Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

7/23 Dempster to Braves’s Mark Bowman reports Monday the Braves have acquired pitcher Ryan Dempster from the Cubs. Young hurler Randall Delgado could potentially head to Chicago in return.

Dempster, 35, who has the best ERA in baseball among starting pitchers at 2.11, is signed through the end of this season. The two-time All-Star has won 10 or more games in each of the last four seasons and is 5-4 this year. Dempster has recorded a quality start in 10 of his 15 outings and has surrendered more than four runs in just one appearance.

The Braves signed Delgado, 22, a native of Panama, as an amateur free agent in 2006. He was 4-9 with a 4.42 ERA this season.

The Cubs, at 38-56 entering Monday’s action, are expected to be major sellers before the July 31 Trade Deadline. Atlanta, on the other hand, sits 3 1/2 games behind Washington for the National League East lead. The teams split a four-game set at Nationals Park over the weekend. The Braves hold a half-game edge over the Dodgers for the second NL Wild Card spot.

Earlier this season, Atlanta lost promising young starter Brandon Beachy to Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old had posted a 5-5 record and 2.00 ERA in 13 starts prior to being shelved for the year. Atlanta recently took a flier on veteran Ben Sheets, who has delivered a pair of scoreless, victorious outings since joining the staff.

— Carrie Muskat

7/20 Cubs consider Dodgers offer

Ryan Dempster is still scheduled to start tonight for the Cubs, who are considering the latest offer from the Dodgers for the right-hander. According to’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers have made an offer but won’t get into a bidding war because they also need to add offense, preferably a corner infielder, even more than they need Dempster.

The Dodgers farm system also is a little thin in the kind of prospects needed to land All-Star caliber players like Dempster, the Padres’ Chase Headley, or the Phillies’ Shane Victorino. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said they’re looking to improve on pitching in the organization. That said, Dempster, 35, would be a pure rental for the Dodgers, which most likely is affecting the negotiations. He is in the last year of his four-year contract with the Cubs, which is paying him $14 million this season. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation, according to the new CBA.

Dempster has played 10 years in the Major Leagues and five with the Cubs, so he has the right to veto any deal. However, the right-hander was expected to approve of a trade to the Dodgers, where he would be reunited with his friend, Ted Lilly.

Epstein has kept Dempster up to date.

“It’s just kind of like, ‘Hey, there’s teams interested,’ and that’s great,” Dempster said Thursday. “Nothing imminent, not that I know of. I’m sure if they have something, they’ll come to me. But right now, I’m just trying to get ready for [Friday’s] game.”

The Tigers and Braves also were believed to be pursuing Dempster as well. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Friday that talks regarding Dempster could “drag on a few more days.”

This season has been the right-hander’s best, despite two stints on the disabled list, and he currently leads the Major Leagues with a 1.86 ERA. He missed time April 21-May 3 because of a right quad strain, and was sidelined June 18-July 8 because of right lat tightness. His record would be better if he had gotten any run support early in the season. Dempster went 18 starts, dating back to August 2011, without a win until June 5 when he beat the Brewers. He has 10 quality starts out of his 14 this season. Dempster has won his last five starts without giving up a run, and his 33-inning scoreless streak is the longest by a Cubs pitcher since Ken Holtzman’s 33-inning streak in 1969.

The Cubs will have an extra pitcher on hand in St. Louis. Casey Coleman was scratched from his start Thursday for Triple-A Iowa but a team official said that was done in case newly acquired pitcher Justin Germano could not get there in time for Friday’s game. The Cubs acquired Germano from the Red Sox late Thursday for cash considerations.

— Carrie Muskat

7/2 22q Day at Turner Field

7/2 Dempster, McCann team up to fight 22q

Ryan Dempster and the Braves’ Brian McCann will host Atlanta families dealing with 22q on Monday at Turner Field. Families of children with 22q will receive T-shirts and other Dempster Family Foundation gear, and all families will have an opportunity to meet Dempster and McCann. The Braves catcher is “joining the team” to support Dempster to help Strike Out 22q! while raising awareness and meeting the families affected by the syndrome.  McCann is very involved in the Atlanta community, and is a spokesperson for the Rally Foundation which raises money for pediatric cancer research.

11/8 Derrek Lee has surgery

Former Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee had
surgery Monday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. According
to Yahoo Sports, the surgery repaired damage Lee sustained on April 5,
Opening Day. Lee batted .260 with 19 homers and 80 RBIs this season, and played 148 games with the Cubs before he was traded in August to the

“I think [the injury] had an enormous impact on his 2010 season,” Lee’s
agent Casey Close told Yahoo Sports on Monday. “To try to gut his way
through it, it had a huge influence on his statistical measurements.
It’s amazing he played the whole season on it.”

Lee, who turned 35 in September, is a free agent. He was expected to recover in time for Spring Training.

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Lee to Braves

Derrek Lee was dealt to the Braves Wednesday for three Minor League pitchers, and will make his Atlanta debut on Friday — against the Cubs and Ryan Dempster.

“That’ll be weird — that’ll be really weird,” Lee said.

The Cubs acquire right-handers Robinson Lopez and Tyrelle Harris and lefty Jeffrey Lorick from the Braves, who get Lee and some cash. Lee was owed about $3 million the rest of this year.

“Atlanta is getting a class act,” Lou Piniella said of Lee, who played seven seasons with the Cubs, batting .298 with 179 home runs, 11th most in franchise history. “He’s going to be missed here.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/6 Change in Wrigley start times

The Cubs have changed some start times and announced the TV schedule for five games at Wrigley Field in the second half. ESPN is moving the Sunday, July 18 game against the Phillies to 7:05 p.m. CT. The game will still air on ESPN, though it was originally scheduled to start at 5:05 p.m. CT.   

Additionally, ESPN has selected the Sunday, July 25 game vs. the Cardinals for a national broadcast. The game will begin at 7:05 p.m. CT.

With ESPN now having reached its Sunday Night maximum for 2010 at Wrigley Field, two additional games currently listed with start times of TBD are confirmed for afternoon starts.  The Aug. 22 game vs. the Braves and the Sept. 26 contest vs. the Cardinals will both begin at 1:20 p.m. CT and air on WGN.

Additionally, the Sept. 4 game vs. the Mets will now air on WGN and begin at 12:05 p.m. CT. The game was originally listed to start at 3:10 p.m. CT.

— Carrie Muskat

6/6 Up in the air

In a span of about 57 hours, give or take a few, the Cubs will play in three different ballparks, beginning Sunday in Houston at Minute Maid Park. They have a makeup game Monday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh (11:35 a.m. CT) and then fly to Milwaukee to open a series Tuesday night against the Brewers at Miller Park.

* Last season, the Cubs played three games in three days in three different ballparks when they met the Indians at Wrigley on June 21, 2009; then play at Atlanta, then at Detroit.

* The last time the Cubs played three games in three days in three different road parks was 2004 when they faced Cincinnati on Sept. 19 (a 5-1 win), then played a doubleheader in Florida Sept. 20 (which they split), and then traveled to Pittsburgh Sept. 21 (a 10-inning win). Hurricane Francis in Miami forced that crazy itinerary.

— Carrie Muskat


4/8 Six-feet under

Lou Piniella is hearing it from Cubs fans at Turner Field who are upset about the 0-2 start. He’s upset, too, but also realistic.

“[If you’re] 2-0, you’re on top of the world, and 0-2, you’re six feet under,” Piniella said Thursday prior to the Cubs’ game against the Braves. “It’s early. We’ve got to sort some things out there. These guys are playing. We didn’t play poorly last night. We gave them an unearned run when we didn’t tag a guy out at second. You talk about a little play like that, that makes [Ryan] Dempster throw an extra 12, 15 pitches to get out of that inning. It’s early in the season and we’re going to be fine. Winning that first ballgame is important.”

After this three-game series, the Cubs head to Cincinnati to face the Reds for three. They’d like to go with a “W” in the standings.

“We’re trying to win one and [the Braves] are trying to win their third,” Piniella said. “We’re doing the best we can. It is important [to win Thursday]. We’ve got to play regardless tomorrow whether we win or lose tonight. The season isn’t over.

“If we win this game, it doesn’t mean we’ll win the World Series,” he said, “and if we lose, it doesn’t mean we’ll lose one. We’re going to do the best we can, that’s all we can do.”

— Carrie Muskat

4/6 Not so fun Opening Day facts

Monday’s 16-5 Opening Day loss to the Braves sent baseball historian Ed Hartig to his files and here’s what he found:

* The Cubs gave up at least six runs in two innings. The last time they did that was July 3, 1999 in Philadelphia, a 21-8 loss. The last time the Braves had two 6-plus run innings against the Cubs was August 14, 1934, when the Boston Braves beat the Cubs, 15-2, at Wrigley.

* Only once have the Cubs given up more than six runs in an inning on Opening Day. On April 5, 1988, they gave up seven runs in the fourth in Atlanta — yet beat the Braves, 10-9, in 13 innings.

* The last time the Cubs gave up six runs in an inning on Opening Day was March 31, 1998, in Florida. The Marlins took a 6-3 lead in the first inning.

* Carlos Zambrano lasted 1 1/3 innings vs. the Braves, matching his shortest career start. The last time a Cubs starting pitcher had an abbreviated outing on Opening Day was April 12, 1965. In that game, Larry Jackson lasted just two-thirds of an inning, giving up four hits, two walks, five runs (three earned). The Cubs and Cardinals played to a 10-10 tie.

* The 16 runs are the most ever served up by the Cubs on Opening Day. The previous
high was 15 on May 1, 1884, when New York beat Chicago, 15-3. Since 1900, the most runs given up was 12 on April 4, 1994, in the Mets’ 12-8 win.

* The May 1, 1884, game 12-run deficit also is the largest margin of defeat in the season opener. However, Monday’s 11 run deficit sets a moder Cubs Opening Day mark, eclipsing nine-run losses (10-1 to the Reds on April 4, 1914; and 11-2 to the Astros, April 10, 1962).

— Carrie Muskat