Let me say up front: I love the Cubs. I’m very happy they won today. My evening is saved.

But, here’s the thing. I’m very, very upset with Mike Quade for his decision to let Ryan Dempster hit in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded and two outs.

Pulling Dempster in favor of a pinch hitter in that situation is the by-the-book move. Dempster was nearing 100 pitches. He’s struggled late in games all year. It’s a one-run game, the bases are loaded, Dempster is a horrible hitter, and there are some serious bats available on the bench. If Quade pulls Dempster, the pinch hitter strikes out, and then the bullpen comes in and blows the game, there is no one – *no one* – questioning the decision to pull Dempster. As it was, Quade went against the book, and left Dempster in. And when it predictably ended poorly, Quade has to accept a serious, serious amount of blame.

When you go with the book and things fall apart, it’s hard to be blamed. When you go against the book and things fall apart? You screwed up, and you should be shredded for it.┬áMy patience is wearing thin and it’s not even May.

Ok. Back to being happy.

  • Coal

    I still can’t believe he let Dempster hit. NO EXCUSE for that. And the wind was blowing out all day – is he the only guy at the park today that figured out it was going to take more than 5 runs to win this game. Man o man that was a dumb move (or dumb “non-move.” I’ll take the win but that was absolutely ridiculous. MAYBE if Dempster was pitching lights out or something. Then, maybe. But he wasn’t, and hasn’t been this season. And the same thing has happened (left him in too long) repeatedly this year. Quade…..yuck.

    • pfk

      I was a Quade booster at first. But, I grow less impressed each week. He’s made some really dumb decisions. Not the type of decisions that could be debated – but decisions that are flat out stupid. And it really sucks not feeling upbeat about a new manager this soon into the season.

      • jh

        I agree. I certainly thought he would do a fine job but it is becoming very clear that Quade’s decision making is going to lose games for the Cubs. For a team that will be lucky to be in the hunt, that is very scary. People have already said that it’s early but after 20 years in the minors, I would’ve thought he had the kinks worked out on fundamental decisions.

      • Bric

        I was never really on board with the Quade hiring in the first place simply because Hendry said he’s the best guy for the job and Hendry’s full of shit.

    • roughriider

      Ahmen !!! There was no way that Dempster should have been allowed to go to the plate (notice I didn’t say hit) . He had his 5 innings and he hasn’t pitched well in the Last 8 games if you count spring training. I could only think that Q was trying to save the relievers after yesterdays game. Bone head move. The Cubs won in spite of Quade not because.

    • CubsFanatic

      And this is why Sandberg should have gotten the job. And this is also why Dempster should be shopped. I’m not saying for the hitting. But because anything after the 5th inning and hes garbage. But letting him hit WITH THE BASES LOADED……*Double Facepalm*

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        Once it came down to Quade and Sandberg, it had to be Quade.

  • pfk

    Anybody notice that Theriot is hitting .310 for the Cardinals? Time to show the voodoo doll.

    • roughriider

      Theriot who ?

    • Dave

      Castro is hitting nearly .400 and hasn’t cost the Cubs as many wins as Theriot has cost the Cards.

  • Steve

    I understand the frustration with Mike’s move. I get it. The only reason I can see for it is the exact reason it was the wrong move: because Dempster has been struggling. Perhaps, Mike wanted to get him a win…and thus, get his confidence up. I don’t necessarily agree, but it is the only logical idea I can come up with.
    Shop Dempster? Bad idea. He will bounce back. History says he will. AND, it’s not like the rest of the starters have been lights out. Throw in the injuries to Wells and Cashner, and it’s aneven poorer decision.
    It’s April. Chicago weather has been terrible. Calm down.
    Pens has been bad. Nuts has struggled. I haven’t heard much talk of giving up on them. I shouldn’t hear talk of trading the team’s most consistent starter over the last few seasons, either.

  • Steve

    * Pens and Byrd have struggled. Pardon the typo. Using my phone.

  • http://None Blinda

    haha Samardzija 2-0

  • TSB

    Remember lasr year when lou would play the slumping veterans game after game, waiting for them to brak out of their slumps? And how game afer game they never did? M. Quade appears to be doing the same thing. This game, leave Dempster in, and maybe next inning he will return to his form from years ago. You can only try this so long, as Lou found out. There comes a time to fish or cut bait.

  • Jeff

    Not that it has a whole lot to do with anything, but Ryan Dempster is absolutely killing my Bleacher Nation fantasy team. I really hope the start to this season doesn’t mean he’s at the end of the road.

  • Eric

    i give dempster credit, he is a consistent pitcher. just this season he is consistently bad.

  • http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=14080749 steve

    quade definately has some issues as a manager. im not sure if he was the right choice. but lets be honest, we need to keep castro at the top of the lineup. as much as we want him to be, he is not a 3 hitter. hopefully thats vitters in a couple years. but right now castro needs to settle in to that 1 or 2 hole. and in a couple years when vitters and jackson are in the league we are gonna be good for a while. we just need some pitching.

    • pfk

      100% correct. Castro is the prototypical leadoff hitter and why they can’t cherish their good fortune is beyond me. He is like a fish out of water batting third. He and Barney are a phenomenal 1-2 punch to start a game. And Barney’s defense is superb. Even if he cools off to be be .270 hitter that is fine with me. His glove, contact-behind the runner style of hitting is ideal in the 2 hole. Plus, he’s a gamer and the chemistry between he and Castro is really good. We also have great 1, 2, 6,7 and 8 hitters. Our problem is the 3,4 and 5 hitters – and a solution to that is NOT having Castro hit third.

      • Wickit

        Castro isn’t a protypical leadoff hitter. He doesn’t walk enough, Brett Jackson is a closer to a leadoff hitter. Most scouts look at Jackson as a Grady Sizemore type player.

        • pfk

          Of course, when Jackson is ready to go he can slot in there. But it would be near impossible to beat Castro’s OBP, which is THE statistic for a leadoff hitter, and he strikes out less than Jackson. But, we need to quit trying to slot top of the order and bottom of the order types into the 3, 4 and 5 holes. Seeing Castro trying too hard to pull the ball when he’s batting third is frightening. He’s not a power hitter and trying to make him one could really hurt him.

          • Wickit

            Some scouts think that Castro will develop power when he fills out. Castro also doesn’t work counts like Jackson. I believe Jackson is averaging about 6 pitches an AB to Castro’s 4 pitches an AB. Which you believe it or not can be a very important thing. It is also why Jackson has more Ks.