Dempster Wins, Theriot Continues to Embarrass Bigger, Stronger Teammates

With Aramis Ramirez back in the starting lineup, the Cubs won their fourth in a row, defeating the Giants, 4-2, on Monday night at Wrigley. The Cubs will have a chance to finish a 5-1 homestand when the teams meet Tuesday afternoon.

Why the Cubs won: Ryan Dempster, coming off his first loss and poorest start of the young season last week in Phoenix, earned his second victory with his best start of 2009. Dempster kept the Giants off the board until the sixth inning and allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks over seven.

Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg preserved the lead over the final two innings. Marmol looked great, fanning two and allowing just an infield single in his inning of work. (I imagine that Edgar Renteria will be seeing those three, nasty sliders in his sleep.)

On offense, once again, the big blow came from little Ryan Theriot, who cracked his third home run in four games. Theriot's two-run shot in the second inning gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead. The homer was fortuitous, considering that the Cubs blew a couple chances to break the game open, including a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the fifth inning, which yielded just one run.

Ramirez, by the way, went 0-for-3 plus a walk in his return.

On the move: Iowa infielder Bobby Scales, who would have replaced Ramirez on the roster if Rammy had been disabled last week, was summoned before the game to take the place of injured Carlos Zambrano. According to Cubs.com, the team will call up righthander Randy Wells to take Zambrano's next scheduled turn in the rotation, on Friday at Milwaukee. 

 

 

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Comments

Thanks for the recap.

You're welcome. Always more fun to do after a win.

Rick Ankiel has been carted off the field with his head and neck immobilized after the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder slammed headfirst into the fence following a running catch.

As an avowed Cardinals hater, I just gotta say, I hope he's okay:

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/11708559/

Just saw the clip on ESPN. It's pretty hard to watch.

We see guys run into walls on a fairly regular basis (I remember seeing Preston Wilson bash his head off of the steel door in right center not too many years ago), but the he crumpled against that wall just looked bad. I think when I saw it the first time I was less worried about a concussion and more worried about a neck or spinal injury. Looks now like his head took the brunt of it, though. Really scary fall, ranks way up there on the list of scary moments in baseball, since most baseball injuries are not that serious, and they are rarely life threatening.

I haven't seen a player crash that hard since Josh Hancock.

Ahhww, man... for all the razzing I gave Ankiel in parachat last night, I gotta respect the guy for playing that hard down 5 runs in the 8th inning. Damn, what a hit.

Do that at Wrigley and you'll be bleeding from your eye sockets.

I am all for comedy and stuff... but I actually graduated high school with Josh Hancock. Maybe not the funniest joke I have seen on here.

Forgive him... a side effect of parachats with bikemonkey and Mr. Whip is extreme desensitization. Throw in some of Carlos' web links and you're pretty much an emotionless zombie.

Certainly no personal offense intended, Hawkeye, but we are in fact talking about a guy who was driving drunk, at twice the legal limit for intoxication, text messaging, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, with illegal drugs in his possession and ignoring the lights from a service vehicle. He's not exactly Nick Adenhart, if you know what I mean.

But you're right, I should probably keep my taste in humor confined to Parachat.

No excuses for the impairment, but to be fair, it's doubtful Hancock ever saw the service vehicle. That stretch of 40 (I-64) in St. Louis is a bit treacherous -- some sharp turns and a rise in the road right before where the truck was located. The vehicle was at the bottom of that rise, and even if you're sober, if there's a car parked in the lefthand lane, you're going to hit it. The crash was as much the fault of the service guy as Hancock.

No personal offense taken. Your analysis of the situation is merited. The fact of the matter is that he was acting like an idiot and he paid for it with his life.

I am not an ultra-sensitive guy or anything, I just don't really see much humor in loss of life. Unless it is conjoined twin midgets who die in a freak gasoline fight. That ain't nothing but funny.

So if Scales shows ANYTHING between now and Friday, there is a chance that when Wells gets called up, Gathright gets cut. Right?? Hendry has already shown he's willing to eat millions to dump dead wood, so eating the million bucks he dumbly guaranteed to Gathright should be no problem now.

While you wonder about Gath (and rightly so), I wonder WTF with Bradley?!

HAs he just forgotten how to hit? Pressing beyond belief? Just bad?

It seems as if he is just freaked out, and doesn't know what hit him.

If he ever gets on a roll - we'll have something really special.

AZ PHIL is spot on: "...trade him."

I think I know what is wrong with him. He is mediocre. Always has been, with the exception of last year.

With the way HoffPower is hitting I don't understand not keeping that bat in the lineup. The guy just rakes. Even his outs are loud. He smokes to all fields. And he looked fine the other night in right field. The league may figure him out but until it does, my God Lou, keep that bat in the lineup and let MB sit on the bench and play with his band aids.

Believe me - he is not "fine" in RF.

He is bad.

1B, stellar.

OF, bad.

Can Scales play outfield at all?

He's played it in the minors, but if you're expecting him to bat better than any of the other candidates, with the possible exception of Gathright, your hopes are misplaced.

As a LH hitter he's rolling over the top of everything and grounding out to 2nd.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/stats/individual_playe...

(this year at wrigley if the link doesn't work right)

Part of that is that he's probably pressing a little. Last year he spread the ball around a lot better:

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/stats/individual_playe...

(last year at texas)

He's K rate is about the same as it was last year, but his BABIP is down about .200 points from his career average, mostly explained by his hitting less than 1/3rd the line drives he normally hits, and a little bit of bad luck.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=369&...

Keep in mind this is the same guy who lead the tough league in OPS last year and hit .460 .526 .800 in spring training. Let's take a deep breath and give him 150 at bats before we run him out of town.

"...Cubs will most likely call up righthander Randy Wells."

Again, if you read my post last thread, Jim Hendry during the game stated, "Randy will be starting in Milwaukee Friday night..."

so, unless it is a fake-out, or he gets hurt between now and then, I'd think the GM would be pretty accurate on the personnel move.

Didn't see your comment. I was just quoting the Cubs.com article in which Piniella was less definite.

Without Theriot hitting home runs, I wonder how many of these recent games the Cubs would be winning. I'm afraid of the answer, but it would be interesting to know.

I'm very concerned about this whole TheRiot as power hitter thing. Does he think he is the next Ryno? Was it really Lou or Jim Frey who gave him a peptalk about pulling the ball?

There is no reason at all to be concerned about that.

He has an interview on mlb.com and he talks about pulling the ball to the LF gap every once in a while. I think it will keep opposing pitchers on their toes.

I just wish he'd been doing it for the last two years.

One concern is that he's on pace for about 100K's, but hopefully with a little more respect he will be getting he can boost up his walk rate.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=psPXpWPP3yF...

one person had Z as first to the DL...

Should have put Rammy on the DL for my Contest entry, if nothing else.

but Vizcaino was indeed released...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5...

no press release from Cubs and I wasn't around much this weekend, so apologies if I missed it...

but made the play of the night tonight...

Dbacks turn a triple play tonight versus Dodgers. 1st/2nd running when Casey Blake lines one to short.

ERA at 7.20 at the moment...did look the LF'er took a terrible route to let the game tying single drop. Indians still won though.

http://joesportsfan.com/?p=8215

It's not even funny.

Unbelievable... Cardinal fans with T-Shirts that say "Zambrano mows my lawn".

"Wrigley seems like the last place an African-American player with such a well-traveled reputation for confrontations would choose to sign a multiyear contract." ~ Gordon Wittenmyer

Thanks. And fuck you to you too.

Cubs fans are constantly painted as assholes while these other asshole fans get a free pass.

Fuck everyone.

While I appreciate the blogger's point that the shirt is racist, it is kind of ironic that he goes on to predict that the guy wearing the shirt is going to get his ass kicked by "some Spanish dude." I can't figure out why a person from Spain would be particularly outraged by a shirt that insults Carlos Zambrano, who is Venezuelan, or that refers to someone mowing a Cardinals fan's lawn, which I am pretty sure is not a stereotype routinely applied to Spanish people.

Let alone a Cardinal fan having a lawn.
Don't most mobile home parks have gravel?

So, what was the net "savings" with trading Marquis for nothing?

Will Marshall be the 2009 tough luck guy?

Will Marquis continue his success in the 2nd half?

Could not have had expected any more from a #5 starter. But in Colorado he is a 3.

Submitted by Ryno on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 9:19pm.
I'll bet 5 virtual bucks Jason Marquis wins more games than Sean Marshall this year. Any takers?

Submitted by The Joe on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 9:42pm.
You're on!

Submitted by Andrew on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 2:07am.
It's not really fair odds as Marquis is probably the Rockies' 3rd starter and Marshall's a clear 5th. Still, I'll take that action as well.

Submitted by Doug Dascenzo on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 9:48am.
Sure, but by virtue of playing on a (hopefully) better team, Marshall ought to get more wins. Kind of like how Dice-K won a shitload of games last year while only throwing 5 1/3 innings per game.

Too early to collect? =)

Look, the thing is Marshall is so inconsistent. Way more inconsistent than Marquis. He'll probably get a little better with a couple years under his belt, but as things stand now Marquis is the better pitcher.

Marquis for all his flaws is a workhorse and at a place like Coors Field where sinkerballers are like gold, he'll do pretty well.

In the grand scheme of things, though, I don't think it matters if the Cubs have Marquis OR Marshall as their 5th starter.

Seriously... are you really talking trash after 5 Marquis starts, and 3 Marshall starts? Especially when they guy you are supporting is notorious for hot starts, and then huge crashes?

As for Marshall being inconsistent, this is just odd. Marshall has three starts this year, and has given up 3, 3, and 1 run(s). Last year, in his 7 starts, he gave up 4 or more runs just twice - once in his first start. Marquis gave up 4 runs or more in 10 of his 28 starts.

How is Marshall more inconsistent?

As a starter last year, Marshall averaged 5.5 innings/start, with a 4.15 ERA, even though he was moved in and out of the rotation. Marquis averaged 5.9 innings/start, with a 4.43 ERA, and he knew exactly when he would be starting and didn't have to deal with getting moved around.

Where are you getting this idea that Marshall is less consistent than Marquis?

Seriously... are you really talking trash after 5 Marquis starts

Yes.

And all your stats are nice, but all I said back before the season started was that Marquis will have more wins than Marshall.

And all your stats are nice, but all I said back before the season started was that Marquis will have more wins than Marshall.

Sure... but that is not all you said in this comment thread, which is what I was replying to. You said, very clearly, that Marshall is "Way more inconsistent than Marquis."

But the stats don't agree. And you didn't answer my question on how Marshall is less consistent than Marquis.

And, FWIW, I was in favor of keeping Marquis. But I don't find any evidence that shows Marquis to be more consistent than Marshall.

I think Wells is the right way to go to replace Z's spot. With off days the next two Mondays we might be able to pass Z's spot until he gets back if it is only 2 weeks or so.

Theriot is a behemoth, Sammy Sosa reincarnated...:) But it is nice to see someone step up and carry the team when all their big bats are struggling or hurt.

Cubs will be facing Lincecum today. A win today + everyone getting healthy (minus Z of course) = a real winning run? Hopefully!!

Go Cubs!

It's Sean Marshall v Tim Lincecum. Lou will be sitting some regulars. Hill will probably be catching.

If this game doesn't scream "sacrificial game", then I don't know what does. Of course sacrificial games often go the other way, but I wouldn't read too much into a loss tonight.

And yes, I just made a preemptive excuse. Blech.

The lineup includes Gathright, Miles, Scales, lol...

It should be clear what this game is all about.

Cant' Lou put this bullshit lineup out there for a road game? If I had tickets to today's game I would be pissed. It's not Spring Training anymore.

Anyone pay attention to how the bill on Ankiel's hat crumpled?

I enjoyed Reed Johnson's highlight catch last year in Toronto when his bill flipped up and he ran off the field with it up. Nearly a scrappy guy fashion statement.

The crumpled bill look as a fashion statement? Hmmm.

I like the fact that he pulled the ball out of the glove as he was crashing. Looks like he got his arms out, not that bad, he just tripped. X-Rays show negative... which is always a strange term to me. Seems like negative X-rays mean they didn't see any bones at all.

I think the Cubs should look to Heilman to take Zambrano's spot and put Wells in the pen. But hey thats just me.

If it was the 6th game of the year I may agree with you, but the problem is that Heilman hasn't thrown 30 pitches in a game since April 7th and Wells has been starting all year (though he got a short start last time due to rain I think).

Agreed. Wells is being used as a starter. Heilman is being used as a reliever. Let them stay in those roles.

Besides, Heilman could go..what...3 innings?

Maybe 3 innings, after which it would be some combination of Wells/Guzman/Patton to get us to the 7th.

Submitted by jacos on Tue, 05/05/2009 - 6:38am.
Can Scales play outfield at all?

=============================

JACOS: Yes and no.

Bobby Scales is the proverbial "Jack of all trades, Master of none." He's one of those "Crash Davis" type players whose primary value is as a mentor to younger players moving up through the system, but he also has a good knowledge of the game and could very well become a coach or a manager when he retires.

Scales figured out a few years ago that he needed to be able to play multiple positions if he was ever going to get a chance to play in the big leagues, so he has indeed attempted to learn every position except pitcher and catcher. Unfortunately, he is a defensive liability no matter where he plays. His best position is 2B (his natural position), but he's below average there, too.

I saw Scales when he was a young player in the Padres system a few years ago, and back then he was an offensive-first athletic second-baseman with plus speed and some pop. He has lost a step or two since then, however, but he still is a pretty good hitter with some XBH power. He could be a guy who might excel as a PH.

Barring an injury to an infielder, Scales will almost certainly head back to Iowa after Thursday's game, but at least he'll pick up a quick $9,000 (four days of MLB minimum salary pay) and a few days of MLB Service Time before he goes back to AAA. And now rhat he is on the 40-man roster, the Cubs would probably be more-inclined to bring him back up again if they need an extra position player sometime during the season, and as long as he has a decent year at Iowa, he should get recalled on September 1st.

Thanks Phil.

Why not make him Dero lite and get rid of pretend MLBer Gatwright?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Tue, 05/05/2009 - 9:34am.
If it was the 6th game of the year I may agree with you, but the problem is that Heilman hasn't thrown 30 pitches in a game since April 7th and Wells has been starting all year (though he got a short start last time due to rain I think).

===================================

REAL NEAL: Esmailin Caridad's start on Sunday at Memphis was limited to three innings (and 45 pitches) before the game was suspended due to rain.

As for Randy Wells, he was intentionally limited to three innings & 39 pitches in his start last night for Iowa, because he will be pitching Friday on three days rest. The Cubs could have skipped his scheduled start last night completely, but then he would be starting on ten days rest on Friday, and Wells is a sinkerball pitcher who would probably be adversely affected by too much rest.

Submitted by jacos on Tue, 05/05/2009 - 10:13am. Thanks Phil. Why not make him Dero lite and get rid of pretend MLBer Gatwright?

=================================

JACOS: I think Gathright will probably eventually be replaced on the 25-man roster later this season by a more-versatile player (IF-OF), but I doubt that it would be Bobby Scales.

If the Cubs look inside their own organization, a more likely candidate to replace Gathright would be Matt Camp, a versatile and athletic player who can play 2B-CF-LF-3B-SS (although like Scales, he is below-average defensively no matter where he plays). But Camp would definitely be a better PR option than Scales (who has lost a step or two over the years) and probably would be even a better PR option than Gathright, because while Gathright is one of the fastest players in baseball, he is not especially good at stealing bases or baserunning. Camp isn't much of a hitter (but then neither is Gathright), but Camp is a good baserunner and base-stealer, and he can bunt, too, and he can play infield, which Gathright can't.  

re Camp: Lou would love a guy who hit .261/.336/.313 in double-A.

When Gathright was in AA, he hit .355. In AAA, before being called up to Tampa, he hit .326/.376/.373.

With the grudging exception of backup catcher, you have to be able to hit to make Lou's team.

Campana (not Camp) seems to be the premier base stealer in the organization. Maybe he will learn how to hit in the minors.

With the grudging exception of backup catcher, you have to be able to hit to make Lou's team.

Then how did Gathright make the team? He has proven, in over 1300 big league plate appearances, that he cannot hit.

Wow..interesting lineup:
Gathright
Miles
Fukudome
Lee
Hoffpauir
Fontenot
Scales
Hill

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