struggled in the seventh and could not record an out. James Russell allowed two inherited runners to score and if not for a good throw by Reed Johnson (and a call that went the Cubs way), the ending could have been different. Carlos Pena hit a three-run bomb off Bill Bray and the Cubs walked away with a win.

Dempster has not posted a win since August 11. He has kept his team in games but has not been sharp in any of those five starts. Since his last victory, Dempster has completed only seven innings once … and that was in his very next start. Dempster is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP … 17 hits and three walks in 12 1/3 innings.

Ryan Dempster has struggled mightily on the road this season to the tune of a 4-4 record in 13 starts with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.

Tonight will be Dempster’s fifth start of the season against the Reds. Dempster is 2-1 in the first four with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Yonder Alonso – 4-for-6
  • Jay Bruce – 5-for-17 with a double and 6 walks
  • Miguel Cairo – 1-for-14
  • Juan Francisco – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Todd Frazier – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Ryan Hanigan – 1-for-6
  • Ramon Hernandez – 7-for-21 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
  • Paul Janish – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Mike Leake – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Brandon Phillips – 6-for-33 with a home run and 2 walks
  • Edgar Renteria – 10-for-30 with 2 home runs and 4 walks
  • Drew Stubbs – 4-for-18 with a double and a home run
  • Joey Votto – 6-for-26 with a double, a triple, 2 home runs and 3 walks

How will Mike Leake respond tonight in his first start since Bryan LaHair’s two-run homer last Tuesday? Leake was visibly shaken after LaHair’s bomb tied the game at two in the ninth. Leake had dominated the Cubs for eight-plus innings before a dribbler off the bat of Starlin Castro and LaHair’s blast. Leake pitched to the conditions at Wrigley and did a good job of making the Cubs’ veteran lineup look foolish at the plate.

Leake has been solid this season (3-5 in 10 starts since the break with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP) and will look to bounce back tonight against a Cubs’ team he’s owned during his two seasons in the league (3-1 in six starts with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP).

Mike Leake is 8-5 in 15 games, 14 starts, at Great American Ball Park this year with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-5
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-12 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 6-for-16 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 4-for-14 with 4 home runs and a walk
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 5-for-12 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-1 with a home run
  • D.J. LeMahieu – 0-for-2
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-7 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-17 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-11
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-9 with 3 walks

Cubs Photography
The CCO recently received an email from about passing on info about some pretty cool Chicago photographs … created in a unique way.

For more info, including how the final photographs are assembled, please visit

Stadium Journey – Wrigley Field publishes reviews of pro and college stadiums and recently posted their review of Wrigley Field. Paul Swaney emailed the CCO and thought our readers would be interested in reading their review of the Friendly Confines.

Take a minute and read Stadium Journey’s review of ‘Wonderful Wrigley Field

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

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

    • paulcatanese

      Pretty clever Neil with that time differential between New York and Cincinnati. Well done. 

  • paulcatanese

    Thats nice Qua, put Byrd out there.Dont pay any attention that there are four others with better numbers than him. Campana 1-4 w/hr, Covin 4-13, 4 hr, Johnson 1-3 and DeWitt 4-14 all of which could have played tonight over Byrd. What is the attraction here Qua? Why? Are you still waiting for him to come around? And Montanez is still sitting also. Why dont you just admit that you have evaluated all the rookies before they came up, and they are not vets and you will not play them in any situation of importance. You just flat out cannot do the job, period.

    • Brp921

      Colvin Has 4 homeruns in 14 AB’s against Leake, Pena has 1 hit in 7 AB’s, Byrd is 2 for 12 and LaHair has been killing the ball since he’s been brought up, yet Byrd’s playing Colvins sitting and again we don’t get to see LaHair at 1st base.

      • Brp921

        Tonight would be a good opportunity to have a real good defensive right side of the outfield by playing Campana in center and Colvin in right and replace Soriano in left, with DeWitt, who has hit Leake well. You wouldn’t give up anything defensively in left with the switch either.

        • Cheryl

          Sure makes sense in terms of the outfield. I’d like to see LaHair at 1st base but Q doesn’t seem to want him there with Pena on the fence of staying or leaving Chicago.

  • Neil

    From Bruce Levine: Quade says Dempster might get 3 more start to get 200 innings for 4 th straight season.

  • Tom U

    It’s official. The Southern League Championship between the Tennessee Smokies and the Mobile BayBears (sorry White Sox fans!) will begin on Wednesday at Mobile.

    Marco Carrillo will start for Tennessee

    • Dorasaga

      Never feel sorry for the Suckie fans.

  • paulcatanese

    Wow, Qua says Dempster may get three more starts to get to 200 innings for four straight years, still about the vets right Qua?

    • Brp921

      Dempster is a good guy and I’m glad Quade’s giving him that chance, but I agree with your point on the vets vs the rookies in every other way Paul.

      • paulcatanese

        I respect your’e opinion, its just everything Qua does irritates me and Dempster took the brunt of it, my error.

        • Brp921

          I can sure relate. Quade is a piece of work alright.

    • Calicub

      Meh its not like the cubs have starting pitching ready to go in the minors…. demp is a workhorse and a damn fine 3/4 starter whose been servicable. If he can do it go for it

      • paulcatanese

        I know and said I was out of line. I guess thething that really bothers me is Qua, and even in Dempsters case does not always monitor him correctly leaves him in too long a number of times and for a while pulled him too soon. The bad part of that I was angry with Dempster and should not have been. I have come to realize Qua if at all possible will leave the starters in for a minimum of six innings and then pulls them unexpectedly with no one warmed up and then there go’s the ballgame. You guys are right I should not take it out on the starters, but at this stage of the season and where the Cubs are going all rookies should be out there as often as they can. I just get the feeling Qua is doing everything he can to have the favor of the vets on the team in hopes they will support him the way they did last year. If I were Ricketts I would take that into account (which I am sure he has) but realize the group of veterans that are there will not bring him a championship without a significant change in personel and that the attempt of Qua to make this come about is selfish and unrealistic in this way. 

        • Cheryl

          Totally agree, Paul.

  • Neil

    Dempster with a long first inning … really off tonight.

  • studio179

    Dempster better have a couple quick 1-2-3 innings coming up.

  • Neil

    Dempster is all over the place tonight. No command …

    • diehardcubfan

      This outing typifies his whole year.

      • Neil

        I agree.

  • diehardcubfan

    Dempster really got lucky in the bottom of the 5th.

  • Neil

    No way Dempster should be hitting for himself right now. Quade is determined to  get/give him 200 innings. Down by one with Colvin on the bench. Another poor decision by Quade.

  • Neil

    Quade is leaving Dempster in with runners on first and third, 123 pitches thrown and Jay Bruce at the plate.

    • diehardcubfan

      That is why Quade is now recognized as the worst manager in Cubs history.

    • diehardcubfan

      Quade got very lucky that Dempster was able to strike out Bruce.

  • studio179

    I thought Quade was going to let Dempster pitch 200 pitches tonight. Dempster ends up throwing 128 pitches.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 2-1 to Reds on Tuesday night.

    Ryan Dempster: 2R, 6H, 6BB, 8K in 7IP; Darwin Barney: 2-for-4, 2B; Carlos Pena: 2-for-4, 2B, R; #Cubs 1-for-7 w/ RISP, no RBI, 6 LOB

  • Demitri

    Quads is honestly the worst. It hurts my head thinking of his dumb mistakes!