Thursday, May 12

The Closer Carousel loses another rider

Ryan Dempster!!

In a move that would make over-protective mothers everywhere reach for neosporin and an extra sweater for their wimpy child, Dempster took a line-drive off his elbow in the 10th Inning yesterday, foiling Mike Piazza of a possible base-hit and foiling himself in avoiding a trip to the hospital. X-rays show no significant damage, given that the ball racketed off "the fleshy part of the forearm below the elbow", according to the confusing medical jargon employed by doctors.

(what Dempster's bruise may or may not look by. Artist's rendering)

He has a deep bruise, and means the closer's throne is now open again.

So who will it be this time?

Dusty might well look to Michael Wuertz - I mean, why the heck not - on two days rest to be the closer on Friday night if one is needed. The job will then fall to Remlinger, and then possibly Underdog. Have no fear, Underdog is here.

Joe Borowski is on the mend, as we all know and as LB is praying for his return, GM Hendry predicts a slow return to the major-league club. Bo's minor-league outings haven't been mind-blowing (something we need from him considering the Cubs bullpen has blown 5 saves in 10 chances, 4 of those on home soil), allowing 4 runs (2 earned) and 3 hits in 5 innings pitched.

The ever-insightful and expressive Dusty Baker had this to say about Big Joe:
''He had two great outings down there in Triple-A, then he had a not-very-good outing [Tuesday], which is what happens in spring training, too,'' manager Dusty Baker said of Borowski allowing three runs (one earned), two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday. ''He's still in spring training. I know Joe is itching to come here, but I would rather have Joe, hopefully, over-ready than under-ready.''

So yeah, let's see what happens. The Cubs have a weekend series in Washington to play the Expotials from Friday through Sunday, and by then, we might have more answers. Series predictions coming tomorrow morning.

Pitching Matchups for the Series:

CHC: LHP Glendon Rusch • 2-1, 2.70 ERA in 2005 • 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 2004 vs. MON/WSH
WAS: RHP Esteban Loaiza • 1-2, 3.69 ERA in 2005 • 1-1, 6.00 ERA in 2004 vs. CHC

CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano • 3-1, 3.61 ERA in 2005 • 1-0, 1.13 ERA in 2004 vs. MON/WSH
WAS: RHP Livan Hernandez • 5-2, 4.02 ERA in 2005 • 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 2004 vs. CHC

CHC: RHP Greg Maddux • 2-1, 3.80 ERA in 2005 • 1-1, 1.23 ERA in 2004 vs. MON/WSH
WAS: RHP John Patterson • 2-1, 2.45 ERA in 2005 • Did not pitch in 2004 vs. CHC


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