9/28 Extra bases – UPDATED
When Andrew Cashner struck out Adrian Gonzalez to end the Padres’ eighth, the PETCO Park radar gun flashed “100.” Ryan Dempster saw that.
“He’s got a special arm,” Dempster said of the rookie reliever. “For somebody who throws so hard, his command is incredible. I dream on my best day to be able to throw the ball where I want to like that and he does it at 100 miles an hour. It’s not easy to throw but his delivery is easy and smooth and he gets down hill. He’s got an electric arm. He’s got a chance to be somebody special. … God gave him a pretty cool thing on the right side of his body.”
Said Mike Quade: “I’m so glued to the hitter, I don’t care if it’s 80 [mph] or 180.”
Cashner also apparently is very steady. He was trimming masseuse Yoshi Nakazawa’s hair after the game.
* Dempster now has 15 wins with Tuesday’s 5-2 decision over the Padres. It’s the third time in his career he’s reached that number.
“I’ve still got one more to go,” said the right-hander who will finish the season Sunday in Houston. “I’m trying to finish as strong as I can. Given the season and how everything’s gone, it’s nice to get up there. I’ve given a few away and I feel I should have more than that. It’s a nice win for us. It’s a good start to the road trip.”
* Marlon Byrd added another catch to his personal highlight reel in the third when he snared Chris Denorfia’s ball.
“I hope he wins a Gold Glove,” Dempster said of the Cubs center fielder. “He deserves it. It’s not just those catches, it’s everything he does. He throws to the right base, he hits the cutoff guy, he gets to the ball quickly. As a pitcher, especially when playing in big ballparks, you say, ‘Let them hit it,’ and he goes and gets it. It’s a treat to have him behind you, that’s for sure.”
* Alfonso Soriano now has played in more games and has more RBIs than any other season with the Cubs. He’s stayed healthy.
“He hangs in there,” Quade said. “He is committed to defense and taking an extra group defensively [in batting practice].”
This isn’t the same player who first signed with the Cubs in 2007 and could steal 30, 40 bases.
“He can still hit the ball well,” Quade said. “This guy will go home and workout and get himself in shape and come back expecting to have a better year next year. He will. I know he will. Obviously, everybody here is hoping he does. He loves to play.”
* Carlos Marmol picked up his 36th save Tuesday and third in the last four games. So, no Marmol on Wednesday?
“You have a better chance of seeing me wake up with hair tomorrow,” Quade said.
* Several of the Cubs players and some of the coaches visited the U.S. Navy Seals training center on Tuesday and had a chance to fire off a few rounds on the range with their automatic rifles. “These guys are impressive,” said Micah Hoffpauir, who went on the trip with Andrew Cashner, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, among others. “They don’t miss.”
* Asked if he believes in having an “ace” on the pitching staff, Quade said he isn’t into labels. “Those kind of descriptions, I have no time for whatsoever,” he said. “Does ace mean this moment? Does it mean entire year? Does it mean body of work? Names like that mean nothing to me.” Quade asked who the ace was in St. Louis, Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter. “It makes for interesting discussion but not for me,” he said. “I just want people to perform well. Just show me. I’m a Missouri guy. Just show me.”
* On Nov. 21, one day after Northwestern plays Illinois in a college football game at Wrigley Field, fans will be able to play football there. Tickets for the event are $50 per session, and sessions begin at 10 a.m. Proceeds will go to Chicago Cubs Charities.
– Carrie Muskat