Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Marlins – 04/17/12

Game Eleven: Cubs (3-7) vs. Marlins (4-6)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/903
Location – Marlins Park, Miami

Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.88/0.91) vs. Josh Johnson (0-2, 8.38/2.48)

The Chicago Cubs get back to work tonight with the first of three at the Marlins’ new park in Miami. Following Thursday morning’s finale, the Cubs return home to open a three-game weekend series with the Reds.

The Cubs split the six games (3-3) they played against the ‘old‘ Florida Marlins last season. But that was then and a lot is expected of the new-look Miami Marlins this season. They spent quite a bit of money on free agents Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle in the off-season, plus they brought Ozzie Guillen back to the organization. The Marlins also worked a deal with the Cubs in the off-season to add depth to their starting staff. The Cubs will not face Carlos Zambrano during this series … the Fish make their annual trip to Wrigley in mid-July (July 17-19).

Dale Sveum is sending his top three pitchers to the hill during the series in Miami. After tonight’s match-up of Opening Day starters, Matt Garza faces Mark Buehrle on Wednesday night with Jeff Samardzija squaring off against Ricky Nolasco on Thursday morning in the finale.

Tonight all begins with Ryan Dempster

Ryan Dempster will make his first start of the season tonight outside of Wrigley Field. Dempster has put together two solid outings to begin the year and could easily be 2-0 going into tonight’s start. Dempster held the Brewers to two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts in his last outing. Dempster made one mistake and George Kottaras made him pay for it. Dempster must work on limiting his walks tonight and maintaining a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Dempster was horrible on the road last season. In 16 starts Dempster was 4-6 with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP, teams hit nearly .300 against him (.295) outside of Wrigley.

Ryan Dempster will face the organization he broke into the bigs with back in 1998 for the first time outside of the converted football stadium. Dempster is 4-1 in 16 career games, six starts, against the Fish with a 2.11 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Marlins Career Numbers against Ryan Dempster

  • Emilio Bonifacio – 1-for-14 with a walk
  • John Buck – 2-for-6
  • Chris Coghlan – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Greg Dobbs – 4-for-8 with a double
  • Omar Infante – 2-for-10 with a double
  • Josh Johnson – 0-for-2
  • Austin Kearns – 3-for-15 with two doubles and a walk
  • Logan Morrison – 1-for-7 with a double and two walks
  • Hanley Ramirez – 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and two walks
  • Jose Reyes – 4-for-9 with a triple and a walk
  • Gaby Sanchez – 1-for-9
  • Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton – 2-for-7 with a walk
  • Carlos Zambrano – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk

The Cubs will get their first look at Josh Johnson since the 2008 season. The oft-injured but incredibly talented right hander is coming off an injury shortened 2011 campaign and is off to a bad start this year.

The Cardinals pounded out 10 hits against Johnson on Opening Night but managed just three runs in six innings, still a quality start. The Phillies knocked Johnson out of the game in the fourth inning of his last outing. Philadelphia scored six runs, all earned, on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Johnson struck out one and walked one … and there are rumblings that he could already be hurt again.

The Marlins need the Josh Johnson who posted an 11-6 record in 28 starts in 2010 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in order to compete in the NL East this season.

Josh Johnson makes his third career start against the Cubs tonight. In three games, two starts, Johnson is 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Josh Johnson

  • Marlon Byrd – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Ryan Dempster – 0-for-2
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-5 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-13 with a double
  • Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Ian Stewart – 1-for-9 with a home run

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Soriano – LF
    Stewart – 3B
    Clevenger – C
    LaHair – 1B
    Byrd – CF
    Dempster – P

    • Darrell Nugent

      why the hell is Byrd even playing & then have LaHair bat in front of him, pitch around LaHair to get to the automatic out ! What a waste !

  • Chadaudio

    Glad to see Clevenger in the lineup.  Let’s go Cubbies! 
    Does anyone else find it odd that Stewart hits 5th instead of LaHair?… just curious.(wish Byrd wasn’t starting but oh well).

    • cc002600

       It makes no sense

      Not only that …(I mentioned this the other day too)
      Why in the world bat 3 righties in a row, then 3 lefties  ???

      Just watch later in the game when the opposing manager brings a lefty to neutralize those 3 without having to make another move vs having them staggered, which would force the other Mgr to makes add’l moves……it happened in St. Louis the other day

      It just boggles the mind.

      AND to make matters worse…..maybe I could see if you had some right handed studs batting 3rd / 4th that you absolutely don’t want to move down in your lineup, like a Miguel Cabrera,….but we’re talking about Soriano !!!!

      W T F !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I just don’t get it.

      • cubtex

        I think it is obvious that Sveum does not want to put LaHair in the 4,5 hole this early in the season. As long as he bats Soriano 4….you are pretty much stuck with at least 2 lefties in a row and 3 when Clevenger plays(unless Byrd starts to hit and I am not to confident of that happening anytime soon) If Sveum feels that LaHair can handle 4….he could go LaHair Soriano Stewart which would be a good left right left at 4,5,6

        • cc002600

           Ok, fine, I get what you are saying, even though I disagree with that if true…. But then why not stick a righty in between LaHair and Stewart ? 

          It just makes no sense.

      • cubs1967

        cuz………….look at his ST line-ups……

        svuem has some quade in him…….but he’s on a 3 yr deal for a reason when theo has a 5 yr………he won’t be around when this team is good……..just a caretaker now of the crap.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kerry Wood flew home for cortisone injection in shoulder. Cubs say back Friday

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      From Comcast SportsNet: Hoyer describes Wood’s shoulder issue as
      “sort of off and on, really since the beginning of spring,” but says
      it’s not yet a DL situation.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – PJ Francescon (0-1, 3.48)
    Daytona – Hayden Simpson (0-1, 3.60)
    Tennessee – Dallas Beeler (0-0, 1.64)
    Iowa – Chris Rusin (1-1, 4.38)

    Tonight’s spotlight game: Daytona v. Dunedin
    The D-Cubs broke out of a hitting slump with a season high 13 hits in their 6-3 loss last night. Matt Szczur warmed-up by going 4-for-5, while Greg Rohan was 3-for-5. Hayden Simpson has pitched better than his numbers indicate.

  • cubs1967

    shocker wood is hurt…………

    real shocker is the “boy genius” and his team left the pen w/o any veteran help knowing wood’s past……….

    ya really got to wonder where the collective head of team theo was in the offseason with the trading away of 3 relief pitchers under 30; all homegrown prospects and look at the pen NOW……..

    and NO just becuz it;s only been 5 months isn’t an excuse…..in the real world is’t called………DO YOUR JOB!

  • Tom U

    To expand on a subject from this morning’s post (I’m sorry I couldn’t join the conversation, as my position doesn’t put me at liberty to follow during the day), Neil and many of the other posters were correct: Brett Jackson works the count and sees a lot of pitches.

    It is not unusual to see Jackson have 8-10+ pitch at bats in a game. He is also in a relatively unfamiliar role of a number two hitter. Jackson has spent most of his career at lead-off. This is the first extended period of him hitting at any other position, especially with a batter that is faster than he is ahead of him.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Tom, I would think that 2 hole for a leadoff hitter would be easier.  What are you saying regarding him spending most of his career at lead-off?  I’m not saying you’re wrong or anything, just curious of the thinking…

      • Tom U

        Tony Campana has 8 stolen bases in 11 attempts. I’ve seen it in the games I’ve watched. Sometimes Jackson either takes strikes or swings at pitches that he normally wouldn’t with Campana dancing off of first.

      • paulcatanese

        It’s not easier as there are different mental approaches
        to the at bat.
        For years I have hit number 1 and 2 and it is a world apart.
        As leadoff the job is to get on, anyway you can, and thats the extent of it.(work the pitcher) or in some cases be able to drive the ball, but get on.
        The number two hitter is entirely different. He must totaly take the situation at hand and react,
        He must be able to bunt,cover the runner,give the runner if ( for example, someone with the speed of Campana) an opportunity to steal( stop his swing) and allow the runner to go. He has to decipher that in a split second. Hit and run, he has to be able to put the bat on the ball on a given signal.
        Much more responsibility batting second vs number one.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good at bat by Soriano, worked the count hit to the right side and got the run in.

    • JimBo_C

      Shortening his left leg lift seems to be leading to better contact (less swing and misses).

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Agreed …

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dempster’s gotta let Stewart take that one … or put it in his back pocket

    • JimBo_C

      Yep …. and Stewart has to tell him to get out of the way.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Third double play the Cubs have grounded into tonight

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Surprised LaHair got anything to hit

  • Baron_S

    LOVE the Clevenger hustle on that…

    Soto would have barely crossed 3rd on the same play

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair with his second bad baserunning play of the inning

    • Zonk

      That’s so odd, since LaHair is really known for his speed on the bases. :)

      Seriously, he needs to hit, because without that, he’s pretty much useless

  • cubs1967

    so Jed NOW admits what we all knew; k wood was not being saved; he was hurt; YET they still blew off the pen and got no vet help……..OMG…………does every smart baseball person like theo get DUMB at wrigley……….someone check for radon or mold…….

    What were they thinking……….

    and please release bryd…………the man has dignity…………he’s done!

  • GaryLeeT

    After seeing Johnson Pitch to Stewart, I now see why he only hit .156 last year. You could drive a Mack truck through that down and in, hole in his swing.

  • Zonk

    I’m not sold on Dolis.  He looks like a guy that should blow everyone away; huge dude, with a 95 mph fastball.  But that fastball must be straight or something, because he doesn’t get alot of empty swings with his stuff.  Even when he gets outs, he pitches to contact.

    Not sure he’ll make it

    • gary3411

       He throws a sinker. Those don’t usually get swung and missed at. Four seamers get swung under.

    • Tom U

      I kept close track of Dolis last season, and while he led Tennessee in saves, a lot of them were shaky.

      Dolis and Alberto Cabrera are two pitchers that illustrate one of my pet peeves about pitching development. Both will get more chances than they deserve, just because they have “good stuff”, even though that doesn’t always translate to outs. 

      A pitcher like Frank Batista doesn’t have anywhere near the “stuff” those two are supposed to have, he just gets people out. Isn’t that the name of the game?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 5-2 to Marlins Tuesday night

    Ryan Dempster: 2R, 0ER, 4H, 2BB, 8K, E in 6IP; Darwin Barney:
    3-for-4, R; Starlin Castro: 2-for-4; Steve Clevenger:  1-for-3, 2B, R; Bryan LaHair:  1-for-2, RBI, BB

    • Zonk

      Another good outing by Dempster; that’s a positive. 

      His velocity is down from earlier in his career, but Demp is an example of a pitcher who makes that transition successfully.  He really located his pitches and mixed his speeds tonight.  He should be 3-0 now, but pitching for the Cubs…..0-1.  What can you do.

      • GaryLeeT

        What can you do? The same as what most major market teams do. Keep your best players by signing them to extensions, and be smart about the free agents that are signed to fill the holes.The Cubs did neither.

  • Anthony

    hello caesar, that 0′fer stings, and golly, 94 year old Bonne had his bat get in the way, still 1-5 with 2 K’s, and hitting .189 while Perez sat on the bench versus getting released.

    21st round afterthough Rohan just keeps raking, but he is not worthy according to baseball experts………….no bonus

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Anthony, we all know you are still upset but it is time to give it a break. Thank you for doing so.

    • Zonk

      Dear Ben:

      Enough with the single-A outfield situation, please.  Isn’t there a Daytona Cubs Online blog you can post on?  Might be more interesting there.

  • Tom U

    An update from EXT:

    Dong-Yub Kim clubbed a grand slam as the Cubs beat the Angels 11-8

    Although the long term outlook for Kim is not good, there is always hope that we can see at Wrigley, as someone said this past winter, a Dong-O-Meter.

    • John_CC

       love it!