8/7 Welcome to the show
Hours before Brooks Raley’s Major League debut on Tuesday, the televisions in the Cubs’ clubhouse at PETCO Park were tuned to the Rangers-Red Sox game. Ryan Dempster was making his second start for Texas. Dempster and Paul Maholm were traded one week ago, and the Cubs lost their third starter on Tuesday when Matt Garza had to go on the DL with an elbow injury. It’s time for kids like Raley to play. The lefty gave up seven runs on eight hits and three walks over four innings before he was pulled. Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio and coach Mike Borzello both remembered Raley from Spring Training.
“They liked what they saw,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He was a guy who had a lot of poise, could manufacture four pitches, five pitches — a four seamer, two-seamer, cutter, curveball and changeup. His changeup is probably his best pitch — an above average changeup. He’s a great athlete, can handle the bat, run really well. He can make things happen because of his athleticism.”
During early batting practice, Sveum and Raley were spotted in the dugout, talking. There’s not much anyone can say at this point.
“Any guy, for the first time, I don’t care what you say, the first inning, the first batter — hopefully it’s the last time your legs ever feel like that, but that’s what happens,” Sveum said. “He’s a pretty poised kid who can make things happen. You hope he keeps the ball down. We’ve all been impressed with him. That’s why he’s here.”
Raley struck out the first batter he faced, Chris Denorfia, but got into trouble in the third when the Padres loaded the bases with none out. Chase Headley hit a two-run single, and Raley then walked Carlos Quentin to load the bases again. Two outs later, Everth Cabrera hit a two-run single for a 4-0 lead. Quentin also hit his 12th home run, a three-run shot, in the fourth off Raley, who is the 15th rookie to play for the Cubs this year.
– Carrie Muskat