Cubs 5 - Astros 4: Castro-ation

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cubs 5 - Astros 4: Castro-ation

. Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The following conversation occurred last night via Blackberry Instant Messenger:

Steve: Are you watching the Cubs?

Me: Nah, catching up on that Killing show on AMC (Note: I have my reasons. Question me not).

Steve: Too bad, it's sweet effectively watching 3 straight homers given up by Dempster.

Me: He's back to 07 levels of awful, eh?

Steve: Yes. Technically 2, but one was reviewed and called off.

Steve: Then fancy boy just let his bat go into the stands.

Always love a good Hunter Pence "Fancy Boy" callback around here.

This conversation is revealing. A, it reveals that I was catching some sweet despair-porn on AMC instead of watching the Cubs. B, it reveals that less than two weeks in, we're already comparing current levels of Dempster-sympathy to the hated 2007 closer edition. We started WAIW in 2008, so you fine readers never got to spelunk the depths of our hatred for the man's ability to close a game in the 9th. But it was as fiery and white-hot as anything up to and perhaps including Kevin Gregg. So in hope of writing a recap, I went to Baseball Reference and got all nerd on the stats. You're welcome.

Now it's not really Dempster's fault that he's coming up on 33 and a couple years of heavy workload, but his inability to hit the zone late in games is becoming panic-inducing. Against the Pirates and D-Backs, it tended to happen on counts of 3-1 or 3-2. Last night, he gave up Bill Hall's homer on 3 pitches, Bourn's almost-HR on 3, and the final homer to Angel Sanchez on 2. And it's really too bad, because if he could have pitched his way out of that inning and left it 5-1 or even 5-2, it would have been solid. Instead we're bitching again on the blog. But the fact was that Quade was clearly hoping to rest most of the bullpen for James Russell's start today, as that might not last very long. Instead, we had to burn three guys. Or at least two pitchers and suckass John Grabow. Dempster threw 115 pitches, but wasted a lot of that goodwill generated through 6. We might have been able to get out of the game without burning another wild-ass save from the Marmot.

The message Quade should take to heart is that you don't want Dempster in the game after a certain point. He pulls that quick-fade act like Michael J Fox playing the guitar in Back to the Future. There's just no way should can put in pitches like 2008, especially this early in the season. At best, he's a number 3 guy who happened to be our Opening Day starter. You could argue that there's no real number one around anymore, but the more pressing issue seems to be the lack of both 4 and 5. Sure would be nice to have Sloth still around.