Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo
The Cubs didn’t want our weekends to end on a high note, lost to the Dodgers 8-2, splitting the 4-game series. It was over before the Cubs got to bat:
Juan Pierre led off with an infield single to short.
Rafael Furcal followed with a hit-and-run grounder into right field.
Orlando Hudson’s single drove Pierre home, and Russell Martin followed
with a broken-bat hit.
James Loney singled before Marshall struck out Matt
Kemp. Mark Loretta drove 2 runs home with a double, and Jamie Hoffman
hit a sacrifice fly.
“He didn’t use his breaking ball at all,” Piniella
said. “I mentioned that to our pitching coach. He didn’t use his
breaking ball at all in the first inning.”
Kemp homered off Marshall in the third. The Dodgers chased Marshall in the fifth, scoring twice.
Even before Sunday’s game, Sean Marshall’s fate was written: back to the bullpen for you, big guy.
“And the only reason being is it gives us a lefty with experience out there and it improves our bullpen,” Piniella said.
“I feel just as comfortable with Marshall in the rotation. The problem is you have to look at the needs of the team right now.”
So what’s going to happen with the rotation?
Marshall could make one more start, depending on the health of Rich Harden (back pain) and the seriousness of the blister on Ryan Dempster‘s right middle finger. Dempster said the blister is getting progressively better.
“We’re either going to pitch him Friday or Saturday,” Piniella said.
“If he needs an extra day, we can give it to him. If not, we can pitch
him on his regular turn.”
‘I’m working to get the strength back and, hopefully, I won’t need
surgery,” Ramirez told the Sun-Times on Sunday. ”If at the end of the
season, if it is still bothering me, then I’ll have to do something.
But if I rehab pretty good, and everything goes well, then I don’t have
”If I have to have surgery, I’m going to have it right after
the season. And I should be ready for the next season. I don’t know if
I’ll be ready for spring training, but I should be ready for Opening
There had been whispers over the weekend that Ramirez could be done for the season, but he shot down that speculation.
”No, I’ll be back on the field; I just don’t know when,” said Ramirez.
One more Rich Harden update, this one sounding slightly more positive than yesterday’s:
Rich Harden, who’s on the disabled list with a back
strain, played catch Sunday. He’s scheduled to throw off the mound
Tuesday in Atlanta, and he may be able to start next week in Houston.
“Once he throws on Tuesday, then we’ll have an idea
where we’re at with Rich,” Lou Piniella said. “Until then, I think it’s
premature to even guess.”
And more Spellcheck/Vitters news:
eff Samardzija tossed a 7-inning complete game Saturday
in Game 1 of a doubleheader for Class AAA Iowa in a 5-2 victory over
Memphis. Samardzija is 2-1 with a 4.04 ERA at Iowa.
At Class A Peoria, third-base prospect Josh Vitters was
2-for-5 with a walk a double and the game-winning homer. Vitters hit
his 13th homer Sunday.