Ryan Dempster

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Brian Moehler

12-4, 2.90, 126 K, 58 BB, 145.2 IP

6-4, 4.23, 50 K, 26 BB, 93.2 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B #Kaz Matsui
2B *Mike Fontenot SS Miguel Tejada
1B *Daryle Ward 1B #Lance Berkman
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Carlos Lee
CF *Jim Edmonds RF Hunter Pence
C Geovany Soto 3B Ty Wigginton
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF *Darin Erstad
SS Ronny Cedeno C Humberto Quintero
P Ryan Dempster P Brian Moehler

No time for love today, Dr. Jones, but if you see Geovany Soto visit the mound, know that he is just mocking you...the television viewer.

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Manny Parra
11-4, 2.99, 117 K, 57 BB, 138.2 IP
9-3, 3.72, 92 K, 54 BB, 113.2 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B #Ray Durham
SS Ryan Theriot SS J.J. Hardy
1B Derrek Lee LF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Prince Fielder
CF Reed Johnson RF Corey Hart
2B Mark DeRosa 3B Bill Hall
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Mike Cameron
C Henry Blanco C Jason Kendall
P Ryan Dempster P *Manny Parra

The Cubs were able to secure wins over the Brewers big two, and now the Brewers will try and retaliate amidst our big three. Dempster goes for back-to-back road wins for the first time in seven years and looks to draw even with Zambrano for the team lead with twelve wins. A win for the Cubs tonight would also put them back up to twenty games over .500, which is a neat little number. Dempster will have to watch out for Ray Durham and Jason Kendall, both of whom are sporting OPS's over 1.000 against him over their careers.

It'll be Manny Parra for the Brewers, who I suppose makes the third leg of the Brewers troika (TCR word of the week sponsored by Motorola) of starting pitchers. He survived a brutal April and is 8-2 with a 3.40 ERA since the beginning of May. He has one career start versus the Cubs last August and lasted only three innings after giving up three runs in the second.

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SP Josh Johnson SP Ryan Dempster
  0-0, 3.86, 10 K, 3 BB, 11.2 IP
11-4, 3.05, 111 K, 51 BB, 132.2 IP
       
SS Hanley Ramirez LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Luis Gonzalez SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jorge Cantu 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Mike Jacobs 3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Dan Uggla RF *Kosuke Fukudome
LF Josh Willingham C Geovany Soto
CF Cody Ross 2B *Mike Fontenot
C Paul Hoover CF Reed Johnson
P *Josh Johnson P Ryan Dempster

 

With Jeff Samardzija (last name = 29 Scrabble points) in a Major League uniform for the first time and the Brewers so close you can smell the Miller High Life and cannibal sandwiches on their breaths, the Cubs go for a second win in a row against the Fightin' Fish.

Kosuke Fukudome returns to the starting lineup, as does Mike Fontenot, who has gone 14-for-41 (.341) with four homers and a 1260 OPS since the first of July.

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Kevin Correia
  9-3, 3.26, 86 K, 41 BB, 105 IP
1-5, 4.79, 26 K, 19 BB, 41.1 IP
       
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF *Fred Lewis
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Ray Durham
1B Derrek Lee RF #Randy Winn
C Geovany Soto CF Aaron Rowand
CF *Jim Edmonds 1B *John Bowker
3B Mark DeRosa 3B Rich Aurilia
LF Matt Murton C Eliezer Alfonzo
2B *Mike Fontenot SS #Omar Vizquel
P Ryan Dempster P Kevin Correia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A tough-luck loss last night where the big difference was a well-executed double steal by the Giants in the first and the Cubs inability to get Daryle Ward home after a lead-off double in the seventh. And of course, the umpires rather generous strike zone, although he was at least consistent with both teams.

Tonight, Dempster tries to go back to being awesome after being pistol-whipped by the White Sox over the weekend. If he can manage a win tonight, it'll be his first on the road all season, where he is 0-3 with a 4.19 ERA so far this season.

Lou's ever-changing lineup puts Soto back in the clean-up spot and Edmonds back to the five spot, with Murton patrolling left field once again. A win sure would be nice tonight with a Sean Gallagher vs Tim Lincecum match-up looming tomorrow.

 

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SP Ryan Dempster SP José Contreras
  9-2, 2.63, 85 K, 38 BB, 102.2 IP
6-6, 3.96, 56 K, 26 BB, 97.2 IP
       
DH *Kosuke Fukudome SS Orlando Cabrera
LF *Eric Patterson C *A.J. Pierzynski
1B Derrek Lee LF Carlos Quentin
3B Aramis Ramirez RF Jermaine Dye
RF *Daryle Ward DH *Jim Thome
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B Joe Crede
C Geovany Soto 1B #Nick Swisher
2B *Mike Fontenot 2B Juan Uribe
SS Ronny Cedeno CF *Dewayne Wise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's time for Round Two of the Cubs versus White Sox, a.k.a. Team Inferiority Complex.

The Cubs go with a lineup that's long on lefties and rich on suck. Fontenot? Cedeño?? Ward in the field??? Lou is clearly trying to win the game with one hand tied behind his back, thus completely demoralizing the hosts.

Dempster, who yielded just one run (though 10 hits) to beat the White Sox on Sunday night, gets the nod against Contreras, who the Cubs undressed last Saturday (9 ER, 10H allowed in 3.1 innings).

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SP Javier Vazquez SP Ryan Dempster
  7-5, 4.13, 93 K, 24 BB, 96 IP
8-2, 2.76, 81 K, 37 BB, 94.2 IP
       
SS Orlando Cabrera RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C *A.J. Pierzynski LF *Eric Patterson
LF Carlos Quentin 1B Derrek Lee
RF Jermaine Dye 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B #Nick Swisher CF *Jim Edmonds
3B Joe Crede C Geovany Soto
CF *Dewayne Wise RF Mark DeRosa
2B Alexei Ramirez SS Ryan Theriot
P Javier Vazquez P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The national ESPN spotlight shines this evening on 1060 West Addison, which can only mean one thing:

The Yankees and Mets aren't playing each other this weekend.

According to the Sun-Times' up-to-the-minute Cubs reports via Twitter, Rob Reiner and his kid are in the house tonight. Could there be any clearer indication what an important contest this is?

Regarding tonight's starters...

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Scott Kazmir
  8-2, 2.81, 75 K, 35 BB, 89.2 IP
6-2, 1.74, 54 K, 16 BB, 51.2 IP
       
CF Reed Johnson 2B *Akinori Iwamura
SS Ryan Theriot 1B #Willy Aybar
1B Derrek Lee CF BJ Upton
3B Aramis Ramirez RF *Eric Hinske
DH Geovany Soto 3B Evan Longoria
RF Mark DeRosa DH *Cliff Floyd
LF Matt Murton C #Dionar Navarro
C Henry Blanco RF *Gabe Gross
2B Ronny Cedeno SS Jason Bartlett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Murton has been called up and Eric Patterson has been sent down. Welcome back to the Show Orange Guy, and good luck with Scott Kazmir, who has given up all of one run in four home starts this year (thanks nohit). The entire Rays team has been enjoying the comforts of Tampa, Florida with a shiny 26-11 mark at Tropicana Field. That's good for second best in the home record in the American League and has helped catapult them from the worst overall record in the league last year to the current AL Wild Card leaders. Most of that turnaround can be attributed to their pitching and defense and not that sketchy lineup that I'm looking at. But I guess you don't need good hitters if you can "Execute to the Max".

Game notes fun after the jump...

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Chad Billingsley
  7-2, 2.75, 63 K, 33 BB, 75.1 IP
4-6, 3.29, 71 K, 34 BB, 65.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
SS Ryan Theriot CF Matt Kemp
1B Derrek Lee RF *Andre Ethier
3B Aramis Ramirez 2B Jeff Kent
RF *Kosuke Fukudome C Russell Martin
C Geovany Soto 1B *James Loney
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B *Blake DeWitt
2B Mark DeRosa SS Chin-Lung Hu
P Ryan Dempster P Chad Billingsley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so, here we are:

The final, deciding game in the Cubs' and Dodgers' best-of-2,021 game series.

Who'd have thought it would come down to this?

Tonight when the Braves visit the Mets, former Cub Rick Sutcliffe will be in the ESPN broadcast booth for the first time since he was diagnosed with colon cancer during spring training. Sutcliffe, who has been receiving chemotherapy and radiation, is scheduled for surgery on June 16th, which he hopes will lead to a clean bill of health.

On an infinitely more mundate note, Dayn Perry at foxsports.com argues that the Cub Express must be seen as wobbly, given that Ryan Dempster appears to be pitching with a rabbit's foot or similar in his pocket--Dempster's .211 batting average against on Balls in Play is way below the normal .290-.300 range--Carlos Marmol is on pace for an ungodly number of innings pitched, and Jason Marquis is just not very good.

Perry does, however, end on this semi-upbeat note:

If they do get to the postseason, then they'll have the kind of team
that's built to succeed in that environment. Teams with good defenses,
high-strikeout pitching staffs, and dominating closers tend to do well
in the playoffs, and all of that describes this year's Cubs model.

...the team defense has been exceptional, and the
pitching staff ranks third in the NL in whiffs. As for the closer
thing, Kerry Wood has looked strong save for two isolated bad outings.
If he continues to grow into the role, then the Cubs will have a real
shot at ending their comically long title drought.

Of course, unless the pitching holds up, they won't get the chance.

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SP *Zach Duke SP Ryan Dempster
  0-0, 2.89, 7 K, 4 BB
2-0, 2.37, 13 K, 9 BB
       
CF *Nate McLouth CF Reed Johnson
2B Freddy Sanchez SS Ryan Theriot
LF Jason Bay 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Adam LaRoche 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Xavier Nady LF Matt Murton
C #Ryan Doumit RF Mark DeRosa
3B Jose Bautista C Geovany Soto
SS Brian Bixler 2B Ronny Cedeno
P
*Zach Duke P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WGN Radio is reporting that Kosuke Fukudome has a sebaceous cyst on his forehead which is causing some swelling in his right eyelid and thus, some vision problems. However, according to WGN's Cory Provus, Fukudome is on medication and is expected to return to the lineup on Monday.

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Zach Duke
  1-0, 1.50, 5 K, 2 BB 0-0, 3.18, 1 K, 1 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
CF Reed Johnson 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
2B Mark DeRosa C #Ryan Doumit
C Geovany Soto 3B Jose Bautista
SS Ronny Cedeno SS Brian Bixler
P
Ryan Dempster P *Zach Duke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's true--the Cubs are unbeaten this season in games started by Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis. (I know, we're talking about two games, but still, I'm pleasantly surprised.)

In the first half of Wednesday's day/night Cubs exhibitiongameathon, Ryan Dempster gets the start at HoHoKam (2:05 Central Time), while in the second game, starting at 9:05 Central Time, Jon Lieber throws against the Giants.

If Lou Piniella sticks to his vow to name the five-man starting staff by the end of the week, this would be the last chance for Dempster and Lieber to make their respective cases. Jason Marquis, who allowed just one run in five innings against the Royals Tuesday, has made a pretty good case for himself already.

Miniscule sample sizes and spring training weirdness aside, here's how Dempster, Lieber, and Marquis stack up so far:

The Cubs are a little over two weeks into spring training with about three weeks before Opening Day. It's time to check in on the yearly ritual of spring training battles. What's the fun of spring training without a little competition? The Cubs have a few spots up for grabs and today I'll look at the starting rotation battle between Jon Lieber, Ryan Dempster, Jason Marquis and Sean Marshall. I won't pretend that Sean Gallagher has a legitimate chance, although I guess I am pretending that Sean Marshall does.

Unable or unwilling to trade for some of the top notch talent that was moved over the offseason, such as Johan Santana, Erik Bedard or Dan Haren; the Cubs head into 2008 with much of the same talent that was good for the second best ERA among NL starting staffs last year. Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly and Rich Hill
will anchor the staff, and if Marquis and Marshall win the jobs, you'll have the same starting five that took the mound for the bulk of last season.

That though, appears to be the least likely scenario, as Ryan Dempster is getting his wish to compete for a starting spot and the Cubs signed Lieber on a one year deal. It appears to be a bit of a logjam at the moment, but the bullpen or the trade market can alleviate that "problem" at the end of spring training.

Let's take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate after the jump...

Cubs baseball (Cactus League version) is back! Ryan Dempster begins his attempt to win a spot in the '08 rotation; Noah Lowry starts for the Giants. Neither starter is slated to go beyond the second inning.

First pitch is at 2:05 Central Time. Pat and Ron have the radio call on WGN radio in Chicago.

Rob tells me that Parachat is open and your usernames/passwords from last year will still work, though they are different than the names you just created so you could leave comments here at the new site.

I haven't enjoyed typing anything as much as this in a very long time:

Per the Sun-Times, here is the Cubs' batting order for Thursday's Cactus League opener at 2:05 Central Time against the now Bonds-less San Francisco Giants:

ss Theriot

3b Cedeno

rf Fukudome

1b Lee

lf Murton

c Soto

2b Cintron

cf Pie

p Dempster

DeLuca and/or Wittenmyer report that following Dempster's two innings, Sean Gallagher will go for two. Ceda, Cotts, Pignatiello, Ascanio, and Hart will then pitch an inning apiece.

Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez are expected to step into the lineup on Friday, when the Cubs host the Giants at HoHoKam.

From Arizona Phil:

The Cubs moved a half-mile up Center Street to HoHoKam Park this morning for the first time this Spring.

There were about 100 fans in attendance for the "free" preview, and as was the case last year, Manager Lou Piniella opted not to play an intrasquad game to prepare for the Cactus League, instead preferring an extended (90 minute) regular season-type infield practice and traditional BP, followed by baserunning practice.

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