Cubs Recap: Dempster with another good outing, but defense, bullpen lose the game

Cubs Recap: Dempster with another good outing, but defense, bullpen lose the game

Ryan Dempster has to be one of the hardest luck pitchers in baseball this year.  in 20 innings he has a 1.33 ERA and has struck out 23 batters, but he doesn't have a win to show for it.  Once again, the bullpen couldn't hold on but Dempster created some of his own hard luck with a throwing error that allowed the tying run to score.  The beneficiary of that error, pitcher Josh Johnson, later came around to score the go-ahead run on a single to right by Emilio Bonafacio.

Still the Cubs did manage to tie the game up at 2.  Steve Clevenger, who continues to play well when given the opportunity, hit a frozen rope double that sailed over CF'er Bonafacio's head.  He then came around to score on Bryan LaHair's single, using  great slide to get around catcher John Buck's tag.

With Kerry Wood out, the Cubs turned to the inexperienced Rafael Dolis who pitched a scoreless inning in the 7th but ran into trouble in the 8th.  Again, it was the defense that opened the flood gates, this time by the normally reliable Darwin Barney.  Dolis walked the next batter, then fell behind 3-1 to Hanley Ramirez.  With runners on first and second, Ramirez knew a fastball was coming and he jumped all over it.  He deposited well over the 386 ft. mark in left-center field.  That made the score 5-2, the final for the game.

It's still early but the bullpen is beginning to look like it's going to be an issue all year.  One has to wonder when the Cubs will either recall a pitcher from Iowa or perhaps move some veteran players to acquire some help.

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  • So last year the issue was that we couldn't give the bullpen a lead to work with, and now this year they can't hold a lead.

    Dempster has been a pleasant surprise though. I don't know how he's done so well though. I guess he's a little unique in today's game in that he throws many different pitches and he's just a crafty old vet.

    I'm excited that tomorrow I get to see Garza for the first time tomorrow, I wonder who will be behind the plate.

    Would like to see Castro hitting more extra base hits, but he has more SB than K's right now.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    Dempster has been surprisingly consistent with his peripherals since becoming a starter. This year he's off to a great start, the exact opposite of last season. We'll probably see some regression, but I fully expected him to bounce back -- although not to this degree, of course.

  • Agreed, they have to get some reinforcements for the pen. I'd like to see Bellevieu get the call.

  • In reply to crownpointwalt:

    If we look at the end of last season, Cubs were rolling out a combo of Marmol, Wood, Samardzija, Cashner, and Sean Marshall.

    We're down to an achy breaky Wood and a flat Marmol.

    I have to ask, how mediocre was James Russell in the 8th? Don't like seeing a H and BB, but an ERA of 0 is still good.

  • In reply to crownpointwalt:

    Beliveau would be my choice too. First and foremost because he throws strikes.

  • Why is Dolis being put in for more than one inning? He's projected to be placed in the back end of a rotation for a reason. The 8th should've been Russell's from the start. Both Reyes and Bonifacio are stronger from the left side of the plate, so why not play the matchups by forcing them to the right? I understand that we are in a bad situation with the bullpen, but I think I finally found a reason to BLAME SVEUM (I can imagine that this would be a popular sign at Wrigley if the rebuilding process starts to test our patience) for something.

  • Please tell me what the front office was thinking. They trade Cashner(ok, got a great prospect), move Samardzija to the rotation, and trade Marshall(looking like a really bad trade to me).
    And resigned Kerry Wood and Rodrigo Lopez. That was supposed to pick up the slack?
    Crazy to send out Dolis for another inning, but I can't blame Dale, what other options does he have. Theo and the boys have dug a hole for him.
    Purge, that should be the operational mode for this team now. The only older players who have been around for a while on this club who should not be moved much sooner than later, are Dempster, Garza,and Soriano(who is going to take him?).

  • I would like to defend the Marshall trade. I liked it from the start, and I think there will be dividends from it in the long run. Wood hasn't been horrible a la Zach Cates, and he was considered a little bit of a reclamation project after his sophmore regression.

    Dave Sappelt has some good tools, but the Cubs OF and bench has contracted a case veteran-itis where they've got parts that they can't demote, or trade and don't want to throw into the freebie bin.

    Ronald Torreyes won't be 20 until September and he's playing at the high-A level, which is pretty good. And is having trouble adjusting/having a protracted slump. It happens. Again, none of the 3 parts of the trade were throwaway pieces, and it was a trade made on future value.

    Strengthening a bullpen is often the quickest/easiest change you can make. The main issue is that almost the entire Cubs organization is underperforming right now. No one thought 2012 would be pretty.

  • With Marshall, it was about getting long term assets. Marshall had one year left with the Cubs and they're not going to contend anyway. Unfortunately, none of the players they received have gotten off to a good start, although Travis Wood seems to be slowly turning things around.

    Agree with you on Dolis. If Wood was available, Sveum doesn't run him out for a second inning, but like you said, what choice does he have right now?

  • Clevenger did crush that ball. Nice to see after some of those other weaker-hit doubles he had.

    Wonder if Soto's getting worried. He's a career 2 for 5 (with a HR) off Johnson but still didn't get the start. Maybe Dempster requested Clevenger? If so, something else for Soto to worry about.

  • Our current bullpen giving me bad flashbacks to when Dusty used to run Latroy Hawkins out there to close. Even those times he did do something nice you were always expecting the other shoe to fall at any moment.

    Probably going to be a long season, but at least are finally focused from the top down to getting better in the long term. Only thing that makes this short term pain more palatable is hope!

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    I do like the top to bottom approach, but they do need to get better in the bullpen. You want to be able to at least compete out there and so far the Cubs haven't been able to do that.

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