Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

September 2010 Archives

As the Cubs look at next year and build a rotation of ``Z's Aces,'' they'll count on right-hander Randy Wells, probably right in the middle of the rotation like they started this season.

As for Wells, he'll count on a lot more than the 8-14, 4.26 season that he finished Wednesday night with a solid seven-inning start that resulted in a 3-0 loss to the fighting-for-their-lives San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

He might have had a chance at the win - or at least avoided the loss - if not for Padres center fielder Will Venable's leaping catches in the second and third innings to rob Alfonso Soriano of a solo homer and Aramis Ramirez of a two-run shot.

``That was no fun,'' interim manager Mike Quade said. ``The first catch was good. The second catch was phenomenal.''

Phenomenal was not a word Wells used when asked to describe his up-and-down sophomore season - his first full season in the big leagues.

Cubs' Dempster, Byrd endorse Quade for manager

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The Q Train picked up speed Tuesday night with another big win over a quality opponent and then picked up some more passengers - with veteran pitcher Ryan Dempster giving Mike Quade the strongest endorsement yet in the interim manager's hunt for the full-time Cubs job.

``He's done a great job, and I hope he's here longer than just this year and managing for us next year,'' said Dempster (15-11) after pitching seven impressive innings for the Cubs' second straight win over San Diego, ``because he deserves it.''

The Cubs improved to 21-11 since Quade took over for the retiring Lou Piniella, who left Aug. 22 to care for his ailing mother.

Cubs' Zambrano on a tear -- but he's no ace

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Is Carlos Zambrano the ace of the Cubs' staff again?

He seemed to think so Monday night, and his numbers in 10 starts since returning to the rotation from anger-management therapy - 7-0, 1.25 - seem to back him up.

``I read the other day in the paper somebody was talking about myself as the `former ace,' '' Zambrano said after Monday's 1-0 win over San Diego - an obvious reference to the most recent story I wrote about him for the Sun-Times.

``Was that me?'' a different reporter asked as Zambrano made eye contact with me for emphasis and said, ``I don't know. Somebody put it in the paper and I read it.''

``That was me,'' I said.

``Is it true?'' said the other reporter to Zambrano.

Zambrano: ``You can count and see if I'm the former ace or I'm still the ace of this team, along with all the [other] four guys in the rotation.''

Yes, anybody watching this team for the past few years can count - in fact, they can count his number of wins each of the past two seasons without running out of fingers.

You just can't count on what you're going to get from Big Z start to start, much less year to year.

And if he's already starting to keep score of who's writing nice things about him and who's not as he continues one of the best six-week runs of his career, then the Cubs should consider that a red flag in his emotional rehab.

Because it means little has changed in the way he views his place in the universe - or, rather, the rest of the universe in his world.

And if that's the case, then the Cubs need to scuttle any last notion of making him a part of their future and use this six-week hot streak to dump what they can of the two years left on his contract.

Cubs' Colvin out of hospital

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Cubs outfielder Tyer Colvin, whose chest cavity was punctured by a broken bat Sunday, was released today from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, the team announced.

Colvin was treated for two days with a tube in his chest to prevent a collapsed lung after being impaled by the snapped-off head of teammate Welington Castillo's maple bat while running from third base to home during Sunday's game against the Florida Marlins.

It was not immediate known when Colvin might return to the team. He was officially placed on the disabled list Tuesday and will not play again this season.

The incident was just the latest -- and most serious -- involving the more brittle maple bats, which tend to snap or ``explode'' when breaking instead of splintering like the more traditional ash.


Starlin Castro has catch of the day as Cubs reel in Fish

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The rookie-showcase series between the Cubs and the Marlins got a rookie exclamation point to finish off the series opener but not much else from the freshmen to show for the Cubs' 2-0 victory Friday night.

In fact, the eye-popping diving catch by rookie shortstop Starlin Castro near the left-field foul line, with two men on to end the game emphasized the performance swings that often come with youthful talent.

``I tried to make that play because of what happened before in the game, and just wanted to finish up on a good note,'' said Castro, through translator/coach Ivan DeJesus, referring to a seventh-inning error on a routine play and a dropped exchange on a would-be double play in the eighth.

``When you make an error, sometimes you could get scared,'' he said through DeJesus. ``You don't want a ball hit to you. The only thing to do is concentrate on the next hitter and try to make every play after that.''

Starlin Castro has catch of the day as Cubs reel in Fish

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The rookie-showcase series between the Cubs and the Marlins got a rookie exclamation point to finish off the series opener but not much else from the freshmen to show for the Cubs' 2-0 victory Friday night.

In fact, the eye-popping diving catch by rookie shortstop Starlin Castro near the left-field foul line, with two men on to end the game emphasized the performance swings that often come with youthful talent.

``I tried to make that play because of what happened before in the game, and just wanted to finish up on a good note,'' said Castro, through translator/coach Ivan DeJesus, referring to a seventh-inning error on a routine play and a dropped exchange on a would-be double play in the eighth.

``When you make an error, sometimes you could get scared,'' he said through DeJesus. ``You don't want a ball hit to you. The only thing to do is concentrate on the next hitter and try to make every play after that.''

Cubs' Gorzelanny to miss next start

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Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny will miss his next scheduled start because of swelling in his left palm caused by being hit by a line drive in Wednesday's game, the team said today.

A CT scan today revealed a small crack in the bone near the tip of his left pinkie, but it's not expected to affect his ability to pitch. The swelling is a more serious concern, and his status is to be evaluated again when the swelling subsides.

Carlos Silva (10-5), who pitched 4 2/3 innings Wednesday in his second injury rehab start, likely will take Gorzelanny's next scheduled start, Tuesday against Houston, on a natural rest cycle.

Silva pitched three scoreless innings Wednesday before giving up five runs in the fourth and fifth innings for Class A Peoria. He hasn't pitched since leaving his Aug. 1 start in Colorado because of an accelerated heartbeat, a recurring issue that was surgically corrected about a week later.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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