Ryan Dempster is a man of many talents. He does impressions, jokes and even hosts his own talk show.
Yes, you read that right. Dempster hosted the season premiere of his show, "Friday Night with Ryan Dempster," at Cubs Convention on, obviously, Friday to the delight of many fans.
His guests? They were pretty high profile, too. Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer dropped by to slug a few beers, laugh and answer some questions about last year's World Series run.
Watch the full, hilarious interview in the video above.
Mark Schanowski, Mark Carman and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel.
0:00- The Cubs take 2 out of 3 from the D'Backs thanks to a surprisingly solid start from Tyler Chatwood. Should the Cubs trust him more than they trust Yu Darvish? Meanwhile, the bullpen falters twice. Is it time to call Craig Kimbrel?
12:00- The guys preview the huge series against the Dodgers at Wrigley.
16:00- The White Sox lose 2 of 3 in Detroit but Kap is still excited about the future.
20:00- The NBA Eastern Conference playoffs are becoming a fight. So who will win the East? And can anybody even threaten the Warriors?
Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.
Sports Talk Live Podcast
After starting the season 2-7 on the road, two weeks without Jon Lester looked like a possible death sentence for the Cubs. Instead, it now looks like a turning point.
Somebody needed to step up. Anybody. Bullpen or rotation, but preferably both. Well, that is exactly what happened and the Cubs are quickly back to the .500 mark at 10-10.
Jose Quintana was the first to accept the challenge, dominating the surprising Pirates with the eleven strikeouts and then seven shutout innings against the lowly Marlins in his next outing. He pitched "like a Porcshe" while attacking batters in both games with precision handling and it was contagious. Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood followed his lead while the bullpen turned around their production, too.
Our stats guru, Chris Kamka, offered up these facts to show the startling improvements.
In the first nine games, the Cubs' team ERA, starter ERA and reliever ERA all ranked 29th or worse in MLB. It's a team game, but it was obvious which part of the team was struggling. Over the last 11 games, everything has changed. Since that opening road trip from Hell, the Cubs have led the majors in all three categories. The relievers have posted a 1.85 ERA and the starters are at a blistering 1.66 ERA with six quality starts since Lester went on the injured list.
Yes, it's a small sample size in a 162 game season. However, if we're going to overreact to a disastrous start, it's only fair to also hyperbolize this spectacular stretch. We asked for somebody to step-up. The Cubs' pitching staff did just that.
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