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I’m going to today’s game with some friends, so I hope yesterday’s massive rain delay was a one-time thing.

Once again, today could be Ryan Dempster’s last start at Wrigley Field.

Game Info

Arizona Diamondbacks (42-44) at Chicago Cubs (34-52), 12:05pm CT on WGN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Joe Saunders (4-5, 3.44 ERA, 4.02 FIP)

versus

Ryan Dempster (4-3, 1.99 ERA, 3.15 FIP)

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. Gerardo Parra, LF

2. Aaron Hill, 2B

3. Justin Upton, RF

4. Miguel Montero, C

5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

6. Stephen Drew, SS

7. Chris Young, CF

8. Geoff Blum, 3B

9. Joe Saunders, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, RF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • King Jeff

    Well, the All Star break and the rain couldn’t slow down the offense, let’s see if the lefty lineup can.

    • hansman1982

      54-0 blowout for Dempsters final game with the Cubbies.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Wouldn’t mind a Chris Reed + Garrett Gould haul for Dempster.

    Will be sorry to see him go. His presence not only on the mound but in the clubhouse is very beneficial for this young team.

    • Tyler

      I would rather have Chris Reed and Zach Lee

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Doubt that’s possible.

  • R.E.S

    Saunders vs Dempster? I bet a scout or two are at the game.

    • Acubslife

      Are you sure?

  • Toby

    It will be interesting how long Dempster goes today if he’s pitching shutout ball. If Demp gets pulled after 5 with the way he is pitching right now could signal that a trade might be imminent.

    • Chris S

      I would think that scouts give their analysis to teams after today’ss game and then one more to make sure they were right.. I don’t think he’ll be traded during/right after this start.

      Demp is looking good though… but I just turned on the game.

  • TH

    Demp and Saunders look solid. My guess it shakes out like this – I stress “guess”:

    Garza, Barney and Baker to the Tigers for Turner and two A/B prospects. I don’t think Castellanos will be a part of this. Personally, I think Vitters will get a shot in aug/sept and early next year. Valbuena I like as utility and Lake would be a great plan “B”.

    Dempster and LaHair to the Dodgers for Zach Lee and couple of A/B prospects.

    Sori and Geo to the Rays for Chris Archer (yah I said it), plus one A/B prospect and us picking up over 2/3 of Sori’s salary

    Maholm; Mets for B prospect and PTBNL.

    Reed stays…

    Clev and Castillo will be our catchers for the next few years – they will shake it out.

    This is all dreams, but nice to on paper.

    • TH

      Would like to keep Barney if we can…Dude is a solid defender and can hit…sometimes.

      • Tommy

        Yeah, gotta love Barney’s effort and D. His bat and plate discipline leave much to be desired, though. If we could get something worthwhile for him, I’d still love to ship him off and get one of our younger guys a shot at 2nd base. We have some decent up and comers in the minors right now (thought they may be a ways away yet).

  • Toby

    Does anyone think Dempster could possibly win the Cy Young if he keeps this up? King Felix won it with a inept Mariners offense and won it while not leading the league in wins.

    • TH

      I really think it has to do with where he goes – but right now, he has the numbers and looks really good less the wins which is overrated.

    • Colin

      Anything is possible but remember he’s been hurt and would probably have to be lights out the rest of the year. There are a lot of good pitching in the NL that have played the whole season.

  • TH

    Great example of Rizzo being “calm as a cucumber” and it rubbing off on Castro.

  • Kubphan82

    If Dempster kept this up, it would be a travesty not to anoint him Cy Young and then raid his home for the fountain of youth… Contract years bring out the best in soooo many people. Searching for one last paycheck…

    • Njriv

      I know players like security but I think if teams signed players to a bunch of short-term deals with would bring out the best in players more often, it would would eliminate some players tendencies to coast in the middle of long term contracts.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    For those interested here’s Dempster’s key to success:

    http://www.aolnews.com/2007/03/22/ryan-dempster-is-a-ninja/

  • Kubphan82

    Would the Cubs wait on a trade until his scoreless streak ends? While Dempster is pitching fantastic and his validity as a premiere pitcher is established every outing, the Cubs don’t have to rush to trade him, they have some time… Realistically Dempster has two more potential Cub starts… Sure doesn’t hurt the Cubs to wait, even if he had a since of an outing at this point…

    • Kubphan82

      …premiere option this trade deadline… And “dunce of an outing” not since…

    • rcleven

      Why wait? Just put out the last call notice. Play teams off each other and pull the trigger.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        but both sides have to be dedicated to the deal – Jim Bowden says (a lot) that if there was no deadline no trades would ever get done.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    By the way, the EBS will be very delayed.

    • SirCub

      What?! How will I know who won???

      • João Lucas

        As always, just look for the team with RizzOMG in the lineup.

    • hardtop

      rain delay?

  • calicubsfan007

    Bam! Another win!

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Any chance the Cubs move Vogelbach to catcher in the future? I don’t see him having enough speed or range for the outfield or 3rd and he’s obviously going to be blocked at first for a long time. If Vogelbach keeps losing weight and continues to develop I would like to see him tried out at catcher… Any thoughts?

    • calicubsfan007

      Someday: Not sure that will work. Catcher isn’t one of those positions that you can learn in a heartbeat. I would think that would add at least 2 years to his development. It might work though, but he has to be smart enough to be able to know all the pitches and signals. I dont know anything about his intelligence, Luke might know that.

      • hogie

        Clevenger never played catcher until after the Cubs drafted him.

    • Scotti

      I wouldn’t worry about a prospect being blocked. If he IS blocked 4-5 years from now than you A) trade him if he isn’t “special” B) trade the guy blocking him if he is special.

    • Carew

      I’ve got the build like he does, and I used to be a catcher. It is a crazy tough position to play in. You’ve gotta be quick with your feet, gotta be smart, and able to get up and down real quick. But if he’s willing to spend more time working on it, it’d be worth it, it’s really fun. And he’s also only, 19?

      • Scotti

        Given the variables he is more valuable to the Cubs at 1B. He has a chance to be a special bat (either here or somewhere else). I wouldn’t risk that development on a whim.

    • Nick Nesler

      He will be the perfect DH if the NL ever adopts it. (not that i want to see that happen)

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        That is something to keep in mind though. With year round interleague play coming next season the calls for normalizing the rules between the two leagues will increase and we all know which league rules will win out (hint-real baseball won’t win out).

  • Benny

    Vogelbach, for his size actually has pretty good speed. I think he is capable of playing the outfield. Vogelbach range should be ok too. He has lost a lot of weight since beng drafted. I think he’ll be okay as an Outfielder. I don’t see the Cubs moving him to a catcher.

  • calicubsfan007

    Did anyone else think, “I hope this guy isnt traded” with at least 7 of the guys that played today? My only exclusions were Baker (couldnt hit the side of a barn) and Marmol (again, couldn’t hit the side of a barn if he aimed for it).

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Vogelbach at catcher? Outfielder? No.

    • Cheryl

      I could see catcher but have doubts about outfield.

      • Scotti

        No to both but learning to play OF is WAY easier than learning to catch. He has enough speed for OF but he’s very stiff and mechanical at 1B so I couldn’t imagine him as a C.

  • Kevin

    Is the FO being difficult with their demands?

    • nkniacc13

      My guess is that the FO is asking for a lot which it should they can always lower their demands closer to deadline but right noe they have the best pitcher/ pitchers avaliable its pretty tough to ask for more but easier to accept a little less than asking price. Also remember they don’t have to trade anyone but they would like to.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?
    • nkniacc13

      Im gessing Oliver or Crosby

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        My guess is if the Tigers were offering any of Smyly, Oliver or Crosby Dempster would have been traded yesterday.

    • Gcheezpuff

      I thought I read Smyly was put on the DL today.

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        He was for the second time this year.

  • Chris S

    E-B-S!! E-B-S!!

  • elephanthole

    No enhanced box score yet? Brett must be havin a real good time.

  • Grige

    Cubs will have a second half comeback of historic proportions

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I dont think Baker or Johnson stick around. But if one of them stays urgghh.. johnson… baker sucks

  • KWD22

    10 teams in on Dempster according to Bruce Levine. Hopefully that gives Theo and Jed a little bit of room to work with to get the best deal possible. The Tigers and Dodgers are probably the best fits to trade with as far as what the Cubs could get in return. I wonder if Dempster and Barney would be enough to get Castellanos and maybe one of their near MLB ready arms. A legit 3B prospect and a pitcher with a #2-3 starter potential would be really nice. Maybe wven throw Vitters or Jackson in if they have to. I don’t see either Dempster or Garza bringing back a true #1 starter, but if they can get 2 or 3 guys with #2-3 potential it wouldn’t be that hard to get an ace through free agency in the next 2 years or so.

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      I don’t think the Tigers are parting with Castellanos for anyone really. I don’t think the Tigers would part with him for any of the arms on the market. It would be awesome to be wrong on this one, but I am starting to have doubts that Turner is on the table from the Tigers for even Garza.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The Tigers have said more than once that they won’t trade Cstellanos. I’ve read that they are trying him in RF: there is speculation that he is being fast-tracked.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          and lahair was not going to be traded a few months ago…

          If a team is adamant they do not want to trade a guy, that is the guy you go after. They know their prospects a million times better than you ever will and if they want him, you want him.

          • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

            You certainly ask about Castellanos, but unfortunately Dempster and Garza aren’t the only pitchers on the market. Castellanos is just way above market value for either.

  • Martin

    An interesting side note for today’s game:

    With the win today, the Cubs matched their record last year through 87 games (35-52). I don’t know if that’s impressive (considering where they started and the fact that this is a throwaway year) or pathetic (considering last year’s team was built to “win now”).

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Not really: the 2012 Cubs were built to win in 2008…..

  • DocPeterWimsey

    That should read 2011 Cubs……

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