Saturday, April 22

Ryan Dempster = Red-Headed Hero


Other Things Ryan Dempster has saved during his Cubs record streak

- The entire run of Gaslight comics
- Last night's Beef Stroganoff from a faulty oven
- Bill Murray's acting career
- Arrested Development [well, for one season, but he's only human]
- Doogie Howser M.D on videotape
- Paris Hilton from herself
- half a million dollars in pennies found in the street
- 2 marriages
- money on his car insurance by switching to Geico

In the midst of the dim future that surrounds the current incarnation of the Cubs, Ryan Dempster is undoubtedly a highlight. His record-breaking exploits, netting 23 consecutive saves [and extending a scoreless innings streak to somewhere around 30] dating back to last season, has to bring some solace to a team without 3 All-Star players. Right?

What makes his transformation into a serviceable closer even more remarkable is the path he's taken to get to this point. Several meandering seasons as the 4th or 5th starter in Florida and Cincinnati could never have prepared us for this 9th inning champion. Taking a look at the numbers:

1999 [Florida]
25 GS, 7-8, 4.71 ERA, 7.71 K/9, 1.36 K/BB, .262 BAA
2000 [Florida]
33 GS, 14-10, 3.66 ERA, 8.31 K/9, 2.16 K/BB, .243 BAA
2001 [Florida]
34 GS, 15-12, 4.94 ERA, 7.28 K/9, 1.53 K/BB, .269 BAA
2002 [Cincinnati/Florida]
33 GS, 10-13, 5.38 ERA, 6.59 K/9, 1.65 K/BB, .286 BAA
2003 [Cincinnati]
20 GS, 3-7, 6.54 ERA, 6.54 K/9, 1.20 K/BB, .293 BAA

He's always been a hard thrower, but found a lot of trouble with pitch selection, trying to knock guys down with fastballs and getting hit to all areas of the field. However, he's curbed that aggression, and still holds down those nasty K/9 numbers that you could want from a closer. So much so that last year he set career-best stats in K/9 [8.71] and ERA [3.13].

Hats off to Dempster. May we continue to get save opportunites for you to convert.


At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

You guys talked about it too much. I blame you, Len Kasper, and Bob Brenly, not the fact that Dempster left the ball up in the zone a little too much a few times today.


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