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?

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  • Any word on Neil Ramirez?? Today is his 10th day where they have had to have done something with him, or are they not count today because it is a holiday??

    cubbies.4ever 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • if they dont win at least 130 games this season they can pack it all up, turn wrigley into a concert venue, and move the damn team to san jose.


    crunch 10 hours 46 min ago view
  • I see where catcher Cael Brockmeyer was promoted to Tennessee a couple of days ago, to fill a roster spot vacated by David Freitas, recently promoted to Iowa. Caratini is the other catcher at Tennessee.

    VirginiaPhil 10 hours 49 min ago view
  • They've already clinched a minimum winning percentage of .607 for the month, and that's only if they lose the last 2 games. If they win both, they can push that up to .679. So much for "stumbling" in May. When you're winning over 60% of your games, you're doing baseball well.

    John Beasley 12 hours 3 min ago view
  • If the best walk-off hit possible is a solo home run in a zero-zero game--Eloy did it tonight!

    (But maybe it's a grand slam when your team is down three? He didn't do that.)

    Number eight for Jimenez. His team is 31-17. Yesterday they scored 17 runs against Lansing. Two weeks ago it was 15 runs against the same team. This is a nice team, South Bend. The Cubs must have had a good draft last year.

    Tonight the pitchers were Sands, Brooks and Effross.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 10 min ago view
  • RIP Zoobrest.

    crunch 13 hours 44 min ago view
  • He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.

    Old and Blue 14 hours 14 min ago view
  • In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.

    johann 16 hours 10 min ago view
  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 16 hours 45 min ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 17 hours 42 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 19 hours 3 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 19 hours 37 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 22 hours 33 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 22 hours 36 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 22 hours 46 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 23 hours 28 min ago view