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Let’s be reasonable adults: in the run-up to today’s game, the only thing that matters is whether Ryan Dempster actually starts today. As of this moment, he’s still scheduled to do so. And I can barely believe it.

We’ll see what happens.

Alfonso Soriano gets a day off (don’t get all excited, this was expected).

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (40-56) at Pittsburgh Pirates (54-42), 11:35am 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

Ryan Dempster (5-4, 2.11 ERA, 3.28 FIP)

versus

Kevin Correia (7-6, 4.31 ERA, 4.95 FIP)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Alex Presley, LF

2. Neil Walker, 2B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Garrett Jones, RF

5. Casey McGehee, 1B

6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

7. Michael McKenry, C

8. Clint Barmes, SS

9. Kevin Correia, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Bryan LaHair, RF

5. Steve Clevenger, C

6. Luis Valbuena, 3B

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Tony Campana, LF

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • Cerambam

    good lineup

  • cubs217

    I have been supportive of Demp and the FO throughout this entire process, but (IMO) letting him start again would be a mistake by every person involved. Why risk an injury when there is absolutely nothing to be gained?

    • Spriggs

      Because they’re the damn Cubs, that’s why he’s pitching. Arrogance? Stupidity? Cluelessness? All things Cubbish.

    • hansman1982

      its the only way to regain the lost leverage. If we continue to operate as if we are planning on keeping him it may either get the Dodgers to up the ante or get Dempster to accept the trade to Atlanta.

  • mudge

    Because there’s a victory to be gained and a team with integrity tries to win.

  • RY34

    Go Cubs Go, but my prediction for today is that demp gets lit like a christmas tree; way too much on his mind to be focused today.

    • Ginny Carter

      I agree with you. I think that is what happened in his last start too. I think this time will be worse than his start against the Cards.

  • Gabriel

    The only thing I can think of is LA is telling us “We wanna see one more start before we pull the trigger.” Which why the hell wouldn’t they? They have us by the balls are are twisting them, laughing – and this is all because Demp didn’t come through.

    • TWC

      Right, but if he pitches for the Cubs today, he on’t be available to pitch on Friday for the Dodgers, where they have a hole in their rotation (due to the trade of Eovaldi).

  • Master Dan

    Don’t hurt yourself Ryan Dempster![img]http://i1069.photobucket.com/albums/u461/dguerra4242/dempster.jpg[/img]

    • Mysterious4th

      Wasn’t dempster the one who broke a toe jumping or trpping in the club house last year? I can’t remember who that was but that picture reminded me of it.

  • MikeL

    Is it possible Jed told him they weren’t going to let him start and Dempster responsed to that by saying, “If you don’t let me start, I will veto any and all trades?”

  • BeyondFukudome

    This is actually a situation in which Cubs fans can make a genuine contribution to the team. At this point, there’s no way trading Dumpster is going to net anything worthwhile and no reason to send him to have a two-month circle jerk with Ted Lilly. The best thing for the Cubs would be to keep him, make the QO, and then get a compensation pick. The risk is that Dump might accept the QO. This is where the fans can assist, by booing him so mercilessly that there’s no way in hell he’d consider remaining in Chicago.

  • Matt

    If I’m Theo, I bench him.

    Tell him they’re working on something.

    Then after the game, tell him it fell through but we have another week.

    Oh, and you won’t be pitching again until you’re traded… if then.

  • cubs1967

    how do I say this; that’s best for my family:

    FUCK YOU ryan dempster.

    (now i feel better……….congrats on team theo on a good trade. I hope theo comes out and throws dempster under the bus by saying he lied about any team like atlanta).

    • Whiteflag

      Not going to happen.

  • Beer Baron

    Wait…that’s the Iowa Cubs line-up, right? Yikes….

  • cjdubbya

    MAN, that’s a beautiful ballpark. Looking very forward to September 9th.

    • bbmoney

      PNC is awesome.

  • Steve

    Imagine if this was at Wrigley…he would be booed relentlessly I would imagine.

    I dont want him to go out like that…

  • Barry

    Lots of venom out there. I’m feeling it, too.

    • DarthHater

      Yes, the Dark Side is strong today. Embrace your anger, Cubs fans!

  • BeyondFukudome

    I’d just like to let everyone know that my decision to detest Dumpster is based on my assessment of what is best for my family and I have to do what’s best for my family. So all you candy-assed critics can just stuff it.

    • MaxM1908

      And, what was keeping him from making that decision before the FO wasted their time with Atlanta? What was keeping him from letting the FO know that he would only deal with the Dodgers in the first place? I have a hard time believing the FO would reach an AGREEMENT with the Braves unless Dempster had previously indicated his willingness to go there. It’s great to be noble and think of what’s best for your family, but when you try to act more generous then you really are and waste everybody’s time and energy, well, that’s just chickensh*t. He has the right to do what’s best for his family, but he doesn’t have the right to give misinformation to the front office and then retract it at the most critical moment.

      • Sircub

        Yep, he does actually.

  • Whiteflag

    I wish this would all end. I miss the days when name calling was a rare thing on this blog.

    • Picklenose

      I completely agree with whiteflag. All we need is some “we’s the best, youse guys suck” comments for this to completely resemble a Yankees blog.

      • TWC

        This is *totally* Jim Hendry’s fault.

        • Jack Weiland

          Here we go again … hahah.

        • Jack Weiland

          Did you know Jim Hendry moved Ryan Dempster’s family to Vancouver to orchestrate said player’s desire to be traded to LA and only LA?

          True story. Mark Bowman just tweeted it.

    • Jack Weiland

      I’m moving on. It’s over, it’s in the past, there’s nothing else we can do to change it now. So it goes.

    • Frank

      I agree as well.

  • RY34

    campana in the lineup, what the hell for? when was the last time he swung that mattered; oh wait, the alternative would be mather, on second thought………….

    • willis

      Campana is terrible. Mather is terrible. Why the hell not let Johnson start out there. All he does when he plays is hit and hit. Campana goes up there free swinging and has a noodle arm in the outfield. Dumb decision.

      • RY34

        agreed but that righty righty matchup of johnson-correia must really scare dale…….

    • Ted

      His OBP is higher than Castro’s, and he flies on the bases. He’s not a great player, but…

      • willis

        He’s terrible. Already K’d with a runner in scoring position. He’s just a windmill and frustrating because with his speed, if he could learn a little bit of patience he’d be ok. But I cringe watching him hit.

  • Edwin

    I’ll respectfully disagree with you Brett, and others. I would think that players would get pretty pissed if they were benched for the sole purpose of punishing them for exercising their 10-5 rights(not Brett’s point, I assume), or for protecting trade value (kind of Brett’s point?), especially if that benching impacts their future ability to earn wages by decreasing their percieved value the following offseason.

    I also don’t think that it would be wise for GM’s to make a habit of throwing their own players under the bus, as one other poster suggested.

    I doubt any FA would be willing to come to Chicago if that is the type of situation they could expect.

    • Kevin

      Players need to know the Cubs mean business and will not take BS from anyone.

      • Ogyu

        Theo strikes me as the kind of guy on whose bad side one does not want to get.

        • Edwin

          What does that mean? What would he do to someone who got on his “bad side”?

  • Steve

    All this would have been a non issue if people had kept their damn mouths shut. Now, Demps rep has been tarnished…and nothing short of a last second trade announcement will remove it.
    Dang.

  • DarthHater

    I don’t give a shit whether Dumpster lied or not. Nor do I object to his taking advantage of his 10-5 rights. But it’s not necessary for him to insist that he use the entire time until the deadline to make up his f-ing mind when that totally screws the team. And don’t give me any BS about how anybody would need time to think things over. He has known for months both that he was likely to be traded and that Atlanta was high on the list of possible destinations.

    • RY34

      Well said!

  • hogie

    The only way that the Cubs maintain any leverage in trade talks with the Dodgers is to maintain that they are willing to forego trading Demp. If they sit him today they are showing that they are going to trade him reguardless. The only way to put any pressure on LA is to start him today and then it sets the tone that if they want Dempster to pitch for them on friday then they had better meet the Cubs’ already reduced asking price.

  • BD

    How about giving up a home run to start out… that’s just great.

  • Mysterious4th

    Riddle me this…..

    How is it that the cards beat up like a red headed step child and yet we’ve dominated the pirates and they are in 2nd in the NL. Atleast were not laying down like a hooker for just anybody, only or rival. Overall I am very impressed (aside from the cards sweep) with how the cubs have played since just before the break.

    Oh I am glad to see campana finally draw a start!

    • willis

      Friday and Sunday were lost causes but Garza had his “A” stuff Saturday night. Sucked he went down with soreness because he was mowing threw people. Could have been a special night for him and you never know. But the other two games were just awful.

      It is good to see them playing ok ball lately.

      • willis

        mowing “through” people. My bad.

        • Mysterious4th

          Now go to time out for messing up! Lol I agre garza did have his A stuff, and germano did a good job as well. Just wish our ‘pen could be a little more on the consistent side. But hey we don’t always get what we want.

          Just a thought, maybe we can sign anibal sanchez in the off season. I think he would be a pretty god 4/5 guy. Say we end up extending garza, and dempster walks or is traded…just think garza, shark, mahalom (if not traded), and wood. I think I would totally dig that rotation.

          • willis

            I’d be down with that. And I’m definitely in the keep and extend Garza camp.

  • Myles

    To the surprise of no one, Joe West gets the call wrong.

    • Don

      How does that piece of hot garbage still have a job? He is TERRIBLE!

  • @cubsfantroy

    Dammit, Dempster has given up a run! Trade him now!

    Oh, wait…

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

    Well one thing everyone can agree on is Demp is a true gamer. The guy comes out every 5th day and does his job. Can’t deny that.

    • willis

      Agreed. And he has his good stuff today.

      Now that I’ve said that he’ll give up two bombs next inning.

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

        LMAO!!!

        • willis

          I was one off, but I’m a black cloud like that.

  • Whiteflag

    Lesson #1: As a cubs fan you never comment on how great a pitcher is throwing that day. Almost always comes back to bit you in the butt. lol

    • calicubsfan007

      Correction Whiteflag, calicubsfan007 (me) can not ever comment on how well the pitcher is throwing today. It is actually a running joke in my family.

      • Whiteflag

        Out of the the 15 cubs games I have been to in the last 13 years or so, they have lost 11. I don’t know what I did, but that’s bad karma right there.

        • Jack Weiland

          You didn’t do anything, besides pick a crummy team to follow.

        • calicubsfan007

          I only have bad luck with Cubs related things. Bad Karma Buddy high five? Anyone? Anyone? No? Sigh…. (Walks away, Charlie Brown style)

        • cubzforlife1956

          In the approximatley 400 Cubs games I have attended they have played .500 baseball. This also includes the terrible 70’s and 80’s teams. They closed the gap in 2003, 2007 and 2008. Lots of home wins, lots of go Cubs go. When we get teams like those Wrigley Field is a slice of heaven on earth. When I do mexican math to get to the 400 I think it might be closer to 500 games. I have almost all my stubs in a pickle jar, one day I need to pull them out and count em. Then I can proudly tell the Sox moroms I work with that Cubs fans actually go to the games.

  • CBP

    Thata boy Dempster throw a fit in the dugout.

    • calicubsfan007

      He did? Sorry, my cable is acting up, so I missed most of the game.

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

        Not a fit. Just threw something at the wall. I didn’t see what it was. Thank god he didn’t punch the wall like most athletes now a days.

  • willis

    Pittsburgh has a very good pen, so I’d say this game is over. Wanted the sweep. Boo.

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

    Haha Demp looked upset. I wonder if all this is getting to him(sarcastic.) I hope Demp gets this all worked out today because the longer he waits the more stress he puts on himself.

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