D'backs jump all over Dempster, crush Cubs


D'backs jump all over Dempster, crush Cubs

Friday, April 29, 2011
Posted: 12:31 a.m.

Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) Stephen Drew hit his first career grand slam to spark an Arizona franchise-record, seven-run first inning and the Diamondbacks routed the Chicago Cubs 11-2 on Thursday night.Drew finished with a career-best five RBIs, Miguel Montero also homered and drove in three runs, and Barry Enright (1-2) won his first game since Sept. 1 for the Diamondbacks, who have won three of four.Ryan Dempster (1-3) recorded the shortest outing of his 266-start career, recording only one out and allowing seven runs, four hits, four walks and a hit batter.The Cubs have lost four straight and six of seven.Enright, who had been 0-7 with a 7.40 ERA in nine starts since his previous victory, allowed one run and three hits in the first six innings before tiring in the seventh. He gave up two runs, five hits and four walks. Enright struck out four in a season-high 6 2-3 innings.Enright also hit a looping RBI single to right for his first hit of the year, and Chris Young added a two-run single to left in the first. Arizona sent 12 hitters to the plate in the inning against Dempster and reliever Justin Berg.Dempster's ERA ballooned from 7.63 to 9.28.The seven runs were the most for the Diamondbacks in any inning this season and topped by one the franchise mark of six first-inning runs accomplished seven times, most recently on Aug. 28 against San Francisco.Arizona had scored nine first-inning runs in its first 23 games combined.Montero hit an RBI double to left in the second and homered to right in the third against Berg to give the Diamondbacks a 10-1 lead.Koyie Hill hit a solo homer to right in the third, and Marlon Byrd singled and scored on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Reed Johnson in the seventh against Enright.Drew drove in Young with an RBI groundout in the seventh to make it 11-2.Josh Collmenter allowed only a walk in 2 1-3 innings in relief of Enright.NOTES
Dempster failed to get out of the first inning only once before, recording only two outs on Oct. 5, 2001 for Florida against Atlanta. Drew's grand slam was the 46th in Diamondbacks history and the first since Sept. 1 when Brandon Allen hit one against San Diego. Young became the 23rd Diamondbacks player to have two hits in the first inning. Arizona third-base coach Matt Williams made his season debut in the coaching box after missing nearly a month because of a broken foot.
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Ozzie Guillen compared Sammy Sosa to Michael Jordan...and Michael Jackson

Ozzie Guillen compared Sammy Sosa to Michael Jordan...and Michael Jackson

Ozzie Guillen is no stranger to saying outlandish things.

So it's not surprising that Guillen would agree with Sosa when the former Cubs outfielder said he made the city of Chicago what it is today.

Thirteen months ago, Sosa gave a candid interview to Chuck Wasserstrom and compared himself to Jesus before saying: "When nobody knew who Chicago was, I put Chicago on the map."

Guillen echoed that sentiment on the latest White Sox Talk Podcast.

Maybe from where they sit, that's exactly what has occurred. Sosa and Michael Jordan certainly helped make the Cubs, Bulls and Chicago sports in general on the map internationally.

"People know who the Cubs were because Sammy put them back on the map," Guillen said. "... For the city of Chicago, when Sammy was Sammy — that race with [Mark] McGwire, then people noticed what Chicago was."

Ozzie said — from his perspective — when people hear about Chicago, they ask, "Oh, you know Sammy?" or "You know Michael?" referencing Michael Jordan.

Guillen also weighed in on Sosa's ever-changing appearance that has sparked A LOT of attention lately.

"But the color, I'm tired. I think he uses the same product Michael Jackson did," Guillen said. "It's funny because I work with him — we talked to him a lot for ESPN Deportes. When you're lying, that's when people don't get it.

"Listen, if you want to change your color, why not? You got the money, you got the time if that's what you want to be. But if you say, 'Well, I got too much color because of the sun when I was playing.' OK...You live in Miami, you grew up in the Dominican. To me, I just laugh."

Scouting the Cubs' competition: Will the Nationals finally win it all before Bryce Harper leaves?


Scouting the Cubs' competition: Will the Nationals finally win it all before Bryce Harper leaves?

The expectations couldn't be any higher for the 2018 Chicago Cubs. 

It's 2016 all over again. The goal isn't just a trip to the playoffs or another NL pennant. It's World Series or bust for this group of North Siders.

With that, let's take a look at all of the teams that could stand in the way of the Cubs getting back to the Fall Classic:

Washington Nationals

2017 record: 97-65, 1st place in NL East

Offseason additions: Miguel Montero, Matt Adams, Joaquin Benoit, Matt Reynolds, Jeremy Hellickson, Tommy Milone

Offseason departures: Adam Lind, Stephen Drew, Jose Lobaton, Jayson Werth, Matt Albers, Oliver Perez, Joe Blanton

X-factor: The health of their stars

Health is an X-factor for any team, but it carries more weight in D.C. than anywhere else in baseball.

Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Stephen Strasburg are three of the Nationals' best players and yet three guys that can't seem to stay healthy for a full season. Couple that group with leadoff hitter Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy coming off knee injuries, the health questions are running rampant in Washington.

Those are the Nationals' projected Top 4 hitters and No. 2 starter. If they all stay healthy, they'll put up some whopping numbers. But if history repeats, it will make the road quite a bit tougher despite a weak NL East.

Projected lineup

1. Adam Eaton - LF
2. Trea Turner - SS
3. Bryce Harper - RF
4. Anthony Rendon - 3B
5. Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
6. Howie Kendrick - 2B
7. Matt Wieters - C
8. Michael Taylor - CF

Projected rotation

1. Max Scherzer
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Tanner Roark
5. A.J. Cole


When healthy, this may be the most talented roster in the NL. Harper, Rendon, Murphy and Turner could all wind up as serious contenders in the 2018 MVP race while Scherzer and Strasburg figure to garner some Cy Young votes once again.

The Nationals also have the advantage of a pretty rough division, at least on paper. Three teams are rebuilding and the Mets haven't made the playoffs in a couple years now. Getting to play 18+ games against all four of those teams is a godsend.

Which is good news for a Nationals fanbase that is absolutely starving for some actual postseason success. Wade Davis and the Cubs knocked Washington out last fall and 2018 represents what figures to be the final chance to win it all (or even win A playoff series) with Harper before he gets a $400 million deal elsewhere (like Chicago??).

The 2018 Nationals have no holes. If any of their starters falter, they have Hellickson available. If any of their position players struggle, they have depth in the form of Kendrick (once Murphy is healthy), Montero, Adams, Wilmer Difo and Brian Goodwin.

And the bullpen is very, very good thanks to a bunch of moves before the 2017 Trade Deadline and also have Benoit and Koda Glover expected to start the season on the DL.

The Nationals will be playing in October this year. But what they do in the postseason is a question that won't be answered for 6 months. 

Prediction: 1st in NL East, playoffs