Ramirez Three-Run Blast Can't Save Cub Bullpen from Imploding Late

Alvaro Ramirez smashed a three-run home run and Yao-Lin Wang and Marcos Perez each threw three innings of shutout ball, but the EXST A’s rallied from a four-run 7th inning deficit and played the EXST Cubs to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.

The 24-year old 5’8 lefty swinging Ramirez is in his second season in the Cubs organization, after spending three seasons in the Yankees system (he was with DSL Yankees #1 in 2006, DSL Yankees #2 in 2007, and GCL Yankees in 2008, hitting a combined .289 in 161 games at the three stops, with 21 doubles, 13 triples, five HR, and 42 SB, with a 48/85 BB/K). Ramirez was signed by the Cubs as a Minor League Free-Agent last June after he was released by the Yankees, and hit .372 with 24 SB in 58 games for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009. He made the 2010 Peoria Opening Day roster as their “4th OF” out of Minor League Camp, but was sent to Extended Spring Training with fellow Chiefs OF Jesus Morelli about ten days ago when outfielders Francisco Guzman and D. J. Fitzgerald were moved up to Peoria from EXST. (Ramirez hit 244/279/268 in 12 games at Peoria). So far at Extended Spring Training, Ramirez is hitting 276/303/483 in nine EXST games, while playing a stellar CF. And because he was previously released by another organization, he is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League FA post-2010.

With three more shutout innings today, LHP Marcos Perez has now thrown 17-1/3 innings at Extended Spring Training, allowing no runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out 16. It would seem likely that Perez is in-line for a promotion to Peoria in the near future, but that all depends on whether there is room for him on the Chiefs roster.

Side-armin' Peoria RHRP Corey Martin (presently on a rehab assignment at Extended Spring Training) threw 1.1 IP in relief today, preserving the tie with an easy 4-up/4-down outing (22 pitches – 14 strikes). Based upon his performance today, Martin (the Cubs 2009 27th round draft pick out of Western Carolina) would appear to be ready to return to Peoria whenever there is room for him on the Chiefs roster, although he was not exactly pitching effectively before he went on the DL (10.38 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP in 8.2 IP).

1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 0-1 (BB, BB, 3-U, BB, 2 R)
2. Rafael Disla, SS: 1-4 (2B, K, 3-1, E-4, RBI, SB)
3. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-4 (6-5 FC, 1B, K, P-4, SB)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, BB, 6-3, R, PO)
5. Brandon May, 1B: 2-3 (K, HBP, 1B, 1B, R,)
6. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 2-4 (1B, F-8, HR, F-7, R, 3 RBI, SB, CS)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-4 (K, 5-4-3 GIDP, K, K)
8a. Blair Springfield, 2B: 1-3 (K, K, 1B+E6)
8b. Arismendy Alcantara, PR-2B: --- (R)
9a. Jose Guevara, C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, 1-3)
9b. Sergio Burruel, C: ---
10. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, BB, 4-3)

1. Yao-Lin Wang – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 34 pitches (25 strikes)
2. Marcos Perez – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/4 GO/FO, 48 pitches (31 strikes)
3. Alvido Jimenez – 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 2 HBP, 1/3 GO/FO, 40 pitches (21 strikes)
5. Corey Martin – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)



WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80’s



give a listen; speaks for itself...



Sadly, half way through and I'm still thinking "great, another legendary sportscaster I've never heard of".

Sadly reminiscent of the big league pen this year.

Hey! Nady didn't do bad.

Well, Starlin is one for two this year. One good game, one bad.

If Zambrano keeps getting hit like that, there's no way he'll survive his upcoming Round 2 battle of "If They Fought" vs. Prince Fielder over at Beyond the Box Score.


So that happened.

So I'm sitting here watching the recorded version of last night's game on mlb.tv, fifth inning, and there is this weird static sound on the broadcast that reminds me of the reporters typing in the background of the old Arne Harris broadcasts.

I'd love to know the percentage of folks on here that know what I'm talking about.

That would be you and me.

That,as well as paper cups being smashed, occasional lonely chants of: "we wanna hit", and the completely empty upper deck, almost always closed off except Sundays and occasional Saturdays.

Ahh, those were the days...


I forgot the "we wanna hit" chant from the backstage. And, the paper cups being popped. POP! click clack click clack.

Then, since my dad was a white sox fan, we'd have to switch to channel 44 and listen to Jack Drees and ask ourselves, why is Walt Williams spitting into his baseball helmut and rubbing it on to his head like he's afraid the glue won't stick?

Then, Harry Caray took over the White Sox booth and did things like, "that wouldn't be a home run in a phone booth." And, "Rahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhd Carew"

Then, to just confuse the fuck out of my dad and I, who cherished our rivalry, he switched sides.

It's a crazy world out there, kids.

Be careful.

Submitted by Old and Blue on Sat, 05/08/2010 - 9:21pm.
So I'm sitting here watching the recorded version of last night's game on mlb.tv, fifth inning, and there is this weird static sound on the broadcast that reminds me of the reporters typing in the background of the old Arne Harris broadcasts.

I'd love to know the percentage of folks on here that know what I'm talking about.


Old & Blue: That typing noise you heard in the background on WGN-TV broadcasts of Cubs (and White Sox) games back in the day was Sports Editor Jack Rosenberg typing up Jack Brickhouse's ad libs.

How do you know that, my old friend? I believe you, of course, because you are the sage of all that is Cubs, both silly and not. That really makes sense, since Jack Rosenberg, was, indeed, an omnipresence in those days. Wow, that brought a smile on my face, AZ.


You'll assume AZ was making a joke. I am sure he was not.

In addition to AZ Phil's revelation, I can remember several times when you could clearly hear a background voice (who I assume was Arne Harris) prompting Jack to say thinks like: "Men on first and third" "Kessinger has 2 hits today" and so forth, which Jack would then repeat into his microphone.

I know that Jack was a really nice guy, but was he truly a stellar announcer?

fwiw, every modern announcer, including mr. flying-solo vin scully, gets tidbits and trivia from the truck in the booth.

these days they also get the 1000000000000000 page media guide and the short-version "today's matchup" sheets with condensed factoids pertaining to teams/players on that day.


-and its heartily entertaining when a modern announcer occasionally talks himself into a box by enthusiastically reading factoids that have nothing to do with, or are contrary to, what he was talking about in the first place.

I guess thats why its still fun to go to the ballpark and listen to all the 'announcers' in the stands instead.

Overall, I would say today's game was lost with Derek Lee's idiotic check swing. That turned the tide of the game. Rose, the Reds' pitcher, was all over the place and Lee just totally killed us with his inability to lay off a low and outside pitch against a pitcher that Xavier Nady, who has admitted to sort of sucking cuz of not enough at bats, had no problem getting a walk from.

I watched the game but missed Starlin's error, but I watched the replay and it was a total botch but it was a hard hit ball. Not too big a deal.

Overall, I love his patience at the plate. He takes nasty curve balls. He just watches them come in. I hope nobody trains him away from that.

"oh! look at that nasty sucker, I think I will not swing at that, thank you very much."

"oh, look at that, he hung the same thing up."

I watched all his at bats and he looks like a natural hitter. They'll try to expose him on the outside corner because of the way he bats but I think he'll just lay off.

Forget small sample size. This dude looks for real.

I'm old and blue in the balls, and I'm sayin', this baby faced little bastard is here to stay.

My track record for rookie Cubs excitement is this:

Lee Smith -- first time I saw him, I think he sort of stuck up the joint but I called my dad, who was a Sox fan, into the room, and smiled, saying, look at this!!!

Mark Grace -- good vibes, very happy, wanted more power

Hee Seop Choi -- Can't miss I told everyone. Hits to all fields, cannot fai

That's it, for me, when it comes to Cubs kiddies. I'm sure someone else will say, "well whattabout so and so?"

All I'm saying is that I don't get charged up easily.

This kid has me charged up.

His approach to the plate, his ability to go with the pitch at this age? WTF is that?

Honestly, I don't even care how this season goes now.

I'm old, and blue.

I'm ready to pass the baton.

I know now, that I don't have to give up.

I know there is hope.

I know we all can believe in this.

But we need to all hold hands, from the badlands of Arizona to the goodlands of Arizona (wait, are there any goodlands in AZ? AZ PHIL?)


This is monumental.

And, this is Chicago.

Starlin, you may as well schedule your knee surgery now.

I think I love you.

Ok, I'll bite...
I'm sure someone else will say, "well whattabout so and so?"
I remember Mike Harkey's Wrigley debut vs Phils in Sept 88. Seeing him warming up in the Cubs bullpen with that big 6'5" frame plus a power arm and getting a bit misty eyed with visions of the Cubs finally getting a home grown ace.

...fast forward to an injury plagued 36-36 career...but the dreams of seeing a great one at the beginning of his career is powerful stuff.

Godspeed to our little Starlin and a big goofy grin to all those who still got misty-eyed from his first at bat vs the Reds.

I was at Harkey's debut too. If memory serves, he hit the first Phillie he faced in the head.

Would have been nice to have a healthy Harkey around in '89. Would have been nice to have a healthy Harkey around any time. He almost had a no-hitter against the Padres in '90 which was, oddly enough, broken up by former Cub Champ Summers.

And as for another Wrigley memory for us oldsters - does anyone else remember back in the early seventies when the firemen in the station on Waveland would blow a siren after a Cub homer? The team wasn't all that great at the time - the Jose Cardenal, Rick Monday team.

And the songs Frank Pellico would play on the organ for different players. For Kessinger he'd play the standard "South." For Cardenal he'd play "Jesus Christ Super Star" I suppose because he was the closest thing the Cubs had to a super star at the time. Anyone remember any other songs?

for rick monday: "never on sunday"

"...oddly enough, broken up by former Cub Champ Summers."

Yeah, so?


Pellico played "Jesus Christ Superstar" because Jose Cardenal's initials were JC, just like Jesus Christ.

Greatest Rock Opera OF ALL TIME!!!!!

In the very least it is the greatest rock opera about Jesus Christ.

He was no superstar, but Cardenal's initials were JC.


I remember when he wrenched his knee in the dugout and ruined his career. Such promise, though!


Any projections on the initial Boise roster based on what you have seen at EXST?

this aram slump is getting stupid.

i think 120-ish ab's is enough to determine he's just not dialed-in yet and soriano/soto are a bit more productive.

2 weeks ago was his last extra base hit and his only hit today so far was an infield single that didn't roll foul.

also, tyler colwin is god. cubs lead...woo.

I'm kind of amazed Colvin has continued to be fairly productive. He just hit his 4th HR in 51 ABs, but only his 6th AB of the month--and we're 9 days in.

dusty hates kids.

Can Colvin play third?


d.braden (OAK) has a no hitter through 7 vs. TB, fwiw... (0bb, 1 error).

through 8...97 pitches.

-edit- oops, the error is TB's...it's perfect through 8...9th starting.

and it's a perfect game.

I am jealous.

thanks to the rash of perfect games since the availabilty of MLB Extra Innings this is the 4th perfect game I've seen either in it's entirety or from mid-point-on.

woo technology.

I was there. I just got back home. It was the first no-hitter/perfect game I've seen live.

He was in control the whole game, and throwing strikes, with just 109 pitches.

The only hit that came close, IIRC, was a leaping catch by the 3rd baseman from the first batter of the game.

hell yeah. awesome.

Normally I don't buy into all the superstition crap about not talking about it while it's happening.

But when you were just one of 35 people in attendance and he could hear everything you had to say, does that still apply?

Congrats on your viewing of this awesome event.

A quote from Bruce Miles' blog today:

"The big problem is an understaffed bullpen, and we’ll have more in tomorrow’s paper and online about how that’s the result of a front-office miscalculation than anything else."

If Grabow finds the DL, I predict we see a little Thomas Diamond (with Angel Guzman moving to the 60-day DL).

On Lou not taking Demp out: "What are ya gonna do?"

Sez it all Lou. See ya in Tampa, fishing.

Two starts in a row he left dempster in too long.

Yeah he did, more so yesterday than the start before, I felt. I'm with you that he looked pretty beat on Monday, but I really thought he was on empty yesterday.

Although with our bullpen, I'd have probably done it, too. But, I wouldnt have burned Marshall when you were likely going to lose and especially Z when you were almost definitely going to lose the night before. That probably led to having to leave him in yesterday more than anything else. I don't want any of those other jokers in there with a run 1 lead anymore than I want a worn down Dempster.

But, that's just me, I guess.

I don't blame Lou. He had the exact same situation in the second game of the year in Atlanta. Dempster had pitched into the 8th inning but gives up a double to Jason Heyward to lead off the inning. Piniella pulled Dempster and put in Grabow who promptly gave up a home run to Chipper Jones to give the Braves the lead and ultimately a win.

Yesterday's game was similar. Dempster was pitching really well. The Cubs were winning 3-2. With two men on and two outs in the 7th inning, Piniella went out to talk to Dempster. He apparently heard what he wanted to hear and left Demp in the game. Next batter (Votto) hits the ball out of the park.

It really is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Considering what the bullpen has done so far this year, I can't blame him for not trusting them.

Votto has 6 HR's against RHP, 1 against LHP this season

He hits .314/.399/.560 against RHP career
He hits ..302/.375/.492 against LHP career

Votto is a pretty good hitter either way. I dunno. Marshall has pithced pretty well mostly.

Eh....81-81 here we come.

"Votto has 6 HR's against RHP, 1 against LHP this season

He hits .314/.399/.560 against RHP career
He hits ..302/.375/.492 against LHP career"

My guess is that Votto sees a lot more righties than lefties, so it makes sense that he would hit more homeruns off of righties. You're correct, Votto hits pretty well no matter which side the pitcher throws from.

I don't think it matters what Lou does. If he brings in Marshall and Marshall gives up the homerun, then people bitch because Lou should have known the bullpen sucks. Since he left Dempster in, people complain because he didn't go to the bullpen. It's a no win sitiuation.

In hindsight, I wish he had changed pitchers. But during the game, my thinking was that he should stick with Dempster.

During the game Monday I thought Dempster looked all done. Then two batters later he proved I was right. Didn't watch yesterday's game, so I'll take your guys' word that he wasn't gassed. If he wasn't, I'd say leave him in.

Sunday would have been three days in a row Marshall faced Votto (K and BB where Votto was looking for a BB in the first two PA's of the series).

We should add two to the season beginning contest.

When will Lou be gone?
Who will replace Lou?

How bout one more
When will Cashner be up to give another jolt to team?

Recent comments

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  • Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.

    John Beasley 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.

    crunch 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?

    Brick 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • "An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."

    crunch 3 hours 34 min ago view
  • rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.

    Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.

    In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)

    Rob G. 4 hours 48 min ago view
  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 5 hours 33 min ago view
  • Agree -- I think you want to keep him on a regular schedule.

    billybucks 5 hours 52 min ago view
  • Ramos torn ACL

    jacos 6 hours 20 min ago view
  • Sure, its not about his record.

    jacos 6 hours 22 min ago view
  • Do you start him Sunday or not?

    @jonmorosi Pitchers w/ sub-2.00 ERA in year of 185+ IP this century: Pedro ’00, Clemens ’05, Kershaw ’13/’14, Arrieta ’15, Greinke ’15, Hendricks ’16.

    Rob G. 7 hours 43 min ago view
  • Yeah -- that would be rough for him. But, Monty is getting people out, he's a lefty and he has experience working out of the bullpen. Hammel? None of the above.

    billybucks 8 hours 38 min ago view
  • even if he's not starting, abandoning hammel would be a bit of a 'screw you.' i think it might be -monty +hammel, but it's speculation.

    either way, someone's gonna be disappointed.

    crunch 9 hours 39 min ago view
  • Joe said he is leaning towards 11 pitchers and 14 position players.

    - 4 starters, Chapman, Rondon, Strop, CJ, Wood, Grimm, Monty. No dice for Cahill or Smith.
    - 3 catchers, Rizz, Zo, Addy, KB, Javy, Heyward, Fowler, Soler, Coghlan, TLS and then Sczcur over Almora?

    billybucks 9 hours 50 min ago view
  • Cubs 3B Jason Vosler made two really bad throws on consecutive AB in the 8th. Fortunately the game was no longer in doubt at the time  

    The first one was a one-hop lob that allowed the batter to reach base on an infield single, and the second was air-mailed so far over the first-baseman's head that it went over the fence and landed in Field #4.

    Arizona Phil 10 hours 25 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Despite the HR, Donnie Dewees is really more of a slash hitter (the HR was an opposite-field line-drive) who can accumulate lots of doubles & triples. He's also a good bunter and can get on base that way, too. Although he was thrown out trying to steal in the game, he's actually a good base-stealer and baserunner.

    Defensively he has plus-range and tracks fly balls OK, so he can play CF, but he has a rag arm that requires the middle infielders to go out further into CF to make relays.

    Arizona Phil 10 hours 26 min ago view
  • I don't know how many of you remember Bobby Knoop, who played 2B for the Angels, White Sox, and Royals back in the day, but he is a coach-emeritus for the Angels, and works with the infielders at Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs. He's pretty spry for a 77-year old, and he really knows his shit.

    Arizona Phil 10 hours 54 min ago view