Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 09/18/11

Game One Hundred Fifty-Three: Cubs (67-85) vs. Astros (51-100)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Ryan Dempster (10-12, 4.66/1.43) vs. Brett Myers (5-13, 4.52/1.31)

The Cubs will shoot for the three-game sweep of the Astros on the next to last Sunday of the baseball season. In order to sweep the ‘Stros, Q’s Cubs will have to do something a Cubs team has not done since August 1, 2007 … beat Brett Myers.

With Saturday’s victory, the Cubs guaranteed themselves both a series win (2-0) and winning season (8-6) against the Astros. While the first two games have been anything but a clinic on how to play the game, this afternoon’s finale should be a little better with Ryan Dempster and Brett Myers on the hill.

Prior to Saturday’s game, Mike Quade hinted at giving Aramis Ramirez a day off and starting D.J. LeMahieu at third this afternoon. With Alfonso Soriano’s career numbers against Myers, it might be a good day to slide Bryan LaHair over to left and start Tyler Colvin in right. Colvin is 6-for-21 in his career against Myers with two doubles, three home runs and a walk.

Look for Carlos Pena to get a majority of the starts at first for the remainder of the season. Pena is two round trippers short of 30 for the year and Quade is going to give him every opportunity to hit 30 home runs this season.

Starlin Castro collected hit no. 194 on Saturday and is just six shy of 200. Castro also extended another impressive streak. Castro has reached base safely in 30 consecutive games and became the Cubs first shortstop since Ernie Banks in 1960 to reach base in 30 straight games. Derrek Lee (2009) was the last Cub to reach base in 31 straight.

In other news … The Smokies avoided elimination and forced a fourth game in the Southern League Championship Series with a come from behind win. Tennessee scored three in the bottom of the eighth on Saturday night and beat the BayBears 4-2. Nelson Perez hit a game-tying pinch-hit home run in the eighth and Rebel Ridling singled in James Adduci with the go head run. Trey McNutt will start game four this afternoon. First pitch slated for 4:00pm CDT.

On the final Sunday game of the season at Wrigley (Cubs 7-16 on Sundays in 2011), it all starts with Ryan DempsterRyan Dempster took the loss in his last outing after allowing just two runs on six hits in seven innings. While Dempster’s final line from his outing in Cincinnati looks good, it was far from a quality start for the Cubs Opening Day starter. Dempster walked six batters (third time this season Dempster issued six free passes in a single start) and his goal to reach 200 innings this season (183 2/3) could have cost his team a chance to win the game.

Mike Quade allowed Dempster to hit for himself in the top of the seventh with his team by a single run … while Tyler Colvin sat on the bench. Granted Colvin has struggled this season but his career numbers against Mike Leake could have led to a rally or the tying run.

Today could be Ryan Dempster’s final start as a Cub at Wrigley Field despite the fact most figure Dempster will exercise his option and remain in blue pinstripes for another season.

Ryan Dempster is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP (23 hits and nine walks in 19 1/3 innings) and after a horrible start, Dempster is 4-6 in 12 starts since the break with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

Dempster is 1-0 in two starts against Houston this season with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Jose Altuve – 0-for-3
  • Clint Barmes – 2-for-6 with a home run and a walk
  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-3
  • Jason Bourgeois – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Matt Downs – 1-for-1
  • Chris Johnson – 4-for-8 with a home run and a walk
  • Carlos Lee – 14-for-41 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • J.D. Martinez – 0-for-3
  • Brett Myers – 0-for-2
  • Jimmy Paredes – 2-for-3 with 2 doubles
  • Angel Sanchez – 2-for-8 with a double and a home run
  • J.B. Shuck – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Brett Wallace – 1-for-4 with a triple and 2 walks

Brett Myers has owned the Chicago Cubs throughout his career and there is no reason to think the outcome will be any different today. The Cubs refuse to change their approach against Myers … and he exploits the Cubs’ weaknesses every time he takes the mound against them.

Since a bad start against the Cubs back on August 16 (four runs on six hits in seven innings) and a horrible outing in Colorado (seven runs on nine hits in five innings), Myers has been lights out.

Myers has not allowed more than one earned run in his last four games, three starts (Astros 3-1) and is coming off back-to-back victories. Myers is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 1.15 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. To put it simply, the Cubs are catching Brett Myers at the wrong time again.

Two of Myers’ five victories this season has come against the Cubs. Myers is 2-0 in three starts against the Cubs this year with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP … for his career, Myers is 12-3 in 20 games, 16 starts, versus the Cubs with a 2.29 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Brett Myers

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-4
  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-13
  • Marlon Byrd – 9-for-26 with 2 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-23 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 6-for-21 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and a walk
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-5
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-13 with a double
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 2-for-11 with a double and 3 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 11-for-46 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-36 with 3 home runs and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 3-for-13 with a walk

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …


  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Castro – SS
    Campana – RF
    LaHair – LF
    Pena – 1B
    Byrd – CF
    DeWitt – 2B
    LeMahieu – 3B
    Hill – C
    Dempster – P

  • Rbmercer

    Oh boy….really fired up to see Dewitt for more than one unproductive at bat today.

    • Calicub

      Well no one would ever like to see DeWitt or Byrd ever start, but I am pleased to see LeMahieu in and LaHair in the 3 hole.  He may not have gotten a start at 1B yet but this to me shows Quade recognizes LaHair’s potential.

      The other thing that startled me was yesterday during the game Len and Bob talking about how Darwin has lost 15 pounds during the course of the season.  Pretty nutty especially since he bulked up so much in the offseason.  Does this mean he isn’t exercising during the season or is it stress loss from the new baby/rookie year?

      Either way i like the kid.  Maybe not as a starter but definately a guy off the bench who can play 2B and SS and gives 110% 100% of the time.  Who knows though maybe he can bulk back up and figure out how to maintain his weight he will have more strength and stamina to do work late in the season.  We all know how well he was doing the first half.  In addition to the working out, reps at practicing DP’s wouldn’t be bad either..

      • gocubs

        Barney’s a decent bench player.

      • paulcatanese

        I would imagine its due to stress mainly, a rookie, a new position, being flopped around in the batting order, not enough scheduled rest, and of course the baby. Everything was under Qua’s control, except of course the baby, Qua had nothing to do with that, Barney did that on his own.

  • Calicub

    if only we all knew how valuable Nelson Perez would be!

    totally worth Hak, Chirinos, Fuld, etc. 

    • cubtex

      I don’t understand what you are trying to say? Explain

      • Calicub

        Lol nothing it was just a pre-coffee joke.. I juat think perez was a worthless acquisision and this is the grwatest thing he will do as far as baseball is concerned..

        • cubtex

          oh. I think you meant Fernando Perez. Nelson Perez was not part of that trade and is in the Cubs system. That is why I was confused .

          • Calicub

            There you go man.

            No more posting without my coffee…

          • Calicub

            Actually now that I think about it I remember the cubs cutting him… how silly of me

          • cubtex

            yea. they did cut F Perez

  • Calicub

    Give Sandberg a Birthday present!

    Dump Quade and get him back!!!

  • roseyc

    Why is Hill in the lineup instead of some rookie catcher? We all know that he will strike out at least once if not all 3 times

    • Calicub

      Why is koyie hill on this team?

      I wouldnbe suprised if dempster was paying part of his salary too

      • paulcatanese

        It has been done before, but maybe a couple of dinners (in Paris) would suffice. Played on a couple of teams where the catcher was not the best by any means, but pitchers are a strange breed, may feel he and Hill are on the same page more than he and Soto. Again its usually the pitchers choice if possible.

    • cc002600

      is it just me or does it seem like Soto has been on the bench a lot recently ?   should we read anything into that ???

       I like Soto, but I would like to see them use him this winter to get some pitching.  We have Castillo and Clevenger ready to take over and Soto is getting expensive.

      and oh, can someone please tell me the last time that LaHair didn’t hit the ball hard ??  Wow…..he has been REALLY, REALLY impressive.

      • paulcatanese

        And two good at bats today, RBI fly ball and a single to left, going with the pitch. Its going to be interesting to see how the Cubs may screw this one up for next year. Unless they find a hole in his swing, and I havent seen it yet against leftys or rightys, he’s the real deal.

  • paulcatanese

    Again Qua is catering to vets. Inserting Pena to give him additional ABs to ensure he gets to 30 home runs , who cares? He is being paid 10 mil to show up everyday, is this pushing the value of Pena up in the hope of him being re-signed? I would imagine the Cubs already know what they have in mind for Pena and next year, and a few more long balls at this stage of the season should not be a factor wheras the limited time they have to look at LaHair is important now.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena with #29, a two-run shot

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ruled a ground rule double … wow.

    • paulcatanese

      The good part of that Pena hit it to dead left. That was a good swing for him.

      • cubtex

        Paul. Pena has had a solid year. He will hit 30 HR’s and close to 100 RBI. I know you are not a fan but he has done about what was expected from him…if not more. I don’t think they should resign him either but he has been solid.

        • paulcatanese

          Went back to watch the last inning, went as expected. On Pena, I wasnt making light of the comment on him, what was intended that the ball he hit was hit well to left, with power , a good swing for him. Meant it as a compliment to him.

        • Tony_Hall

          Looking back we could have had Lahair at 1B (that’s one of the internal options, I was wanting) and saved the money on Pena.  Then we would now know whether or not Lahair can do this over a full season or not.  We would also know if his glove is adequate enough at 1B or (if he can hit over a whole season) should be a LF.    Yes Pena has done what was expected, but in no way did signing him, help this team, get closer to a World Series.

          • cubtex

            Unfortunately, no one can predict the future. Going into the season….you have to admit that with Z coming off his huge 2nd half from last year,Dempster coming off a very good year,adding a 15 game winner from the Rays in Garza with the expectations of Cashner with his upside….they weren’t writing off the year and honestly couldn’t justify starting someone like LaHair at 1st to start the season.

          • Tony_Hall

            Well, many on here (the non kool-aide drinkers)did predict the disaster of a season.  There is no way, anyone could feel confident about this season, whether Mr. 196 or Mr AAAA was at first base.

            How’s those 15 win predictions working out for everyone?  

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Quade ejected

    • paulcatanese

      At least Qua is smart enough to get out of the rain,besides, who will miss him?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rain delay …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    So sick and tired of Marlon Byrd swinging at the first pitch with runners on base …

    • Tony_Hall

      Neil – I learned today, that my wife is tired of hearing me say it :)

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Mine too.

    • joey u

      4th or 5th outfielder…at best.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    On a positive note: Jae-Hoon Ha with a solo homer in the
    bottom of the 1st, and the Smokies take an early 1-0 lead

  • paulcatanese

    Tough break for the Cubs and Pena on the home run called a double, even tougher it left it up to the “Byrd” with runners on to bring them in, know how that turned out. Now rain, it would have probably been called with the Cubs ahead if “whats his name” came trough.

    • carmelo

      3rd base ump immediately signals home run, Castro doesn’t have to try and score from 1st to tie up game—-something wrong with that picture.  Cubs get wrong end of that play—at the very least Castro, with his speed, has shot of scoring.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Could not agree more. Castro would have scored, no reason for him to run all out with the home run call being made, especially with the field the way it was.

        • Calicub

          Why wasn’t instant replay used? I’m can’t watch so I’m a little confused

          • paulcatanese

            I know you must know by now but it was called a home run and then reversed using instant replay.

        • carmelo

          I would think  that’s was why Q got tossed—-ball was not a home run, but umpire stopped play.  Just think if this happens during play-offs.

      • paulcatanese

        Strange call by the umps. From what I saw Pena was stopping at second base then waved on by the ump in left signaling a home run, Castro and Pena coming home. I have no idea why the umps settled on a ground rule double as the left fielder played the ball and threw it in. The only reason they would go to a ground rule double is they waved Pena on and he would have been out at third from the throw from the outfield, but Castro under those circumstances should have been allowed to score. Instead the umps treated it as a ground rule double and allowed the runners two bases from the start of play and sent them both back to second and third. I think it was a bad call since the umps signaled differently at the beginning.

        • paulcatanese

          Forgot, what I saw on the replay was the ball hit flush on the wire net top and bounced straight down and not interfeird with, so it was a live ball and the fielder treated it as one, after that well everyone was confused.

  • paulcatanese

    Why is Qua always down to giving “hints” as to who may start with the rookies, cant he just go ahead and do it or does he have to get permission from the vet he is going to sit?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The BayBears take a 2-1 lead in the top of the 2nd on a
    two-run homer…we’re going to the bottom half now

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Game expected to resume at 5:15pm

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ortiz walks Shuck to start the ninth

  • Brp921

    I didn’t see Pena’s ground rule double. Was it a double or a homerun?

    • Brp921

      just saw the replay…unfortunate

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      It was the right call

      • Brp921

        Yea, rotten luck though.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 3-2 to Astros Sunday Afternoon.

    Ryan Dempster: 3R,7H,2BB,2K in 7IP; Starlin Castro: 1-for-3,2B,R,BB; Bryan LaHair: 1-for-3,RBI; Aramis Ramirez: PH Sac RBI

    • Calicub

      Castro keeps the streak alive one more day

  • Brp921

    Why is the rule that the ball is a ground rule double off the net, instead of still being in play?

    • paulcatanese

      Dont know that one as I havent played too many games with a net in left field. But seriously I saw no interference and the ball was played immediatly by the left fielder, unless the replay stops all forward play and the rule says ground rule double.

    • Tony_Hall

      It’s not, it was in play.  Pena ran all the way and stopped at second, and Castro didn’t even run hard into second, and, I don’t believe, was even thinking of trying to score as he rounded 2b.  and then let up after seeing the ump call it a HR.  All the umps could do, at that point is say 2nd and 3rd.

  • Tom U

    Sorry to report, but Tennessee now taking it on the chin, down 6-1 to Mobile in the 6th inning.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Jae-Hoon Ha with a two-run double, Smokies down 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh