Dempster Extremely Sharp at HoHoKam

In what was definitely his best performance of the Spring  Ryan Dempster threw 5 innings of one-hit shutout ball at Mesa's HoHoKam Park today, although the Cubs went on to lose the game to the Oakland A's by a score of 5-2.

Coming back from an atrocious outing last week, Dempster was very sharp today, posting a line of no runs on one hit and two walks with seven strikeouts in 5.1 IP, throwing 78 pitches (46 strikes), with a 5/7 GB/FB.  

However, A's starter Joe Blanton was also on his game (six shutout innings), so the game stayed scoreless going into the bottom of the 7th inning. 

The Cubs struck first, as Derrek Lee lined an opposite-field home run into the right-field bullpen off A's reliever Andrew Brown to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Aramis Ramirez walked, and then Henry Blanco smoked a double into the left-center field alley, scoring Ramirez all the way from 1st.

Kevin Hart entered the game in the top of the 8th, a "back-to-back" outing following his strong inning of work yesterday. But Hart was terrible today, allowing a double, a single and two walks, before being relieved by Carlos Marmol, with the Cubs leading 2-1, one out, and the bases loaded. And Marmol was no relief, either. .

As has been the case in most of his appearances this Spring, Marmol could not find the plate, and was behind on every hitter. He displayed a lot of negative emotion on the mound, and looked to be very frustrated with himself.

Marmol walked the first batter he faced to force-in the tying run, and then gave up an RBI line single to right and a FC RBI, before finally retiring the side. Marmol allowed another run in the 9th after walking the lead-off hitter. 

The Cubs loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th (single by Ramirez and walks to Fukudome and Blanco), but with the tying runs on base, Felix Pie flied out to deep right to end the game.    

Henry Blanco had a good day at the plate today, going 2-3 with an RBI double, a single, and and a walk, and he also threw out a runner trying to steal. Aramis Ramirez was also 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, and Ryan Theriot was 2-4 with a triple.

Other notable pitching performances by the Cubs today included:

Michael Wuertz (who gave up a double and a single in the top of the 6th after relieving Dempster, but no runs thanks to a strong throw by Kosuke Fukudome to cut down a runner at the plate to end the inning),

Sean Gallagher (who walked the bases loaded before being relieved with one out in the top of the 7th),

and 

Les Walrond (who somewhat surprisingly struck out two batters with the bases loaded in relief of Gallagher).

The Cubs will play the second half of their "Split Squad Wednesday" this evening versus the Giants in Scottsdale.

Comments

quick lead for the cubs in the night game...

the night game vs Giants from Scottsdale is on mlb audio and it's 1-0 Cubs on an infield hit by EPat, stole 2nd moved to 3rd by Fontegod and RBI out by Hoffpauir, Lieber on the mound

Soto run scoring double scores Murton, goes to 3rd on throw. 2-0 Gameday is working (albeit very slow)... http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/y2007/gd.html?...

Nice job as usual, Phil.

looks like cedeno is building his trade value in tonites game. is there anyway dempster goes to lou and tells him if you need me i can close?

Well it took him 2 games, but Ronny did hit for the cycle today.

looks like cedeno is building his trade value in tonites game. is there anyway dempster goes to lou and tells him if you need me i can close?

Funny you should ask that--I caught the end of an interview with Dempster on Comcast tonight and there was point in the interview that was all teed up for him to say something like, "Sure, I'd prefer to start, but I want this team to win, and I'll do whatever I can to help that happen." Instead, he responded with an expression of confidence in his ability to win as a starter. It makes the think the answer to your question would be a definite no.

Heading to midway direct to Tuscon in about 20 mins. My first spring game @ Rockies Saturday. Wish me luck! p.s. I hear you guys will have snow....shame.

::glare

Dempster is in the last year of his contract, and if he can establish himself as a starter this season, it will be worth a ton to him as FA this coming offseason. After all, he's got a family to look out for.

that is true dempster does have that family to take care of

Is Dempster supporting Marquis's family too?

You'd think so, to hear his telephone interviews with Kaplan on WGN radio. You can always hear Dempster's kid in the background as he's talking on the phone. Sometimes it's noisy enough you'd think he had Marquis family there as well.

Sean Gallagher and Jose Ascanio placed on the Des Moines roster

Suffice it to say - the "rumored" pitchers going to the O's have certainly not helped the Cubs out. They stunk it up in ST. Thanks alot!

hey, if you heard you were trade bait to baltimore, you'd stink it up too!

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hagsag 16 min 2 sec ago (view)

    Are ther any FA starting pitchers that would be an addition to take a starting spot?

     

  • QuietMan 11 hours 59 min ago (view)

    I'm thinking players should demand that this be added to their list.  "Sorry Honey, can't do it."

    Thanks Phil.

     

  • crunch 13 hours 34 sec ago (view)

    or washing the dishes turns out to be popping wheelies on a motorcycle riding around scottsdale...

    jeff kent deserves to be in the HOF...lou whitaker needs to get in first...

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 36 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: Once the MLB regular season starts, the "Practice Squad" will be a sub-group of the Club Player Pool, as will be the MLB Active List roster and the various MLB injured lists. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Q-MAN: Yes, unless "washing the dishes" is listed as a forbidden off-field activity in his contract 

     

  • crunch 15 hours 10 min ago (view)

    oh boy...chatwood and a.mills in the rotation...because the minor league system sure as hell don't have much to offer for competition.

     

  • QuietMan 15 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Non Baseball related injury.  Does he still get paid?

     

  • Ryno 16 hours 12 min ago (view)

    A digital nerve sounds like something that would be repaired with a copper wire and solder.

     

  • Cubster 16 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Per Sun-Times: Jose Quintana out two weeks after cutting a digital nerve in his pitching  left thumb and requiring microsurgery to repair the nerve, from a kitchen dishwashing accident last week. Hard to say what impact that might have on his repertoire. The sensation can take 2-3 months to return if the repair is successful.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    the toles update is worse than his troubled past.  toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years.  he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.

    hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?

    And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.