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Dempster endorses Quade for next season

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Dempster endorses Quade for next season

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010
2:14 AM

By Patrick MooneyCSNChicago.com

SAN DIEGO Ryan Dempster is nearing the end of his seventh season with the Cubs, so he fully understands what it takes to play every day in the Wrigley Field fishbowl.

His voice carries weight with the young pitchers in the clubhouse and he is well-liked within the organization. He can be insightful and good for a one-liner or two, but overall he measures his words carefully in public.

All that made Dempsters endorsement of Mike Quade resonate. He gave it late Tuesday night after a 5-2 victory at PETCO Park. This late surge might keep the San Diego Padres out of the playoffs and cement Quades candidacy.

Hes been very upfront and very honest with all of us, Dempster said. Hes been tremendously supportive. Hes given us a lot of confidence to go out there. What hes done for the bullpen those guys have really stepped up with his belief in them.

Hes done a great job and I hope that hes here longer than just this year (and) managing for us next year because he deserves it. Hes done everything theyve asked.

While the 87-70 Padres fell two games back in the National League West and 1.5 behind in the wild-card race the Cubs were in a very good mood.

Dempster lobbied for Marlon Byrd to win a Gold Glove after the center fielder made another great diving catch. They were buzzing about the 100 mph fastball Andrew Cashner blew by Adrian Gonzalez to end the eighth inning.

They yelled out High definition! to make fun of Welington Castillos bright orange polo shirt. One staffer put on his sunglasses and walked up to the rookie catcher to get a better look and draw laughter from around the room.

It wasnt quiet because Dempster (15-11) allowed two runs across seven innings, finishing strong by getting three consecutive strikeouts with two runners on in the seventh. And because Alfonso Soriano hit his 23rd and 24th home runs of the season.

The 72-85 Cubs are now 21-11 since Quade took over and beating teams that are fighting to get into the playoffs.

Unbelievable, Byrd said of the job Quades done. The record speaks for itself the way were playing, the way were executing (and) the moves hes making. Hes showing us (that) he has the qualifications (and) can get a team to play for him.

So far, that includes everyone from the rookies out of the bullpen to Carlos Zambrano. Everyone tries to read Zambranos moods and interpret his postgame quotes for a deeper meaning. He stared down a reporter Monday night for describing him in print as a former ace.

Those kind of descriptions I have no time for whatsoever, Quade said. Does an ace mean this moment? Does it mean the entire year (or) body of work? I dont know. You guys sell papers and do what you do names like that mean nothing to me.

Quade isnt into labels though the Cubs purposely didnt name him their interim manager for the final 37 games of the season. He went from the third-base coach who always seemed to be walking quickly through the clubhouse with his head down to meeting with the media before and after every game.

Everybodys different, Quade said. Some people read a lot of stuff, some people dont. I happen to be a guy that pays attention, but doesnt get locked in to 58 articles a day. Other guys are more sensitive to that stuff (but) this is a grow-ups game.

Yes, its a business and Quade understands that. Other candidates will be interviewed. There are only five more games remaining. But hes already won over several key players.

If hes not here (next season), hes had an unbelievable audition, Byrd said. We feel like we owe it to him to play hard. I think everyone (respects) him.

Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

As if things weren’t already going well enough for the Cubs during this strange, short season of baseball in a pandemic, now the baseball gods are dropping gifts into their laps.

The Cardinals’ lengthy shutdown because of a coronavirus outbreak has the Cubs’ arch rivals restarting their season Saturday in Chicago with a patched-up roster and eight games over the next five days, including five games against the Cubs.

And although that means the relative hardship of two doubleheaders for the Cubs in three days, all five of those games Monday through Wednesday are against a decimated Cards roster that won’t have the front end of its rotation for any of the games.

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They catch the Cardinals at their weakest point of the early season a week after catching an otherwise formidable Cleveland team at a moment of clubhouse crisis involving protocol perps Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger.

That one resulted in a two-game sweep by a combined score of 14-3.

This one already has resulted in all 10 games against the Cardinals now being scheduled for Wrigley Field.

Combine that with the three road games against the White Sox next month, and it means that the team with baseball’s best record on the field, the perfect record in player COVID-19 testing and no significant injuries to key players so far will play 60 percent of its games within its Chicago bubble if the Cubs and MLB pull off the full 60-game season.

If the Cubs were positioned any better to make the playoffs, they’d already be there.

“You can look at it that way if you want,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We’re just doing our thing.”

No other way to look at it from here. Have you seen the rest of the schedule?

The Cubs have 43 games left, including 29 within a National League Central Division that doesn’t include another .500 team three weeks into a nine-week season. Nine more games are against the Tigers and White Sox.

The best team on the schedule is the Twins, and all three of those games are at home and not until the second-to-last weekend of the season.

With all due respect to Ross and his fear of “bad juju,” the Cubs can’t lose.

“It’s still early on,” the manager said.

Nothing’s early in a 60-game season. And the Cubs already have matched the hot starts of their 2016 and 1908 World Series champions.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go in the season,” Ross said.

The Cubs did have to scratch Tyler Chatwood from his scheduled start Friday night because of back tightness. And Kris Bryant has missed the last two games because of a sore finger after rolling his wrist trying to make a diving catch in left field in Cleveland Wednesday.

But Alec Mills looked good in short-notice replacement duty Friday until a rough four-pitch (and three-run) sequence in the sixth. And Chatwood might be ready for one of Monday’s games — or possibly one of Wednesday’s.

“Things falling in our favor?” Ross said. “We’re playing good baseball, and that should be the focus for me and not the other stuff.”

Granted, they still have to play the games. Granted, Bryant wasn’t available off the bench with the bases loaded in the eighth Friday, and Josh Phegley struck out instead.

And, yes, they actually lost a game to the Brewers Friday night.

But if you still don’t believe the baseball gods are stirring the Cubs’ pot so far this season, you weren’t paying attention in the ninth inning when Craig Kimbrel struck out Avisail Garcia swinging at a 98-mph fastball to start the scoreless inning and Manny Piña swinging at a 96-mph fastball to end it.

What closer problem? Bring on the Cardinals, right?

These guys might not lose another game.

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Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

The Cubs plan to start swingman Colin Rea on Saturday against the Brewers, manager David Ross said after Friday's game.

Alec Mills was originally slated to pitch Saturday but was bumped up to Friday because Tyler Chatwood was scratched with mid-back tightness. The Cubs will evaluate Chatwood to see if he's an option to pitch on Monday, when they're scheduled to play a doubleheader against the Cardinals.

Rea, 30, has made two appearances this season, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out three in three innings. He was named the 2019 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, sporting a 3.95 ERA in 26 starts.

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Rea's last big league start was July 30, 2016 with the Marlins. He allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four with no walks.

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